System Restore is a feature that is built into Windows 10 and allows you to create a “save point” before you install an update or new software, or make a major change to your operating system. That way, if you decide that the change you made was a mistake, you can easily revert to an earlier version of your Windows installation. Have you ever installed software that you weren’t sure about and wished you could go back in time to remove it? System Restore makes that wish a reality, in a sense. You can create a safety net that will allow you to go back when you don’t think something is working right on your computer.

How does System Restore work?

System Restore is included with every version of Windows but it isn’t enabled by default. When you enable it, the process will restore your system files, installed applications, Windows Registry, and system settings to the versions that existed on an earlier date of your choice. These older versions are known as system restore points.

How do I enable System Restore?

Since System Restore comes installed with Windows, you don’t have to download any additional software to enable it. Simply type Restore in the Windows Search box to find “Create a restore point,” then click Open.

Create a restore point_menu

Next, click on Configure… to get to the restore settings for the drive you want to use to store your restore point (typically the C: drive).

Configure

In the Restore Settings section, click on the Turn on system protection option.  You can adjust the amount of disk space you would like to allow for system restore points by using the slider in the Disk Space Usage area below. This will allow you to have more than just one point to revert to in case something happens. Each restore point will take up less than 1 GB of storage on your disk drive. Once you have all your settings selected click OK.

Turn on system protection

You have successfully enabled System Restore protection for your C: drive. You can verify this by checking the protection status under the Protection Settings section. If System Restore has been enabled, it will say On.

Protection_On

Create a restore point

Once you have successfully enabled System Restore protection, you can manually create your first restore point.

With System Restore open, click on Create…

Create

Type in a name for your restore point that will help you identify it in the future, then click Create.

Create a restore point

Once completed, you have successfully created your first restore point.

restore point created

Windows will continue to create automatic restore points when you install new software or complete a major Windows update.

Restore from a restore point

If you ever need to recover a restore point, just bring up the Restore options and click System Restore.

system restore

Then click on Next.

Restore settings

Select the restore point you would like to recover, then click Next.

Restore point

You will see a summary page that shows the changes. If everything looks right, click Finish.

confirm restore point

Your computer will restart and your operating system will have reverted to the previous version you specified.

You’re now ready to use System Restore. If you ever think your computer isn’t running the way it’s supposed to after you install a new update or software, System Restore can help undo the damage and get you back to your computer’s last state before the problems occurred.