What Is System Restore?
When something goes wrong on your system as a result of a bad piece of software–maybe an app you installed, or a driver that broke something important–it can be hard to fix. System Restore lets you restore your Windows installation back to its last working state.
It does this by creating “restore points” every so often. Restore points are snapshots of your Windows system files, certain program files, registry settings, and hardware drivers. You can create a restore point at any time, though Windows automatically creates a restore point once per week. It also creates a restore point right before a major system event, like installing a new device driver, app, or running Windows update.
How to Restore Your System to an Earlier Restore Point
- Go to Start
- Click Accessories
- Click System Tools
- Click System Restore
Next, you’re asked to confirm the restoration. Make sure you’ve selected the right restore point and click “Finish.”
System Restore informs you that once it starts, the restore process cannot be interrupted. Click “Yes” to start.
Windows will restart your PC and begin the restore process. It can take a while for System Restore to reinstate all those files–plan for at least 15 minutes, possibly more–but when your PC comes back up, you’ll be running at your selected restore point. It’s now time to test whether it resolved whatever problems you were having.