How to System Restore windows 10 (A Comprehensive Tutorial)

It's a useful tool for troubleshooting problems and can be initiated manually or automatically before specific system changes.

Windows System Restore Point is a feature that creates snapshots of certain files and information before critical operations such as updates or software installations take place.  It is an essential tool for troubleshooting issues without the need for a complete system reinstall. Windows 10 System Restore is designed to restore only the system files and settings, not personal data, documents, or user-installed applications. If you experience a problem after a recent driver update, software install or registry modification, you can perform System Restore Windows 10 to revert the settings and system files to a previous working state where Windows work smoothly. Let’s understand its importance and how to create a system restore point. This article also explores how to system restore Windows 10 to fix the event of problems like software conflicts, driver issues, or system crashes.

System Restore on Windows 10

This feature is like a backup, but not exactly, as going back in time with this feature won’t affect your documents or settings prior to the creation of a particular restore point. However, it will remove apps, drivers, system updates, and registry changes after the restore point was made. It’s just like a time machine.

System Restore Points provide an easy way to undo changes made to the system. This includes driver installations, software installations, Windows updates, and system settings modifications.

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When issues occur, a System Restore Point can be a quick remedy, saving users the time and effort of reinstalling the entire operating system and applications.

System Restore is an effective troubleshooting tool for pinpointing the source of problems. Users can revert the system to a state before the problem occurred and then make incremental changes to identify the root cause.

How to enable System Protection on Windows 10

On Windows 10 system restore feature is turned off by default, and you must enable system protection before Create a system restore point. Once the feature is enabled and configured correctly, Windows automatically generates Restore points when you install a new app, device driver, or Windows update.

Press Windows key + R type “sysdm.cpl” and press “Enter key” to open the “System Properties” window.

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Go to the “System Protection” tab”, and under “Protection Settings, Select the drive you want to enable System Restore for, and click on the “Configure” button.

In the new window that appears, select the “Turn on system protection” option and adjust the maximum disk space usage for restore points.

The more space allocated, the more restore points you can create and store. Click “Apply” and then “OK” to save your changes.

Enable System protection

How to create a system restore point

Now you have enabled Restore Point in your system, the operating system will create a restore point automatically every time a significant change happens. However, sometimes you might want to create a system restore point manually before modifying anything that you might think could cause a problem.

To configure a restore point manually follow below.

Again open system properties using “sysdm.cpl” and switch to the System Protection tab

  • In the “System Protection” window, click on the “Create” button.
  • Type a description to help you identify the restore point (e.g. System Restore Point before installing antivirus).
  • Then click the Create button to complete the process.

Name restore point

  • Wait for the restore point to be created. This may take a few minutes.
  • Once the restore point is created, click “Close.”

Restore point created successfully

Whenever you encounter an issue and need to perform a System Restore, just head back to this same window and click System Restore to launch the restore interface.

How to system restore Windows 10

If at any point in time, you run into issues on your Windows computer, You can use a system restore point, which will be a quicker and easier way to fix with Revert back system to the previous working state.

steps to perform a system restore Windows 10

Open the “System Properties” window using the “sysdm.cpl” command, as described above. Go to the “System Protection” tab, and click on the “System Restore” button. The “System Restore” wizard will open. Click “Next” to proceed.

System restore wizard

You will be shown all the available restore points available with date, description, and more importantly, you’ll also see the type. Which specifies if it was created manually or by the system.

Select restore point

As you select a restore point, you can click the “Scan for affected programs” to view the applications installed. Since the last restore point, which will be deleted during the restore process. Then click Close to go back to the wizard.

Scan for affected programs

Now click Next you will see confirm your Restore point. Check the same and then Finish to begin the restore process.

Confirm system restore windows 10

When you click on the finish you will prompt Once started System Restore cannot be interrupted. Do you want to continue? click yes to start the system restore process.

During the restore process, you will notice, please wait while your Windows files and settings are being restored.

System Restore initializing, finishing, etc. This will take some time to complete the process.

Performing system restore

During this, your system will be restarted and will re-apply all the settings that are necessary for your system. When your system Restore is completed, you will get a popup message, “Window System Restore completed successfully”.

Once the process completes, you will back to that point in time your system was working correctly.

How long do system restores take?

The time it takes for a System Restore can vary, usually ranging from 15 minutes to an hour. Factors like the size of the restore point, system performance, and the extent of changes being reverted influence the duration. If it takes unusually long, be patient and avoid interrupting the process.

  • The speed and performance of your computer’s hardware, including CPU, RAM, and hard drive, play a role in the overall restoration process.
  • Larger restore points with more system changes to revert will take longer to apply.
  • If your hard drive is fragmented or has a slow read/write speed, it can affect the time taken to access and apply the data during the restoration process.
  • Security software running in the background may scan the files during the restoration process, which could add some time to the overall process.

Additional Notes on System Restore: 

System Restore Points have a time limit, and older restore points may be automatically deleted to make room for new ones.

System Restore is not a substitute for regular data backups. Users should still maintain separate backups of critical files and data.

System Restore does not remove viruses or malware. If your system is infected, it’s essential to use reliable antivirus software to clean it before restoring to a previous state.

Restoring to an older state might lead to compatibility issues with recently installed applications or drivers. Be prepared to troubleshoot these situations if they arise.

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