Article ID : 00122468 / Last Modified : 07/23/2019Print

How to use the System Restore feature to restore the computer to an earlier time.

    IMPORTANT: This article applies only to specific products and/or operating systems. Check Applicable Products and Categories for details.

    The System Restore function in the operating system uses a feature called System Protection that regularly creates and saves as restore points information about your computer drivers, programs, registry, system files, and settings. The System Protection feature will automatically create a restore point just before any significant system event, such as the installation of apps or software, and new Windows Updates. You can also create restore points manually at any time.

    This means that when the System Protection feature is turned on, you can undo any undesired system changes by doing a System Restore to revert the computer back to a previous point in time. Also, when you perform a System Restore, the System Protection feature will automatically create a restore point before proceeding, so you can undo the changes made by the System Restore, if needed.

    NOTE: If you have started the computer in Safe Mode, then a restore point will not be created before the System Restore proceeds. In this situation, you will not be able to undo the System Restore.

    Follow these steps to perform a System Restore.

    1. Right-click the Start button or press the Windows logo + X key combination, and from the menu, click System.

      Start - System

    2. In the System window, on the left side of the screen, click System protection.

      System - System protection

      NOTE: If prompted for an administrator password or a User Account Control prompt is displayed, type the appropriate password, or click Yes.

    3. In the System Properties window, click the System Restore button.

      System Properties - System Restore

    4. In the System Restore window:
      • If this is your first time performing a System Restore, click the Next button.

        System Restore

      • If you have previously performed a System Restore, click to select Choose a different restore point, and then click the Next button.
    5. In the Restore your computer to the state it was in before the selected event screen, click to select a restore point, and then click the Scan for affected programs button.

      Scan for affected programs


      • If displayed, at the bottom left corner of the screen, click to place a check in the box next to Show other restore points to see all available restore points.
      • If this is your first time performing a System Restore you may only see one restore point.
    6. Review the results displayed for what will be affected by using the selected restore point, and when finished, click the Close button.

      System Restore properties

    7. When you are ready start a System Restore with the selected restore point, click the Next button.
    8. In the Confirm your restore point screen, click the Finish button to begin the System Restore process.

      System Restore - Finish

    9. At the Once started, System Restore cannot be interrupted prompt, click the Yes button to confirm.

      warning System Restore

      IMPORTANT: This is your last chance to cancel the System Restore. If you are not sure you want to proceed, click the No button.

    10. The computer will now restart and perform the System Restore process.
    11. Once the System Restore has completed successfully and you are signed back in to the operating system, at the System Restore completed successfully prompt, click the Close button.