How To Use System Restore In Windows

How to use system restore in windows

Ultimate Guide to Windows System Restore

This is a general overview of Windows System Restore Feature. For OS specific step by step instructions please see.

WINDOWS 7     WINDOWS 8/8.1     WINDOWS 10

System Restore

System restore is a tool designed by Microsoft Windows, to repair and provide protection to your operating system. It helps the user fix problems occurred during app installation or data corruption by restoring the previous working state. The restore points created help in the process. If there are no restore points in your computer, system restore won’t work and you will have to choose another troubleshooting step. Restore points will snapshot the whole of your drive but only non-personal (system) files will be restored.How to use system restore in windows

Restore Points

Restore points are a snapshot of specific files, which are imperative in nature and will be saved when significant events take place in your system. System restore creates restore points by default after a predetermined time in your system and the user can also create and name them at any time. Restore points will be automatically created when there is an update installed through Windows Update, a driver update, an execution of system restore which undoes restore, and/or a program is installed with the installer being in compliance with system restore. On windows 10, 8, and 7 restore points will be created every 7 days if no points are created during this time period.

How to use system restore in windows

Restore Point- Storage

The storage space of restore point is limited, so as new restore points are created the old ones get deleted. It is recommended to keep 10% of storage space free in your hard drive for restore points. The following description is about how much space will be required by restore points in different versions:

Windows 10
Storage space requirement for restore points can range from 1% to 100% of the hard drive.

Windows 8
Storage space requirement for restore points can range from 1% to 100% of the hard drive.

Windows 7
Storage space requirement for restore point is 3% for a 64 GB drive and can vary from 5% to 10% for over 64 GB drive

What Does System Restore Do?

System Restore reverts your system to the previous working condition while only affecting Windows (system) files and is used only to fix computer problems like certain types of crashes.

For example

  1. After an app was installed that caused the computer processes slowed down.
  2. If you want your Windows to be the same way it was a week ago (your restoration will delete all programs you have installed during the week).

An unstable system does not mean that you can’t fix it on your own, as it may be due to new programs you have installed. It takes about 10 minutes to 30 minutes to use the System Restore tool to revert major changes in Windows.

However, system restore will not always work in the following:

  1. For removing viruses or other malware, as these can be buried in places across your system
  2. In cases where you try to reverse it to 2 days ago but the problem predates that issue.

What Does System Restore Back up?

The restore points help to recover important program files, Windows Registry, system configuration and system drivers.

Personal files like photos videos emails will not be restored during System Restore so it’s a good idea to have backup of personal files (Please also note that any program uninstalled through system restore will only delete the application not the files created from that application).

Why Should You Use System Restore?

  • A problematic windows update can be fixed.
  • The slowdown or unresponsiveness of the system due to a new program installed can be corrected.
  •  Perseverance of important operating system files.
  • It doesn’t affect the changes made to a document and new email message or new records.
  • It is a tool used for the well-being of your computer.
  • Saves your money and time as you’re able to fix issues by yourself.


  1. In Windows 8 and 10 if you’re unable to boot you can take help of ‘download restore disk’. However this facility isn’t available in Windows 7.
  2. In windows 7, you’ll have to type restore in the search bar and select “system restore” where as in Windows 8 and 10, you’ll have to type system restore in search bar and select “create a restore point”.
  3. The system may ask for the administrator password in Windows 7 but it does not in Windows 8 and Windows 10.
  4. In Windows 7 select “choose a different restore point” from the screen showing restore system fields and settings. This step does not exist in Windows 8 and Windows 10.
  5. In windows 7 you just have to click yes to confirm where as in Windows 8 and Windows 10 a dialog box will appear you have to click yes to this confirmation box. The warning message placed in this confirmation box is: “Once started, System restore cannot be interrupted. Do you want to continue?”
  6. Windows 7 has a longer System restore process as compared to Windows 8 and Windows 10.
  7. The storage space for restore points needed in system restore will be different for all three Windows versions
  • Windows 10- 1% to 100% of the hard drive.
  • Windows 8- 1% to 100% of the hard drive.
  • Windows 7- 3% for a 64 GB drive and can vary from 5% to 10% for over 64 GB drive.


System restore isn’t a solution to all of your computer problems. However it is easy to handle and can save your computer at its earliest by restoring to the last working state. The restore point enables system restore to retrieve back data lost. This tool is worth trying before you waste time and money in trying other recovery measures.