What is System Restore in Windows?

Apr 21, 2013

System Restore is a features in Microsoft Windows operating system which allows restoration of system files and settings to an earlier state. This tool comes handy in solving problems like system failure or malfunction, specially ones that appears after installation of a driver or software. If you are new to the idea of System Restore, read further for more information. We’ll try to discuss Windows System Restore in plain words.

Windows System Restore:

System Restore is a component of Windows operating system. By using this feature/function, one can easily return his/her computer to the state that it was in before a specific date or event. In order to use the System Restore option at least one restore point must be available. Windows System Protection automatically creates restore points each week and even when there’s a key system event such as software install/uninstall. A short description is also provided with each restore point. You can also create a system restore point manually. Also, a new restore point is created each time you use System Restore.

System Restore

By default Windows recommends the most recent restore point. But that can be changed/ignored. If more than on restore points are available, users can easily pick any one of their choice. The restore point descriptions often includes the named of the event. So, if your computer is showing problems right after installing a software, you can use restore point created for that software install. What if system restore didn’t fixed your problem? When a system restore fails in fixing a problem, you can always use another (if available) or switch back by using new restore point created just before start of the restore process.

Files affected by System Restore:

Windows System Restore uses system image backups stored on the hard disk. A system image backup contains both system files and personal data. But System Restore only affects system files, registry and program files. Personal files such as photos and documents remains unaffected. So, point to note: System restore can’t help you in recovery of a deleted file.


System Restore option is available in following operating systems: Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Microsoft’s Windows 2000 lacks this feature. Also note that System Restore has changed drastically since Windows XP.

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