Understanding System Protection

by Barry Dysert
(last updated December 23, 2019)

System Protection is the name of a Windows feature that allows you to set and manage restore points. System restore points are snapshots of your system that are taken prior to significant system changes. A restore point allows you to restore the system to a previous state should something go wrong with a change that's been made.

Windows automatically maintains restore points such that the oldest ones are automatically deleted to make room for recent ones. This maintenance is controlled by limiting the space they occupy to between 3% and 5% (to a maximum of 10 GB) of your disk. (The percentage is set automatically by Windows, depending on the size of your hard drive.)

Restore points are automatically created before any of the following events:

  • A "restore-compliant" application installation
  • The installation of an automatic Windows update
  • A user-initiated system restore
  • To access System Protection, use Windows' built-in search capabilities to look for "system protection," without the quote marks. In the search results you should see a result for "create a restore point." Select this result and Windows displays the System Protection tab of the System Properties dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

    Figure 1. The System Protection tab of the System Properties dialog box.

    Click the System Restore button and Windows then displays the System Restore dialog box, which provides little more than a "welcome" message. (System Restore is, essentially, a wizard, leading you through the restore process.) Click the Next button and you'll see the various restore points available for your system. (See Figure 2.)

    Figure 2. Choosing a system restore point.

    Normally Windows only shows one or two of the most recently restore points. If you want to see more, click the Show More Restore Points check box. After selecting a restore point, click the Next button to review what will be restored. If you're satisfied with what you see, click Finish to begin the restore process.

 This tip (9934) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Mapping a Network Drive

You can create a mapping relationship between a network folder and a drive letter so that it's easy to access the folder ...

Discover More

Displaying Hidden and System Files in a Folder

Files (and folders) can be marked hidden so that you don't see them in Windows Explorer. This tip tells you how to ...

Discover More

Backing Up Your Files

Performing regular backups of your system offers you peace of mind because you don't have to worry about data loss in the ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Understanding Windows Update

It is important to keep your system updated with the latest software patches. This keeps your computer safer from attacks ...

Discover More

What are Modern Apps?

The capabilities of apps changed with Windows 10. What, exactly, are modern apps and how are they different from earlier ...

Discover More

Searching From the Start Menu

You can be more efficient if you get used to using the search functionality from the Start menu. This tip discusses that.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four more than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.