Understanding System Protection

by Barry Dysert
(last updated April 8, 2017)

2

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

Checking a Disk Drive for Free Space

Keeping track of your resources can help you avoid serious computer problems. Having an adequate amount of disk space is ...

Discover More

Using a Dvorak Keyboard with Windows

Dvorak keyboards can provide more efficient typing as well as make the keyboard characters more accessible to those who ...

Discover More

Introduction to PowerShell

PowerShell is found on all modern Windows computers. You might think of it as the next step up from the command line .bat ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Refreshing the Explorer Window

It's possible that the Windows Explorer window may occasionally get out of sync with the data it's displaying. You can ...

Discover More

How To Enable Jump Lists

Jump lists are handy time savers. Some consider them a privacy issue, though. Whichever way you see it, this tip shows ...

Discover More

Displaying the PC Settings Screen

Need to customize how your Windows interface looks? If so, you'll want to use the PC Settings screen. This tip explains ...

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 three more than 8?

2017-06-01 08:11:10

Barry

Hi Edd,

Sorry, but I couldn't possibly diagnose the problem from here. Assuming you're running Windows 10, try getting Microsoft Support (it's free) via the Start menu. Good luck.


2017-06-01 06:31:25

Edd

Can you Help? Any whelp would be very much appreciated.

When attempting to create a restore point I get the following message:- {fig}

"Ther was an unexpected error in the property page
system restore encountered an error. Please try to run system restore again. (0x81000203)

Please close the property page and try again.

Tried several times following various activities without success.

Are you able to advise?

I thank you in advance.


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.