Creating a System Restore Point

by Barry Dysert
(last updated May 2, 2016)

A restore point allows you to restore the system to a previous state should something go wrong with a key system change that's been made. Restore points are automatically created by Windows before any of the following events:

  • A "restore-compliant" application installation
  • The installation of an automatic Windows update
  • A user-initiated system restore
  • Restore points are managed by using the System Protection feature of Windows. To manually create a restore point, start System Protection by using 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.

    You can create a restore point for any disk that has protection turned on. (You can turn protection for a drive on or off by selecting that drive and clicking the Configure button.) To create a restore point for the drives that have system protection turned on, select the drive you want to use and click the Create button shown. You will then be prompted to enter a name for the restore point, and when you click Create after entering the name, the restore point will be created.

    Restore points can also be created on a user-defined schedule. In fact, the default behavior of Windows is to periodically create a restore point by using the Task Scheduler. To modify this schedule, use Windows' search capabilities to locate and start the Task Scheduler. Once started, expand the tree under "Task Scheduler Library" and scroll down to Microsoft | Windows | System Restore. (See Figure 2.)

    Figure 2. Task Scheduler's System Restore task.

    The name of the task is "SR." Right-click the task and choose Properties from the resulting Context menu. If you look at the Triggers tab in the Properties dialog box you can click the Edit button and modify the task schedule to better suit your needs. Note, however, that by design, System Restore creates a scheduled restore point only if no other restore points have been created in the last 7 days. When you're finished editing the schedule, OK your way out.

 This tip (11294) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Adjusting the Mouse for Left-Handed Users

Since Windows is so customizable, it should come as no surprise that Microsoft has made accommodations for left-handed mouse ...

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 configure ...

Discover More

Changing the Program Associated with a File Type

Windows allows a great deal of flexibility in what programs it associates with different types of files. If you want to ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Understanding Jump Lists

Jump lists are great productivity enhancers to Windows 7. By using jump lists, you can easily access frequently used ...

Discover More

Setting a Restore Point

Restore Points let you go "back in time" to a point before you made system changes that could prove harmful to your system. ...

Discover More

Using Windows Defender Offline

Normally Windows Defender is used in an online environment. You can, if desired, also use it offline. This tip describes how ...

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 8 + 8?

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.