Setting a Restore Point

by Barry Dysert
(last updated December 15, 2014)

Sometimes, installing software or device drivers has an adverse impact on your system. Setting a Restore Point prior to an installation allows you to reset your system to its previous state in case you discover that installing the new software wasn't such a good idea. (Restoring your system from a Restore Point is covered in the next tip.) Restore Points only deal with system files, so none of your personal data is affected.

To create a Restore Point, follow these steps if you are using Windows 8:

  1. Move the mouse pointer into the very bottom-left corner of the screen and right-click. You should see a Context menu appear.
  2. Choose the System option. Windows displays the System area of the Control Panel. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The System dialog box.

  4. Click the System Protection link at the left of the dialog box. Windows displays the System Protection tab of the System Properties dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The System Protection tab of the System Properties dialog box.

  6. Select the disk (under the Protection Settings group) for which you want to create a Restore Point
  7. Click the Create button. Windows displays the System Protection dialog box, prompting you to enter a description for the Restore Point.
  8. Enter a description of your choosing. (A good idea is to enter a reason for your restore point.
  9. Click Create. Windows creates the desired restore point.

If you are using Windows 7 the steps are a bit different. (The biggest difference is how you get to the first dialog box.). Follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, right-click Computer, and select Properties from the resulting Context menu. Windows displays the System area of the Control Panel. (See Figure 3.)
  2. Figure 3. The System dialog box.

  3. Click the System Protection link at the left of the dialog box. Windows displays the System Protection tab of the System Properties dialog box. (See Figure 4.)
  4. Figure 4. The System Protection tab of the System Properties dialog box.

  5. Select the disk (under the Protection Settings group) for which you want to create a Restore Point
  6. Click the Create button. Windows displays the System Protection dialog box, prompting you to enter a description for the Restore Point.
  7. Enter a description of your choosing. (A good idea is to enter a reason for your restore point.
  8. Click Create. Windows creates the desired restore point.

 This tip (12211) applies to Windows 7 and 8.

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. ...

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