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How to create a system restore point in Windows 10

How to create a system restore point in Windows 10

Windows 10 is pretty robust when it comes to recovering from problems that might stop it from working properly, but there may come a time when it needs some manual intervention. The system restore feature has been a part of Windows for decades. In Windows 10 it’s still useful for recovering quickly when a new app or device driver causes instability. The causes as to why your operating system might break are numerous. Most likely, a third party application you install or a virus you got while surfing the internet might cause registry file error of your Windows 10 operating system. By having a system restore point, you will be able to rescue your system to an earlier point in time thus fixing major OS issues very quickly.

System restore works by creating snapshots called “restore points”, which keep backup copies of your system configuration, including registry settings, driver files, and third-party programs.  By default, system restore is disabled on Windows 10, but when enabled and configured correctly, it can automatically create restore points, but you can create restore points manually before making any system changes. In this Windows 10 guide, we will walk you through the steps to configure and use system restore to undo changes that may be harming your device.

Step 1: How to enable system restore on Windows 10

Use the following steps to turned on system restore on Windows 10:

1. Click on Start .

2. Search for “System Restore,” and click the result of “Create a restore point”.

Search for create a restore point from start menu

3. Under the “System protection” setting, select the main system drive (Local disk -C in our case) and click the “Configure” button.

Select your system drive and click the configure button

4. Select the “Turn on system protection” option and then use the “Max Usage” slider to determine how much of your hard drive to use to store restore points — 5% to 10% is usually sufficient.

Select the turn on system protection option

5. Click “Apply”.
6. Click “OK”.

Step 2: How to create a system restore point on Windows 10

Windows saves some restore points automatically during a significant change like installing a new app or a downloaded driver or low-level system utility. But  there will be times where you may want to manually create a restore point before modifying anything that might cause problems if you do not do it correctly.

Use the following steps to create a system restore point on Windows 10:

1. Click on Start .

2. Search for “System Restore,” and click the result of “Create a restore point”.

3. Under the “System protection,” select the main system drive, and click the “Create” button.

Select your system drive and click the Create button

4. Enter a description to identify the restore point.

Enter a description to identify the restore point

5. Click “Create”.

TIP: Every once in a while, before you install a piece of software or make some new setting in Windows, if things seem to be running just fine create a system restore point. It’s good computer practice, just like backing up your files, only you are backing up your settings. Once a month or once every couple of months works for most people, but if you frequently make changes, create a system restore point more often.

After completing the steps, if something wrong happens while modifying the windows registry, installing a new app or a driver, you can use the steps outlined below to use the restore point to undo the changes.

Step 3: How to restore your Windows 10 PC

1. Click on Start .

2. Search for “System Restore,” and click the result of “Create a restore point”.

3. Click the “System Restore” button.

Hit on System Restore button

4. Click “Next”.

Click Next

5. Follow the on-screen instructions and select the desired restore point when prompted. You can also click the Scan for affected programs button before going any further, to see what might change on your Windows 10 PC afterwards. When you are  happy to proceed, click “Next”.

Restore your computer to the state it was in before the selected event 

6. Click “Finish”.

Click Finish

Step 4: Using a restore point when your Windows 10 PC won’t boot

The previous steps went over how to use a restore point when you still have access to the desktop. However,there will be times when you may need to use system restore because a system change is preventing your device from starting. But all is not lost. All you need to do is start Windows 10 in Safe Mode. This barebones Windows mode only runs the essential parts of Windows, which means any problematic apps, drivers or settings will be disabled. System restore will then usually be successful.

1. Try to start your Windows 10 PC three times to trigger automatic repair.

2. Click on “Advanced options”.

Click on Advanced options

3. Click on “Troubleshoot”.

Click on Troubleshoot

4. Click on “Advanced options”.

Click on Advanced options

5. Click on “System Restore”.

Click on System Restore

6. Click “Next”.

Click Next

7. Select the most recent known working restore point that will help you to fix the current problem. Click “Next”.

Select the most recent known working restore point that will help you to fix the current problem

8. Click “Finish”.

Click Finish

System restore will not always rescue your Windows 10 PC from very serious problems, but Windows 10 still has extra trick up its sleeve. It can restore Windows 10 to a factory fresh state without affecting your documents, although everything else (including apps) are removed. Even so, you should make sure you have a back up of your important files before using this option, just in case.

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Sunil Pradhan

Sunil is a front-end developer, illustrator and an online entrepreneur. He is the founder of "Hello Sunil" where he shares his love of technology with the world. He loves to write technical how-tos and tutorials. He is open minded and willing to explore beyond his knowledge.

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