If something goes wrong with your Windows 10 computer, due to a new app installation or a recent driver upgrade, simply trying to uninstall or roll back the driver doesn’t always work. That’s where Windows 10 System Restore comes in, as it essentially lets you jump back to a previous time, when Windows was working just fine.
But how does that work, you ask? Well, it does that by creating “restore points” from time to time, generally when you install a new piece of software, or a Windows 10 update. Plus, it creates one every week anyway, and you can do so manually anytime.
Windows 10 restore points are effectively an image of the important Windows stuff, your system files, registry settings, and hardware drivers themselves. It doesn’t take any of your personal documents into consideration, so this isn’t a backup by any means. Depending on your system settings, a small part of your hard-drive is dedicated to storing these restore points, which automatically clears out the old to make space for the new. You'll still need to back up all your personal data yourself, but Windows 10 restore points can help troubleshoot software issues on your Windows PC.
When you open System Restore, you’ll be presented with the available restore points, which will allow you to return to a specific time in the past. In short, Windows 10 System Restore allows you to revert to a state when your computer was working just fine.
Before you use the feature, you should know how it impacts your computer. Since Windows 10 System Restore doesn’t make a backup of your personal documents, restoring your system won’t change any of them. Instead, it keeps a track of all the apps you had, so once you choose a point, any apps that were installed after that will be gone, and the uninstalled ones will come back.
Once the process is done, you will need to re-run the installers/ uninstallers to properly get rid of the ones you don’t want. Thankfully, Windows 10 does present you with a list of affected programs, making this process simpler.
By default, the Windows 10 System Restore option is only turned on for your primary drive, which contains all the necessary Windows files. If you’d like to extend that coverage, follow these steps:
In some cases, you might want to create a restore point yourself, for example, if you’re about to install an app or a new driver from an unconfirmed source. Here’s how to go about that:
Hopefully, you’ll never actually have to bother with this. But should that troubling day arrive, here’s how you can restore your system to an earlier point:
The Windows 10 restore process will take over your computer, and finish in about 15 minutes, more depending on your CPU and hard-drive speed. Once it restarts, you can login to see if everything is working fine. If it didn’t have the desired result, you can revert to your latest system settings instead, since System Restore always creates another restore point before starting itself.
Do you have any questions regarding Windows 10 System Restore? Share them via the comments below. For more tutorials, visit our How To section.