How to Use System Restore in Windows 10

Microsoft Windows has many built-in features. In this article, we will focus on the System Restore. Telling you what is it, what can it do for you, and how long does it take.

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Updated by Daisy on Jul 20, 2023
Written by Jean

Due to malware or misoperation, sometimes your computer might break down, or data loss may occur. Under this kind of occasion, most of the users do not have backed up their computer ahead, so the loss sounds unbearable.

Fortunately, Windows has a built-in feature called System Restore. It could save the breakdown system, and restore your computer to an earlier point in time. In the next parts, we will tell you what is System Restore, how to create a system restore point, and how long does the restore takes.

What is System Restore?

System Restore means bringing your Windows installation back to its last working state without reinstalling the operating system or damaging data files. This is a Windows built-in feature that first appears in Windows Me. System Restore could recover the registry, local configuration files, COM+ database, Windows File Protection cache (wfp.dll), WMI database, Microsoft IIS metadata, and utilities are copied to "Restore" by default Files in the archive. Generally, users do not need to enable the System Restore feature manually. It is turned on by default but requires your disk has 200MB of space available.

How to Create a Restore Point?

To perform a system restore, you need to create a restore point first. The restore point is an image of the system configuration and settings in the Windows registry. In both System Protection and the Backup and Restore Center, you can manually create a restore point from it. The following steps show you how to create a restore point.

Step 1. Type "create a restore point" in your computer's search bar. Click the result to enter.

Step 2. Under the "System Protection" tab, click the "Create" button.

Create restore point

Step 3. Type a description for the restore point you created, and then click "Create".

Name your restore point

In System Protection, you can also start a system restore, configure restore settings, manage disk space, and delete restore points.

How to Use System Restore

The steps below show you how to use the System Restore. Restoring won't affect your personal files, but it will remove apps, drivers, and updates installed after the restore point was made. 

Step 1. Search Control Panel in Windows search box, and click the best match result to enter.

Step 2. Click "Recovery" in Control Panel, and select "Recovery" > "Open System Restore" > "Next". 

How to use System Restore

Step 3. Choose the restore point related to the problematic app, driver, or update, and then select "Next" > "Finish".

How Long Does System Restore Take

The time a System Restore takes depends on the number of files on your system. If the restore point just created a few days ago, the whole process should only take 25 to 40 minutes.

System Restore Alternative

Although System Restore can save you from an OS crash situation, it isn't flawless. Here, we'd like to introduce a more powerful backup and restore tool as the alternative to Windows System Restore.

EaseUS Todo Backup is designed for protecting your data with simple clicks, and restore everything instantly. It is capable of backing up the Windows system along with user settings, and restore your system quickly once it crashes. What's more, it supports users to create computer data backup with three backup types, including full backup, differential backup, and incremental backup. And users can also apply this tool to clone or migrate their system to a new hard drive or computer without reinstalling the system and applications.

Here you can download EaseUS Todo Backup from the button below, and follow the guide to see how to make a system backup.

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Step 1. On the main page, click "Select backup contents".

create system backup step1

Step 2. Among the four available categories, click OS.

create system backup step2

Step 3. EaseUS Todo Backup will automatically select your system partition, you only need to select the backup destination.

create system backup step3

Step 4. Both Local Drive and NAS are available for you to save the backup file.

create system backup step5

Step 5. After finishing the backup process, you can check the backup status, recover, open, or delete the backup by right-clicking the backup task on the left.

create system backup step5


1. Which versions of Windows have the system recovery function?

Windows Me, Windows XP (Home and Professional Editions), Windows Vista (all editions), Windows 7 (all editions), Windows 8 (all editions), and Windows 10.

2. What's the difference between a system restore and file backup?

System Restore only monitors a set of core system files and certain types of application files (such as .exe or .dll), and records the status of these files before the change; while file backup is to back up the user's personal data files to ensure store a safe copy on a local disk or other media. System Restore does not restore changes made to personal data files (for example, documents, graphics, emails, etc.).

3. Do users need to manually turn on system restore?

They don't. The System Restore is automatically turned on, but at least 200M of free hard disk space is required. If the hard disk does not have 200M available space, the System Restore function will be automatically disabled, and it will be turned on again once there is enough space.

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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Written by Jean

Jean has been working as a professional website editor for quite a long time. Her articles focus on topics of computer backup, data security tips, data recovery, and disk partitioning. Also, she writes many guides and tutorials on PC hardware & software troubleshooting. She keeps two lovely parrots and likes making vlogs of pets. With experience in video recording and video editing, she starts writing blogs on multimedia topics now.

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