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How Do I Perform A System Restore in Windows?
Author: KB Admin Reference Number: AA-02694 Views: 4133 Created: 2012-08-05 19:00 Last Updated: 2012-06-08 04:09 0 Rating/ Voters
When problems occur on a computer that had been working correctly before, it is often due to changes made to that computer, typically the installation of new software. Sometimes those changes are so extensive that they make the computer unstable. Under such circumstances, it is possible to undo those changes with the utility called System Restore. If the problem encountered is due to changes made by software, this utility may help solve the problem.

Introduced with Windows XP, the utility called System Restore will allow one to revert to a point at which the computer was known to be working correctly. Unless it has been disabled, System Restore periodially records and stores information about the computer that it calls restore points. It is also possible to create a specific restore point. It is a good idea to do so, for instance, before installing a new program to the computer.


To perform a System Restore in Windows XP, take the following steps:
1. Close all programs currently running on the computer.
2. Access the System Restore utility.
(Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore)
3. The option Restore my computer to an earlier time should already be selected. If so, click the NEXT> button.
4. In the Select a Restore Point window, make the following selections:
a. Click on a date in the calendar grid this is on or before the date when the problem started.
b. Select a restore point from the list, if it is not already selected.
c. Click the NEXT> button.
5. In the Confirm Restore Point Selection verify the details and review the information, especially statements printed in red.
6. By clicking the NEXT> button on this screen, the restore process will begin. Your computer will be restarted at least once in this process.
To perform a System Restore in Windows Vista or Windows 7, take the following steps:
1. Close all programs running on the computer.
2. Access the System Restore utility.
(Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore)
3. In the User Account Control window that appears, click CONTINUE to give permission to continue the action.
4. In the System Restore window that opens, as suggested restore point will be shown.
a. Click NEXT> to continue, or...
b. Select Choose a different restore point, then click NEXT>
5. If the option to choose a different restore point was made, the next dialog will be Choose a restore point.
a. Check the box to Show restore points older than 5 days if necessary.
b. Select a restore point from the list.
c. Click NEXT> to continue.
6. At the Confirm your restore point dialog, review the information to confirm it to be correct. Click the FINISH button to end the Wizard and start the System Restore.
When selecting a restore point keep in mind that it is good to choose as recent a point as possible. If the restore does not immediately correct the problem, the process can be repeated to choose an even earlier restore point. Once a restore point has been selected and applied, points that had been made after it will no longer be available.

Last Update: ELM/May 28, 2010