What Does System Restore Do?


Quick Answer

System Restore establishes checkpoints to restore a computer’s files to an earlier date. It is a way to undo unwanted system changes to a computer without disrupting personal documents, data, photos or emails.

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Full Answer

The System Restore feature helps a user undo changes that occur after actions such as installing or uninstalling a driver or program. System Restore impacts system files, registry settings and programs. It also makes changes to batch files, scripts and other executable files created under user accounts. System Restore does not, however, influence personal files.

System Restore establishes restore points to return a user's files and settings to previous dates or times. Restore points are established weekly prior to significant system changes, such as the installation of a device driver or new program. Every time System Restore is activated, a new restore point is created, which allows the user to undo any changes that do not address the underlying problem. Restore points can also be created manually by accessing the feature.

To access the System Restore feature, click the Start icon at the bottom left of the screen. Right-click Computer and select Properties. In the left pane, select System Protection, then click Create. In the System Protection box, enter a description, and select Create to establish a manual restore point.

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