Operating Systems are very occasionally but can definitely run into some major problems which are only resolved by a fresh install of Windows. Thus, to protect users from this not-so-great experience of reinstalling windows and losing all their data, Microsoft has a feature called ‘Restore Point’.
Restore point basically captures the current state of your Windows machine including the System settings and your personal files, so you can revert back to it should you experience major problems after a big update or reconfiguration of system files.
However, by default Windows does not create a Restore Point for you as the feature comes disabled in the operating system and it is probably because a System Restore Point eats up a large amount of disk space or it might be something completely else.
Whatever be the reason, if you are planning to update, reconfiguring a system file, or just want to preserve the best state of your computer to roll back should you ever face a problem; this guide will serve you well.
Open System Restore Settings on your Windows 11 PC
Well, the first juncture is to access the ‘System Restore’ settings.
To do so, launch the ‘Settings’ app from the Start menu. Alternatively, you can also press the Windows+I shortcut on your keyboard to open it.
Then click on the ‘System’ tab from the sidebar present on the ‘Settings’ screen.
After that, scroll down and locate the ‘About’ tile from the list present on the right section of the screen and click on it.
Next, click on the ‘System protection’ option present on the ‘Related links’ tab on the screen.
This action will open a ‘System properties’ window on your Windows PC.
Now you will be able to see the ‘System Restore’ settings present on the ‘System properties’ window.
Enable System Restore for your Windows 11 PC
Since System Restore is disabled by default, you will need to enable it first before a System Restore checkpoint can be created for your PC.
Now, on the ‘System properties’ window, you will be able to see the current status of protection of your drives under the ‘Protection settings’ window. If the System Restore functionality is turned on for the drive, the ‘Protection’ column will list it as ‘On’. Otherwise, the drive will be listed as ‘Off’.
To turn on ‘System Restore’ functionality, click on your preferred drive from the ‘Protection settings’ section and then click on the ‘Configure’ button present underneath it.
This will open another ‘System Protection’ window on your screen.
Next, click on the radio button preceding the ‘Turn on system protection option to enable the System Restore functionality. Then, drag the slider present under the ‘Disk Space Usage’ section to adjust the amount of space you want to allocate towards a System Restore point.
After that, click on the ‘Apply’ button to confirm the changes and click the ‘OK’ button to close the window.
System Restore functionality is now enabled on your selected drive. Windows will now automatically create a System Restore Point whenever you install an application or update your PC.
Note: There is no way to enable the System Restore functionality globally. Hence, if you would like to enable the functionality for all the drives, you will have to repeat this process for all the drives respectively.
Create a System Restore Point Manually
Usually, Windows creates a System Restore checkpoint automatically when it detects system changes. However, you can create one manually as well in case you are making some changes to system configurations yourself.
To create a System Restore manually, click on your preferred drive listed under the ‘Protection Settings’ section on the ‘System Properties’ window. Then, click on the ‘Create’ button.
After that, give an appropriate and contextual name for your restore point; as it will help you recognize this one if you have multiple restore points at the time using System Restore functionality. Then, click on the ‘Create’ button.
It will take your system a few minutes to create a System Restore point, wait while the process runs in the background.
Once the System Restore point is successfully created, Windows will notify you of the same. Click on the ‘Close’ button to close the window.
Now if and when something goes wrong with your PC; you can revert back to your current system state using the System Restore checkpoint you just created.
Recover your PC Using a System Restore Checkpoint
Now that you have created a System Restore point for your PC, it is also important to know how to roll back to it if your machine started to behave abnormally. You can restore your PC using a checkpoint in two ways, so let’s get started.
Recover Using System Restore Settings
If you can still log in to your machine and are still able to perform basic tasks, this option will fit you best.
To do so, firstly head to the ‘System Restore’ settings window as shown in one of the previous sections of this article.
Now, click on the ‘System Restore’ button present on the System Restore settings window.
This action will open a new ‘System Restore’ window on your Windows PC.
Then, click on the ‘Next’ button from the ‘System Restore’ window on your screen.
Then, click to choose the System Restore point from the list. After that, click on the ‘Scan for affected programs’ button if you wish to see the programs/ apps which will be rolled back. Then, click on the ‘Next’ button to proceed.
Now, if you have ‘System Restore’ enabled for more than one drive, you will have the option to select it by clicking on the checkbox preceding the drive on the list. However, restoring any other drive other than the Windows installer drive is purely optional.
After that, on the next screen, you will be able to see the information regarding the ‘Restore Point’ you are restoring your computer from. Next, read the instructions present on the screen carefully and click on the ‘Finish’ button to start the ‘System Restore’ process.
Your Windows machine will now restart and restore your PC to its best working state.
Recover Using Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE)
In case, you are not able to log in or access the System Restore settings; there’s still a way you can restore your PC using a System Restore checkpoint already created.
To boot your Windows machine into recovery mode, click on the ‘Power’ icon situated on the bottom right corner of your screen. Now, press the Shift key on your keyboard and click on the ‘Restart’ option from the overlay menu to boot into WinRE.
Once the Windows Recovery Environment screen loads up, click on the ‘Troubleshoot’ option present on the screen.
After that, click on the ‘Advanced options’ tile from the ‘Troubleshoot’ screen.
Next, select the ‘System Restore’ option from the list present on the ‘Advanced options’ screen.
After this, a ‘System Restore’ window will appear on your screen.
Now, click the ‘Next’ button from the ‘System Restore’ window.
After that, choose the System restore point from the list and click on the ‘Next’ button. You can also click on the ‘Scan for affected programs’ button to see the list of programs that will be impacted by the restore.
Then, if you have ‘System Restore’ enabled for more than one drive, you will have the option to select it by clicking on the checkbox preceding the drive on the list. However, restoring any other drive other than the Windows installer drive is completely optional.
Now, on the next screen, click on the ‘Finish’ button to start the ‘System Restore’ process.
Your system will now be restored to the state it was when the selected checkpoint was created.
That’s all there is to know about creating and using a System Restore checkpoint on your Windows 11 PC.