How to create a Windows restore point

Updated: 05/02/2021 by Computer Hope
Windows system restore illustration

A restore point can be created automatically or manually, depending on the actions of the user. Windows creates an initial restore point when the user installs Windows for the first time on a computer, and again when Windows updates are installed. If you encounter problems after an installation or update, the restore point rollback the operating system to a previous functional state.

It's a good idea to create a restore point when your computer is in a stable, functional state. Create one before making significant system changes or installing new or unknown software; if anything goes wrong, you can revert the operating system to the restore point.

To manually create a restore point, follow the steps that correspond to your version of Windows.

Creating a restore point in Windows 8 and 10

To create a restore point in Windows 8 and Windows 10, follow the steps below.

  1. In the Cortana search bar, type restore, then select Create a restore point. Or, in File Explorer, right-click This PC, then choose Properties, Advanced System Settings, System Protection.
  2. Click Create a restore point.
  3. In the System Properties window, click the Create button.

Windows 10 Restore point create button

  1. In the new window enter a description for the restore point in the text field and click the Create button. It's a good idea to describe what you are planning on doing to the computer after the restore point is created. For example, we're creating a restore point called "installed Microsoft Office" with the intentions of installing Office after the restore point is created.

Windows restore point name

Creating a restore point in Windows Vista and Windows 7

To create a restore point in Windows Vista and Windows 7, follow the steps below.

  1. Click the Start orb, find Computer (or My Computer) in the Start menu, right-click with your mouse and select Properties.

Windows computer properties

  1. On the left side, select the System protection option to open the System Properties window. Then, click the Create button.
  2. In the new window enter a description for the restore point in the text field and click the Create button. It's a good idea to describe what you are planning on doing to the computer after the restore point is created. For example, we're creating a restore point called "installed Microsoft Office" with the intentions of installing Office after the restore point is created.

Creating Windows restore point name

After the restore point is created it'll be available to rollback if ever needed.

To rollback Windows to an earlier time, on the System Protection tab, click the System Restore button and follow the prompts to initiate the rollback.

Creating a restore point in Windows XP

To create a restore point in Windows XP, follow the steps below.

  1. Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then System Restore.
  2. In the System Restore window, select the Create a restore point option and click the Next button.

Windows XP restore point

  1. Enter a description for the restore point in the Restore point description text field and click the Create button.

After the restore point is created it'll be available to rollback if ever needed.

To rollback Windows to an earlier time, on the System Protection tab, click the System Restore button and follow the prompts to initiate the rollback.

Performing a Windows restore undoes any recent Windows file changes done when installing or uninstalling software. Examples:

If software was installed to the computer after a restore point, performing a Windows restore restores any Windows or system files that changed.

If software was uninstalled after a restore point that removed Windows or system files, those files would be restored.

For example: If you installed the program Discord on the computer and that program modified a Windows system file during the installation, doing a Windows restore would restore the modified Windows system file. However, Discord remains on the computer. This change may cause Discord to no longer work even though it's still installed.

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