The System Restore is a feature available in any Windows version that allows your computer or laptop to recover to a previous state. This is really helpful if you noticed that your PC has become slow or unstable after installing a new software or hardware. Restoring your system will allow you to roll back Windows to a previous date you know everything was working smoothly.
When you enable System Restore, your computer will automatically create a snapshot of your computer called Restore points. However, You can also create restore points manually, which is incredibly helpful in situation where you are skeptical of the outcome of installing a new application or driver. These will contain only your Windows system files, program files, Windows registry, etc.
It is a common misconception to think that the System restore feature back up your personal files such as documents and photos as well. This is not true at all, instead you should refer to the System Image Backup feature in Windows 8.
Here are some situations in which Restore points are created automatically:
- When you install a new software or driver
- When you install new Windows updates.
- Right before you restore Windows, your system will create a new restore point just in case the restored snapshot is not what you really expected.
Now that I have got your feet wet with enough information about the System Restore feature in Windows 8, the rest of the article explains you how you can do the following:
- How to restore to a previous version in Windows 8
- How to roll back a system restore
- How to enable and disable system restore
How to do a system restore in Windows 8
The are a myriad of ways to launch the System Restore in Windows 8 and perhaps the quickest way to do that is by using the keyboard shortcut.
- Press Win Key + Pause/Break to bring up the
System Windowwithin Control Panel.
- Click on
System Protectionin the left menu to open the
- Click on the
System Restorebutton. A new wizard will pop up to help you restore your system files and settings.
- You will then be shown a list of recent restore points. Choose the one you think will be more suitable in order to restore your Windows 8 machine.
- Once you have selected the appropriate restore point, you may want to check what data you might lose once you have restored your Windows. Click on
Scan for affected programs. In my case, you can see that I will lose Adobe reader and a few products from Oracle Corporation if I proceed with a System restore. No big deal for me.
- Click on
Next. You will be presented a new screen to confirm that you want to restore your computer. Click on
Finishand Windows will automatically start the system restore for you.
Show more restore pointsin order to see the complete list of restore points.
You should note that this report is informational only and you cannot do anything to prevent these changes from impacting your computer if you go ahead with a system restore.
Roll back a System Restore
There are various reasons why you would like to roll back after doing a System Restore like for example if your system is still unstable or you had like to get back the programs you have lost.
- Bring up the System Properties Window by pressing the keyboard shortcut Win Key + Pause/Break and click on
- Click on
System Restoreand you will then be prompted to either Undo a System Restore or select a new restore point.
- Click on the first option to start the roll back process.
How to enable and disable system restore
No one with a sane mind would want to disable the system restore feature but still there are some valid reasons why you want to do that. For example, your computer is critically low on hard disk space and you want to disable this feature temporarily so that Windows do not eat up your precious free space by automatically creating restore points in the background.
Next time things go wrong with your computer, you now know how to use the System Restore feature in Windows 8 in order to roll back to a previous healthy state. 🙂