my system, someone recommended I use System Restore to restore the machine to
it’s previous settings. Sounds wonderful … except I can’t find it. How do I
get at System Restore?
I honestly don’t know why System Restore is as hard to find as it seems to
be. It’d definitely not obvious.
Oh, and I hope you have it turned on. Otherwise even finding it may be of no
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Let’s start by finding out whether or not it’s turned on, and enabling it if
Right click on My Computer and click
Properties. Click on the System Restore tab,
and make sure the Turn off System Restore checkbox is
not checked. (It feels backwards, I know …). If you’re turning on
System Restore, especially for the first time, it may then create a restore
point, so it may take just a minute to complete.
While it’s working you can see that System Restore uses disk space, and that
you can limit how much disk space it will use. This translates, roughly, into
how many restore points it can maintain. As new restore points are created, if
there’s not enough disk space, the oldest ones will be deleted.
Now, the official way to run the restoration UI is through the help
system. If you start Help and Support and then search for
“System Restore”, the results will include several results of interest.
However my approach was to find the executable and run it directly. Click on
Start, then Run, and type in
“c:\windows\system32\restore\rstrui.exe”, where “c:\windows” is your Windows
directory. Press OK and you should get the System Restore
In the UI you can create a new restore point if you like, which will save
the current settings (though many installation programs do this automatically
if System Restore is enabled), or you can revert to a previous restore point.
If you select restore, you’ll be presented with a calendar of dates on which
restore points are available. If you’ve just turned on System Restore for the
first time, you won’t have any, other than the one that was just created.
After you select a restore point to restore too, you’re presented with
important warnings. It’s worth noting that many changes made to your system
after that restore point was created will be lost when you restore back to it.
But then … that’s often exactly the point of wanting to revert to a previous
I’ve put together a very short video that shows the System Restore setting,
and the UI. Have a look to better understand exactly where to find System
Restore, and what it looks like once you get there.
Watch the video:
Managing Restore Points.