How to set a System Restore point

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The procedure for setting a System Restore point is definitely something with which you should be familiar.  It may come in very handy some day.

Windows logo

What is System Restore?

Interestingly, when you use the System Restore feature built into Windows, it does not actually restore your whole system.  What it does is this: it takes your computer back to whatever “state” it was in on a particular date, at a particular time.  It does not affect your documents or pictures.

Here is how you might find it useful.  Let’s say you download this great new free program that you want to try out.  You found it on Google, so it must be safe, right?  But then, when you install it, you discover that it really messes up your computer.  Even worse, when you try to UNinstall this awful new program, it doesn’t want to go away.  You’re stuck with it, unless you can figure out another option.

System Restore is that other option.  All you have to do is tell the computer to go back to the state it was in before you installed that free program.  Part of that process is telling the computer what restore point (meaning, what date and time) you want to use.  You can choose a restore point from yesterday, or even one from immediately prior to the program’s installation.  Problem solved!

How to set a Restore Point

Your computer actually sets restore points sometimes on its own.  For example, every time a Windows Update is installed, a restore point should be set automatically.  That way, if the Windows Update doesn’t work properly, you can take the computer back to before the update was installed.  It’s a good idea to set a restore point just before you do anything that could potentially mess up your computer.

To set a restore point in Windows XP:

1. Click Start – All Programs – Accessories – System Tools – System Restore

2. Click “Create a Restore Point” then click Next

3. Type a restore point description (such as “before new screensaver”)

4. Click Create, and wait for the program to finish (doesn’t take long)

To set a restore point in Windows 7:

1. Click Start, then RIGHT click on Computer, and choose Properties

2. On the left hand side, click on “System Protection”

3. In the new window, click on the System Protection tab

4. Click the “Create” button

5. Type a restore point description and click Create

To set a restore point in Windows Vista:

1. Click Start – All Programs – Accessories – System Tools – System Restore

2. At the bottom of the window, click the link that says “Open system protection”

3. In the new window, click on the System Protection tab

4. Click the “Create” button

5. Type a restore point description and click Create

As always, if you have trouble with this procedure (or anything else related to your computer), I am happy to help through my Remote Support service.

 

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