How To Create A Restore Point | Windows 7 - Page 1 of 2


In this tutorial I show you how to create a "restore point" in Windows 7. The process is similar in other versions of Windows. Restore points can be used to help you solve a number of common computer problems quickly and easily. A restore point can be used to return your computer to a point in time when it was working correctly. A restore point can potentially save you hours of troubleshooting time and frustration.

How Can A Restore Point Help You?

Restore points can be used to help you solve a number of common computer problems quickly and easily. A restore point captures the state or condition of a computer at a point/moment in time. Ideally a restore point is created when your computer is operating correctly. A restore point copies and stores specific, important computer operating system files and settings. These important files and settings can be restored if a computer develops a problem at some point in the future. Windows "System Restore" uses a feature called "System Protection" to automatically create "restore points". Restore points can also be created manually.

Create a restore point BEFORE you make any major change to your computer.

Create a restore point BEFORE you:
  • Add a new piece of hardware (Example, video, sound, network adapter card)
  • Install a new video game or other application.
  • Add a new peripheral (For example, video camera, printer, scanner, mouse, keyboard, external drive, NAS or blue tooth receiver)

To create a restore point in Windows 7:
  1. Save any files you have open/are working on.
  2. Close all open applications.
  3. Left click the Windows Start button.
  4. Type "create a restore point" in the search box.
  5. Left click "Create a restore point" at the top of the menu.
You will see the "System Protection" tab (see image below). Take a moment to review the information included on the System Protection tab. The drives for which system protection is enabled are listed below the "Protection Settings" heading. What you see under the "Protection Settings" heading will vary from one computer to the next. On a majority of computers, (unless custom configured) the most important drive to enable protection for is the "Local Disk (C:) (System) drive. This drive contains a majority of the computer files and settings that are the most important to protect/backup.

windows 7 system protection tab

Protection should be enabled for the "Local Disk (C:) (System) drive by default.
  • Click the "Create..." button to begin creating a restore point.
You may never use the restore point you create. If you need to use it you'll want the description to be something you will understand and remember at a point in the future. As you see below my description for this restore point is "Pre new printer installation - Brother HL-2070N".
  • Type a description that reminds you why the restore point was created.
  • Click the "Create" button.

windows 7 system protection create a restore point dialog

You will see a progress meter indicating the restore point is being created.

windows 7 creating restore point progress meter

The time it takes to create a restore point is primarily determined by the version of Windows you have installed and the overall speed of your computer. Once the restore point creation process is complete:
  • Click the "Close" button to complete creating a restore point.

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