How To Do a System Restore in Windows 7 or Windows Vista

Previously, we took a look at how to do a System Restore if you are unable to boot to the Windows desktop. In this article, we show you show you can use System Restore as a simple (yet powerful) recovery feature to restore your computer to a previous point in time if your system is not functioning as desired. System Restore can come in handy when you install a program or driver that might make your system unstable or cause other programs to stop functioning properly.


Click Start, type: system restore.

How to system restore in Windows 7

Hit Enter key on your keyboard.

How to system restore

Initializing System Restore wizard

System Restore Wizard

This will start the System Restore wizard, click Next to begin.

System Restore on Windows

The above screen displays a list of all available system restore points. Here you can see my most recent system restore point which I created not too long ago. One of the great things about System Restore in Windows 7 is, you are able keep a back log of additional system restore points, you can even have them stored as part of your system images. To reveal more system restore points, check the box for show more restore points.

If you don’t see the option to show more system restore points, it probably means you have pending Windows Updates to be installed. Try installing them first then restart your computer and launch system restore again.

Windows Vista System Restore

System Restore

The scan for affected programs and drivers feature determines which applications and drivers will be affected by the system restore. Doing a system restore does not affect your personal files, but any drivers or programs that were installed after the system restore point was made will be removed. It’s a minor inconvenience but the benefits outweigh the cost. Just have your driver and software program disc near by if reinstallation will be necessary. Fortunately, I don’t have any programs or drivers that will be affected. Click Next.

Windows Restore Point

So we have confirmed our system restore point, click Finish to complete the action.

System Restore Warning

Click Yes, please note, depending on how far back in the System Restore points you choose, the process can take some time, so avoid any use of the computer during this period (you won’t be able to use it anyway). If you try powering it down or unplug it, you can cause irreparable damage.

Windows System Restore prompt

System Restore process begins.

Windows System Restore

Your system is being restored to a previous point in time before you started experiencing the problems. Once this process is complete, your computer will be restarted automatically.

System Restore Complete

The following message will appear on your desktop after system restore is complete. Click Close.

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