Last week we learned how to set a manual restore point,
which is basically a copy of your system files that are needed to run Windows.
If your computer begins to act strangely, like programs don’t open the way they usually do or toolbars suddenly appear in your Internet Explorer browser, you can send it back to the restore point you previously set when your computer was working properly. This feature is a great way to remove viruses and reverse failed program installations.
Whether you are in Windows 7 or 8, open your Control Panel and click “System.” Next, toward the top and to the left, click the link called “System protection.” A small, gray dialog box will open called System Properties. Be sure the “System Protection” tab is selected at the top of the box and then click the button called “System Restore.”
The System Restore box opens and indicates that your documents, pictures and personal data will not be changed, but recently installed programs and drivers may be uninstalled. Click “Next.”
The following box lists your computer’s stored restore points. Checkmark the box (if available) to show more restore points.
There are several things to consider when selecting a restore point. First, choose a date that goes back far enough to take care of any computer problems you’re experiencing. Second, the older the restore point, the more chances it won’t be successful, so try to choose the most recent one that will take care of your problems. Third, I’ve noticed that restore points that are set manually, such as the one we did last week, are more often successful and fourth, system restore is reversible just in case it makes things worse.
Select your restore point and click “Scan for affected programs.” This will show you what programs and drivers may be affected when you send your computer back to your selected restore point. If a program is changed, you can merely reinstall it. Once you are aware of any changes, click “Close” and then click “Next.”
You’ll see a summary of your choices. If you need to change anything, you can click “Back,” otherwise, click “Finish.”
You will receive one final warning indicating that once started, System Restore cannot be interrupted. Click “Yes” to continue.
Your computer will go through a series of processes and then it will reboot. Once it reboots, you will eventually receive a confirmation that the System Restore was successful or unsuccessful.
If unsuccessful, you may need to disable your antivirus software before running system restore. You can do this by right-clicking the antivirus software icon in the lower-right corner of your desktop and then select to disable it (temporarily) for at least 15 minutes. Either try the same restore point again or select a different one. If you continue to get unsuccessful or error messages, have a professional look at your system.
Scott Lindsay actively promotes learning the computer, regardless of age, to better one’s life and circumstances and has helped thousands of people over the past 12 years to become better computer users. He can be reached at Scott@MicroScottPro.com.