The System Restore feature packaged with all Windows versions allows you to set restore points or snapshots of your system’s files when your computer is working well, so that in the future if your system becomes unstable, you can return your computer back to this time when everything was working fine.
Basically put, your system can go back in time and reload your system files that are stored in a restore point.
Even though Windows sets restore points automatically during certain processes, such as Windows Updates and installing new software, I have found that regularly setting a manual restore point each month works better when it comes time to use this feature.
To set a manual restore point, whether you are in Windows 7 or Windows 8, open your Control Panel and click “System.” To the left and near the top, click the “System protection” link.
When the System Properties dialog box opens, click the “Configure” button. When the box opens, select “Restore system settings and previous versions of files” and under Disk Space Usage, move the slider bar to the right so its max usage saves about 10 percent of your drive for your system restore data. Click “OK” to save your changes. If you have other drives on your computer, be sure to configure each one that you want saved when each restore point is set.
Once you have configured all the drives listed in the window, click “Create.” You will be prompted to name your restore point. Keep in mind that the restore point will be dated so you don’t have to indicate it in the name. Click “Create.”
Once the restore point has been set, you will see a message that indicates if it was set successfully. Click “Close” and “OK” to save all your changes.
If the restore point fails to set, try running a scan with your antivirus software and then run system restore again. If you cannot get a restore point set, your system may be infected and you will want to contact a professional to rectify the problem. Viruses purposely attack the system restore feature so it is more difficult to remove the virus.
Next week, I’ll cover how to actually send your system back in time to a restore point that was previously set.
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.