Windows 7 / Getting Started

How to Use Windows 7 System Restore

System Restore regularly captures system settings so that you can restore them later if you experience a problem. Using System Restore to return your computer to an earlier state should be one of your last troubleshooting steps, however, because it might cause problems with recently installed applications and hardware.

You can run System Restore from within either the System Recovery tools or from within Windows. To use System Restore from System Recovery tools (which is necessary only if Windows will not start). To use System Restore from within Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click System Tools, and then click System Restore. The System Restore Wizard appears.
  2. If this is the first time you are running the System Restore Wizard, click Next to accept the default restore point. Then, skip to step 4.
  3. If you have run System Restore previously and it did not solve the problem, click Choose A Different Restore Point and then click Next.
  4. On the Restore Your Computer To The State It Was In Before The Selected Event page, select the most recent restore point when the computer was functioning correctly. Click Next.
  5. On the Confirm Your Restore Point page, click Finish. When prompted, click Yes.
  6. System Restore restarts your computer. When the restart has completed, System Restore displays a dialog box to confirm that the restoration was successful. Click Close.

If System Restore does not solve your problem, you can do one of two things:

  • Undo the system restore The problem might not be the result of changes to your computer at all, but rather a hardware failure. Therefore, using System Restore might not solve your problem. Because restoring the computer to an earlier state might remove important changes to your system configuration, you should undo any restorations that do not solve your problem. To undo a system restore, simply rerun System Restore using the steps in this section and choose the default settings.
  • Restore an earlier restore point Your problem may be caused by recent changes to your computer, but the negative changes occurred before the most recent system restore. Therefore, restoring an earlier restore point might solve your problem. Repeat the steps in this section to restore to an earlier restore point.
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In this tutorial:

  1. Troubleshooting Hardware, Driver, and Disk Issues
  2. Windows 7 Improvements for Hardware and Driver Troubleshooting
  3. Windows Troubleshooting Platform
  4. Built-in Troubleshooting Packs
  5. Windows Troubleshooting Platform Components
  6. Creating Custom Troubleshooting Packs
  7. Running Troubleshooting Packs Remotely
  8. Windows 7 Reliability Monitor
  9. Windows 7 Resource Monitor
  10. Windows Memory Diagnostics
  11. Disk Failure Diagnostics
  12. Self-Healing NTFS
  13. Improved Driver Reliability
  14. Improved Error Reporting
  15. The Process of Troubleshooting Hardware Issues
  16. How to Troubleshoot Problems That Prevent Windows from Starting
  17. How to Troubleshoot Problems Installing New Hardware
  18. How to Troubleshoot Problems with Existing Hardware
  19. How to Troubleshoot Unpredictable Symptoms
  20. How to Diagnose Hardware Problems
  21. How to Use Device Manager to Identify Failed Devices
  22. How to Check the Physical Setup of Your Computer
  23. How to Check the Configuration of Your Hardware
  24. How to Verify That System Firmware and Peripheral Firmware Are Up to Date
  25. How to Test Your Hardware by Running Diagnostic Tools
  26. How to Simplify Your Hardware Configuration
  27. How to Diagnose Disk-Related Problems
  28. How to Use Built-In Diagnostics
  29. How to Use Reliability Monitor
  30. How to Use Event Viewer
  31. How to Use Data Collector Sets
  32. How to Use Windows Memory Diagnostics
  33. Memory Failures
  34. How Windows Automatically Detects Memory Problems
  35. How to Schedule Windows Memory Diagnostics
  36. How to Start Windows Memory Diagnostics When Windows Is Installed
  37. How to Start Windows Memory Diagnostics from the Windows DVD
  38. How to Configure Windows Memory Diagnostics
  39. How to Troubleshoot Disk Problems
  40. How to Prepare for Disk Failures
  41. How to Use ChkDsk
  42. ChkDsk Examples
  43. ChkDsk Syntax
  44. How to Use the Graphical ChkDsk Interface
  45. How to Determine Whether ChkDsk Is Scheduled to Run
  46. ChkDsk Process on NTFS Volumes
  47. How to Use the Disk Cleanup Wizard
  48. How to Disable Nonvolatile Caching
  49. How to Troubleshoot Driver Problems
  50. How to Find Updated Drivers
  51. How to Roll Back Drivers in Windows 7
  52. How to Use Driver Verifier
  53. How to Use the File Signature Verification
  54. How to Use Device Manager to View and Change Resource Usage
  55. How to Use Windows 7 System Restore
  56. How to Troubleshoot USB Problems
  57. How to Solve USB Driver and Hardware Problems
  58. Understanding USB Limitations
  59. How to Identify USB Problems Using Performance Monitor
  60. How to Examine USB Hubs
  61. How to Troubleshoot Bluetooth Problems
  62. Troubleshooting Tools
  63. DiskView
  64. Handle
  65. Process Monitor