Computers can be temperamental devices. They can be working fine one day, but then start acting up another. Sometimes these issues can be temporary, perhaps caused by some poorly coded software or a driver issue, but it can be difficult to pinpoint the problem and rectify it.
Other issues can be a bit more permanent, perhaps like a malware infection that’s tricky to get rid of or a broken mechanical component (like a failing hard drive). These kinds of problems will require specialist tools or repair procedures to overcome. However, those caused by software could be resolved using System Restore.
System Restore is a facility that is built-in to Windows that will roll back your system to an earlier point in time. If something goes wrong you can simply pick a point when everything worked and then rewind the clock. Your settings, installed programs, and more will be reverted to that time and your issues will hopefully be resolved.
The key thing that System Restore leaves alone is your personal data. You can restore to an earlier point and all your personal data will remain as it was. Nevertheless, that’s not an excuse for having a strong backup plan in place and making sure you have a latest backup copy before using System Restore.
System Restore has long been a Windows feature and handily it’s still around in Windows 8. Let’s take a look at this facility and how to go about using it to recover to an earlier time.
Firstly, perform a search on your system for ‘recovery’. Click the ‘Settings’ bar that appears on the right and then click the ‘Recovery’ icon. This will open up a new window with various options. From those options, click ‘Open System Restore’.
You’ll be able to see the last time your system created a restore point. These can be initiated manually, but will be automatically created each time a system change occurs like a Windows update is installed or new software is added.
You can choose to either recover from a recommended restore point or you can select one of your own. If you choose the latter option then you’ll be presented with a list of all recent restore points, along with a description of why they were created (e.g. a certain software was installed, a driver updated).
Select ‘Next’ when ready and progress through the relevant steps outlined above. Your system will then restore to the earlier point you’ve selected. It shouldn’t take very long to restore, but times can vary and you won’t be able to use your system while the operation is being carried out.
If you wish to create a restore point then just navigate back to the main ‘Recovery’ screen (using the search instructions mentioned previously) and select ‘Create a restore point’. Then select ‘Create…’ to go about adding a new restore point. Give it a name so that you know what the point represents and then click ‘Create’.
And that’s it! System Restore is an effortlessly simple tool, but one that is quite powerful and could save you a lot of troubleshooting headaches.
How System Restore Works on Windows 8
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