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How to use System Restore in Windows 7

Ever had a computer start behaving slowly or irrationality after editing the registry or perhaps installing a new program? Most computer users have experienced this situation at least once, however, instead of spending countless hours of troubleshooting you can use System Restore.  System Restore is designed to return your computer’s system files and applications back to an operational state via restore points. If you are anxious about losing word documents or emails if you perform System Restore you shouldn’t be as the process does not affect non-system files.

To restore your computer to a previous state perform the following steps:

Click Start and type system restore into the search bar. Click on System Restore to open the wizard.

The Restore system files and settings page appears. You can either choose the Recommended Restore option (undo the most recent changes to your computer) or Choose a different restore point.  For our example, we select the Choose a different restore point radio button and click Next.


Note: A restore point, which is a back up of the registry and system files, is created whenever you make changes to your system.

The next page lists more restore points you can choose to return your computer to the functional state it was in before the selected event. Since only the recently created restore points are listed, tick the Show more restore points check box if you prefer to restore your computer to an even earlier state. Click on your nominated restore point as shown in the example below and click Scan for affected programs.


The scan will list which programs and drivers will be deleted or restored. If some drivers or programs will be deleted and you do not want this to occur, it is recommended to choose an alternate restore point if possible. Click Close to return to the previous page.



If you are still satisfied with the System restore point you have chosen, click Next.

Click Finish on the Confirm your restore point page.


A dialog box displays stating that ‘Once started, System Restore cannot be interrupted. Do you want to continue?’. Click Yes to continue. The System Restore process commences and reboot your computer.


After you log back into Windows, a message should appear informing you that the System Restore operation was a success and you click Close.

Note: If Windows is still performing poorly, then you can repeat the process above but choose an earlier restore point. 

Common Issues:

What if my computer fails to restore?

Log on to Windows in Safe Mode and carry out the System Restore operation. To log on in Safe Mode, reboot the computer and press F8 before the Windows starts up.

What if my computer does not properly boot into Windows?

Boot off the installation DVD and select the Repair your computer option on the lower left hand side.


On the following screen, click Next. Select System Restore from the System Recovery dialog. After a few seconds, the System Restore point list screen will appear.


Select the System Restore point of your choice and click Next.

Select the drive that your copy of Windows 7 is installed on.

Click Finish for Windows to return to your chosen Restore point.


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