How to Enable or Disable System Restore in Windows/Windows Vista

System Restore is a feature built into Windows that periodically creates “restore points” or backs up system and/or user files so that the system can be restored to its state. earlier in the event of an accident.

Normally, Windows automatically creates these system restore points before certain events, for example, installing new software, updating drivers, installing Windows updates, etc. Which of these events occurs, Windows will create a restore point every seven days.

Regarding files, System Restore will save a copy of the file or folder when it is modified, but only if a restore point is created. You can then restore a previous version of the file or folder by right-clicking the file or folder.

Don’t think of system restore as a backup solution for your files and folders as it’s not nearly as powerful as using Windows backup or a third-party backup program.

Enable system restore

By default, System Restore is enabled on Windows unless manually disabled. To enable System Restore we need to open System protection navigation. You can do this in one of two ways. Note that the instructions below should work on Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10.

Click Start button and then enter system recovery. You will probably get a few different options and the one you want to click on is Create a restore point.

If System Restore is disabled, you will see Turn off listed in Protection columns for each partition on the hard drive.

Note that if your computer has multiple hard drives, you can see them all listed below Protection settings. Windows is usually installed below C: (System), so click that to select it. Then click Configuration knot.

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Click Turn on system protection radio button and then adjust the slider below Disk space usage to a value between 3 and 5 percent. Note that this value will be based on the size of the partition, not the size of the hard disk.

Use recommended disk space for system recovery

This means you can have a 1 TB hard drive, but split it into partitions C and D. C is the system partition where Windows is installed and may have only 100 GB and the rest is on partition D If you enable System Restore on C drive, 3% will be 3 GB and 5% will be 5 GB.

If you only had one giant C partition the size of an entire drive, 3% of 1TB would be a whopping 30GB, which is huge. In these types of cases, just set it to 1% or 2%.

Whatever percentage you use, just make sure the minimum value is greater than 1000 MB or 1 GB. Note that each GB should be able to hold anywhere from 1 to 3 restore points, depending on what you have on that partition.

I recommend using a value between 3 GB and 10 GB for system recovery as it can prove to be very handy in some situations. The more likely you are to be able to recover your computer from the crash.

If you want to reduce the amount of space system restore is using on your system, simply adjust the slider to a lower percentage. Alternatively, you can click Delete button to remove all current restore points for the drive. This way you can enable system protection, but clean up some space if you are running low on hard disk space.

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Disable system restore

Disabling System Restore is as easy as enabling it. Click Start, type in system recovery and then click Create a restore point.

Select the hard drive you want to disable protection from in the list, then press Configuration. On the next screen, choose either Turn off system protection or Disable system protection.

Click OK and system restore will be disabled. You will also receive a message stating that all restore points will be deleted from the disk and new ones will not be created.

As mentioned before, I don’t recommend disabling system protection unless you know what you’re doing and already have another backup solution. If you have any questions, please post a comment. Enjoy!

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