How To Enable System Restore In Windows 10

How To Enable System Restore In Windows 10

/ James Masterson

You can find some efficient features in Windows 10, particularly in terms of system recovery. The tools for recovery are easy to use. Despite this, there may be occasions when you have to intervene to enable restoration of the system manually.  

An installation went wrong or some features may freeze up leading to Windows not working as intended anymore. In addition to the backup you have done, the System Restore feature of Windows 10 allows you to retrieve all system changes easily without damaging files.

What does System Restore do?

System Restore helps to rewind WIndows to a point before any damage was done to undo all changes that caused the problems.

The System Restore feature is used to identify system changes (drivers, applications, registry, system settings, and files.) It saves the working state of the system as a restore point.

If your device faces any issues due to misconfiguration and other faults, you can apply the System Restore feature to fix the issue that affects the performance of your PC or stops your PC from responding.

System Restore

Why System Restore is Disabled in Windows 10

In Windows 10, System Restore is not enabled by default. The fact that it uses up plenty of storage space may be a reason for this.

Without the System Restore enabled, the space requirements are reduced largely. Since Microsoft is looking to run the OS on devices with storage space as low as 16 GB, this feature is disabled by defualt.

This helps the system to compete with the cheaper Android tablets and Chromebook devices. Further more, System Restore is not the only feature that you can use to recover the system to its new state.

The PC reset option in Windows 10 also helps in wiping the files completely.

Here are three ways to enable system restore in Windows 10

Method 1: Use System Restore

1. Open the system restore feature

Find the System Restore option in Windows 10 by entering it in the Search tab.

Choose the option, ‘Create a Restore Point’ from the results that are displayed on entering System Restore.

In ‘System Properties’ option that is displayed, choose ‘System Protection’ function and click on ‘Configure’ button.

1. Open System Restore

2. Activate system restore

Under ‘Restore Settings’ feature, choose the, ‘Turn on System Protection’ feature.

This will help to undo any undesired changes. The system will move back to a point prior to the issue.

2. Enable System Restore

Now use Max Usage sliding bar to decide the percentage of space in the hard drive you need to use for storing the restore points.

Around 10% is sufficient for this. Click on ‘OK’ button.

You can also create a restore point on your own manually if you want to save the settings prior to making changes in the system settings.

You can use the dialogue box to create the restore point. If not, you need not worry much as Windows 10 can create the option automatically.
3. Restore your PC

3. Complete System Restore

When you need to revert to the Restore Point, you have to just open the dialog box for System Properties mentioned in step 1 and choose ‘System Protection’.

Click on the ‘System Restore’ option. You will see the ‘Restore Point’ option as you follow the instructions on the screen.

Before you proceed to the Restore Point level, click on the ‘Scan for Affected Programs’ feature.

This will help you to know the changes brought about in the PC before using the Restore Point. Click on the ‘Next’ option to proceed.

Method 2: System Restore in Safe Mode

The above-mentioned method may not work if your Windows operating system has some serious issues. A serious issue will prevent WIndows from rewinding to the Restore Point with System Restore. If this is the case, you will have to start Windows in Safe Mode.

Safe Mode operates the system with the bare minimum features needed. You will not be able to use any settings, drivers, or apps that are complex or problematic.

Open the Advanced startup feature

Click on ‘Start’ option and choose ‘Settings’. Under the Settings feature find and click on, ‘Update and Security’ function. 

Choose the Recovery option here and click on, ‘Restart Now’ option present under ‘Advanced startup’.

1. Open Advanced start-up

Safe mode startup

Once Windows restarts it will display the ‘Choose an Option’ feature.

Select the ‘Advanced options’ feature under ‘Troubleshoot’ and then choose ‘System Restore’.

Now System Restore can be activated normally.

2. Start System Restore in Safe Mode

Method 3: Use System Reset

Sometimes the issues in your PC may be so severe that it is not possible to restore it with the above two methods. In this case, use the Reset this PC feature, which recovers the system to its factory-fresh condition.

This will not affect your documents, but all your applications and other settings will be deleted. Before you use this method do a complete backup of all your important files.

1. Reset this PC feature

Under the ‘Start’ menu choose ‘Settings’.

In the settings window, click on the ‘Update and Security’ option and select ‘Recovery’ from the menu on the left side of the window.

This will open the Reset this PC window. Click on ‘Get Started’ button.

1. Open Reset this PC

2. Save your files

Once you choose ‘Get Started’ option, you will be taken to the subsequent screen where you have to click on ‘Keep my files’.

3. Reset this PC from Safe Mode

Follow instructions given on-screen. This will help to reset Windows 10.  You will find the applications list that the system will erase on reset. You will have to confirm these choices before proceeding.

3. Use safe mode reset

The reset feature may also be prevented from working if the issues in your PC are very severe. In such a case, you can run the system reset in ‘Safe Mode’. This will help bypass the issues. 

Follow the steps described in the second method above under step 1 and select the ‘Troubleshoot’ option. Click on ‘Reset this PC’ option and then on ‘Keep my files’ given under Step 2.

James Masterson
Meet the author

James is a software engineer and an information architect with keen attention to detail. He focuses on data-driven decisions, making sure that all decisions are backed up by reliable facts. His key interests include enhancing find-ability and usability of our content related to Windows 10; troubleshooting errors; and tech news. Robert is also enthusiastic about structured data, which he believes will help the world make better sense of their information in the digital age.