Changes made to your Windows 10 desktop or laptop don’t always work as planned. For instance, you may install new drivers for your storage device or discrete graphics chip, but the drivers are broken at launch and cause chaos across the system. Lucky for you, Windows 10 has a great tool to return your PC to its previous working state.

In this guide we’ll show you how to do a System Restore on Windows 10 step-by-step.

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A good rule of thumb is to create a restore point before you install anything tied to the operating system, such as third-party drivers. You may also want to consider creating a restore point before installing programs just in case they cause issues with Windows 10 and prevent your PC from loading properly.

Note that Windows 10 typically creates its own restore point before installing patches, security fixes, and feature updates released by Microsoft. For everything else, here is how to do a System Restore on Windows 10:

How to enable System Restore on Windows 10

Windows 10 Start Menu restore point - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10

1. Type Create a restore point in Cortana’s search field on the taskbar.
2. Select the Create a restore point (Control Panel) result.

Windows 10 System Properties menu - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10
3. In the System Properties window, select the drive you want to protect.
4. Click on the Configure button.

Windows 10 System Protection for OS menu - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10
5. In the pop-up window, select Turn on system protection. Here you can also adjust the maximum disk space used by System Restore.
6. Click the Apply button.
7. Click the OK button.
8. Follow the same steps if you want to protect a second drive.

How to create a restore point on Windows 10

Windows 10 restore point Start menu - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10

1. Type Create a restore point in Cortana’s search field on the taskbar.
2. Select the Create a restore point (Control Panel) result.

Windows 10 System Properties menu - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10
3. In the System Properties window, select the drive you want to protect.
4. Click the Create button listed under Protection Settings.

Windows 10 create restore point - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10
5. Create a name for your restore point in the pop-up window.
6. Click the Create button.
7. After Windows 10 creates the restore point, click the Close button.
8. Click the OK button.

How to use a restore point on Windows 10

Windows 10 create restore point start menu - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10

1. Type Create a restore point in Cortana’s search field on the taskbar.
2. Select the Create a restore point (Control Panel) result.

Windows 10 System Properties - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10
3. Click the System Restore button.

Windows 10 System Restore pop up - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10
4. Click Next in the pop-up window.

Windows 10 system restore select pop up - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10
5. Select the restore point you manually created.

Windows 10 System Restore points pop up - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10
5a. You can also check the Show more restore points option to see all restore points created by Windows 10.
6. Click the Scan for affected programs button to see what programs, apps, and drivers will be affected by the change.
7. Click the Close button.
8. Click the Next button.
9. Click the Finish button.

How to access System Restore on Windows 10 when your PC won’t start

After three failed loading attempts, Windows 10 will enter an Automatic Repair mode. If not, follow these instructions:

1. Power on your Windows 10 device.
2. When the Windows logo appears, press the power button to interrupt the loading process.
3. If the system doesn’t enter recovery mode, repeat these steps until it does.
4. Once the Automatic Repair window appears, select Advanced Options.

Windows 10 troubleshoot - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10

5. On the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot.

Windows 10 troubleshoot reset and advanced options - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10

6. On the Troubleshoot screen, select Advanced options.

Windows 10 advanced options - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10

7. On the Advanced Options screen, select System Restore.

Windows 10 System Restore - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10

8. Select your account.

Windows 10 System Restore account - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10

9. Enter your password.

Windows 10 System Restore pop up - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10
10. Click the Next button to start the system restore process.

Windows 10 System Restore point selection - how to do a System Restore on Windows 10
11. Select a restore point. Notice that our manual restore point isn’t available.
12. Click the Scan for affected programs button to see what programs, apps, and drivers will be affected by the change.
13. Click the Close button.
14. Click the Next button.
15. Click the Finish button.


That’s how to do a System Restore on Windows 10. Here are additional guides for using Windows 10:

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