Ever since Windows Millenium Edition was released in 2000, Microsoft has included a feature called “System Restore” in every subsequent version of Windows. System Restore creates periodic “Restore Points”, which are essentially snapshots of your PC’s system files, settings, and application files. If you accidentally uninstall a program, you can often get it back by using System Restore to restore to a Restore Point created prior to the uninstallation. You can also use System Restore to recover from a bad Windows Update installation, or if your computer’s settings become damaged or corrupted in an odd way.
One big advantage of System Restore is that it only affects applications, Windows Updates, and system settings – it does not touch your personal files. So you need not worry about losing any documents or pictures or other personal data files while using System Restore.
System Restore is pretty well hidden, but to launch it, go to the Start Screen, type “rstrui”, and click or tap on the tile that appears.
When System Restore launches, it will offer a short message explaining the program’s capabilities. Click the Next button to continue. System Restore will then list the available Restore Points. Select the Restore Point to use (usually one created before you started experiencing problems with your PC), and then click Next.
System Restore display a confirmation message, along with a warning that it will have to restart your PC. Once you are ready, click Finish, and your computer will reboot. The reboot will take longer than usual, and you will see a message that System Restore is working.
Once System Restore is finished, you will see the usual logon screen, and your computer will have been restored to the settings and programs indicated in the chosen Restore Point.