How do I Restore a Computer to a Previous Time?

By Michael Batton Kaput

If you need to repair your computer's operating system, Windows makes the task a bit easier with its system restore tool. System restore enables you to restore the operating system to an installation from a previous date, effectively solving malware issues or other problems without losing important files. Employ system restore whether you are using Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7.

Restore a Windows XP Computer

Step 1

Click on the "Start" button. Choose "All Programs." Click on "Accessories."

Step 2

Click on "System Tools." Choose "System Restore."

Step 3

Choose the "Restore my computer to an earlier time" option. Click "Next." Select one of the dates in bold. These are the previous dates to which you can restore your Windows installation. Click "Next" to restore your computer to a previous date.

Restore a Windows Vista Computer

Step 1

Click the "Start" button. Choose "All Programs." Click "Accessories."

Step 2

Click "System Tools." Choose "System Restore" from the list.

Step 3

Click "Recommended Restore" if you want Windows to choose which previous date you restore the computer to. If you want to pick the date for yourself, click "Choose a Different Restore Point." Click "Next."

Step 4

Click "Yes" in the next window if you let Windows choose the restore point for you. If you chose to select the restore date yourself, choose a date from the selections in the window and click "Next." Your computer will now restore Windows Vista to the previous installation you or the operating system selected.

Restore a Windows 7 Computer

Step 1

Click "Start." Click on the "Control Panel." Click "System and Security." Choose "Action Center."

Step 2

Click "Recovery." Choose the "Open System Restore" option. Click "Next."

Step 3

Select a restore point. Click "Next." Choose "Finish" in the next window to restore your system to a previous installation.