How to Back Up Your Computer to a Previous Date

By Sue Stepp

Backing up a computer to a previous date corrects problems that occur from computer viruses, conflicts and freezes. The Restore program in Windows lets computer owners restore their computers to a restore point anytime it is necessary. Restore points can be created manually or automatically. Manual restore points can be created if suspicious software, documents or emails go into the computer on a regular basis. The Restore program automatically creates back-up points on a computer after installing new software programs, so new restore points are created often.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Windows XP or higher

Step 1

Begin creating a manual restore point by closing all programs running on your computer. Click "Start" and move the cursor arrow to "All Programs." Click on "accessories." Go to "System Tools" and click "Create the restore point." Click on "Next," and type a description in the box that will help you to remember why you created this restore point. You could write something like, "computer was working smoothly" in the box. Click "create." Your computer will create a restore point for that day.

Step 2

Restore the computer to an earlier restore point by clicking "Start" and click on "All Programs." Go to "accessories" and then move the cursor arrow to "System Tools." Click "System Restore" and a new box opens.

Step 3

Select "Restore My Computer to Earlier Time." A calendar will appear on the screen. Choose a previous date in bold on the calendar, and click on that day. Click "Next" and the window will appear asking you to confirm the details. Click "OK." This will restore your computer to that day. Any software changes made to the computer after that date will be lost. Your document files remain on your computer. A window will pop up telling you when your computer is successfully restored.

Step 4

Open up several of your programs, and decide if you like this Restore point. If you do not like this restore point, you can do the process again, and choose another date.

Tips & Warnings

  • Protect your files saved on your desktop by moving them to your "My Documents" folder before restoring computer to an earlier date. Documents saved on your desktop sometimes get deleted or misplaced.
  • Remember all programs installed after the restore point are no longer accessible.