How to Restore a Computer to an Earlier Setting

Techwalla may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
A woman's hand clicks a mouse next to a computer
Image Credit: ponsulak/iStock/Getty Images

If your computer gets infected with a virus or some other kind of malware, there are a number of options from which to choose to attempt to fix your computer. One of the easiest troubleshooting methods is restoring your computer to an earlier setting. The System Restore function is part of the Windows operating system and it restores your computer's system files and drivers to what they were on a particular date and time.


Step 1

Click the "Start" menu and select "All Programs."

Video of the Day

Step 2

Click "Accessories," select "System Tools" and choose "System Restore."

Step 3

Click "Next."


Step 4

Choose a restore point from the list and click "Next."

Step 5

Confirm your choice by selecting "Finish." The System Restore process will take several minutes. When the process is complete, your computer will reboot.


System Restore does not alter or remove your personal data files.


Do not shut down your computer during the process. Make sure if you are running System Restore on a laptop that you have it plugged in so that a depleted battery will not interrupt the process.