How to Restore a Dell Computer to a Previous Date

By Traci Joy

Dell computers are a necessity for many people. They are a means by which we communicate, run a business and keep track of what is going on in the world. Occasionally, computers can pick up a bug or a virus that hinders their performance. If you want to go back to a time when your Dell was working efficiently, it is equipped with an option called "System Restore," which will let you restore your operating system to an earlier date. These instructions will work with Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7.

Things You'll Need

  • Dell computer with Windows installed

Step 1

Power on the computer and wait until it has fully booted up.

Step 2

Click the "Start" icon, then select "All Programs."

Step 3

Go through the programs list and click on "Accessories." When it opens, select "System Tools." In "System Tools" select "System Restore." The system restore window will open, and you will be asked if you want to restore your computer to an earlier date or restore point, or if you want to create a restore point. Choose the option to restore your computer to an earlier date.

Step 4

Select a date that is highlighted in bold. These are the available system restore dates. Choose a date when you know your computer was functioning optimally. Click on the date, then confirm that you wish to proceed.

Step 5

Wait for your Dell to perform its system restore. This should only take a few minutes. When it has completed, the computer will automatically shut itself down, then reboot. Upon reboot, you will see a screen that tells you the system restore was finished successfully.

Tips & Warnings

  • To save time when doing a system restore, make sure you have no programs open, such as your web browser, before beginning.
  • When you do a system restore back to a previous date, you will lose any programs that were added to your Dell computer after that date. Make a copy of programs and files that have been added if you are concerned about losing them.
  • Do not manually shut down your Dell computer while it is in the middle of a system restore, or it will not restore properly.