How to Restore the System Via the Task Manager

By Craig Witt

Most modern editions of the Microsoft Windows operating system include the System Restore utility. The tool periodically takes snapshots of important system files, such as device drivers, registry entries, hardware profiles and installed software. Formally known as restore points, these snapshots let you restore your system to a previously functional configuration in case you experience serious hardware or software problems. Once you understand the proper steps, running System Restore from Windows' Task Manager utility becomes a quick task.

Using Windows Vista or Windows 7

Step 1

Right-click the taskbar at the bottom of the window and select "Task Manager."

Step 2

Select the "Applications" tab, click "New Task," type "rstrui" (without quotation marks) and click "OK." Click "Continue," or provide your administrator user name and password and click "OK," when prompted to confirm your choice by Windows.

Step 3

Select "Choose a different restore point" and click "Next."

Step 4

Check the box labeled "Show restore points older than 5 days" to view all available restore points.

Step 5

Select your preferred restore point and click "Next."

Step 6

Click "Finish." Windows will automatically shut down and restart your computer, loading the selected restore point in the process.

Using Windows XP

Step 1

Right-click the taskbar at the bottom of the window and select "Task Manager."

Step 2

Select the "Applications" tab, click "New Task," type "%systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe" (without quotation marks) and click "OK."

Step 3

Select "Restore my computer to an earlier time" and click "Next."

Step 4

Select a bolded date on the left-hand side of the window, and then select a restore point associated with that date from the list of options on the right-hand side of the window. Click "Next" after making your selection.

Step 5

Click "Next" again. Windows will automatically shut down and restart your computer, loading the selected restore point in the process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Close all open programs before running the System Restore utility.