How to Restore Your Computer System in Windows XP

By Techwalla Contributor

You can use Window XP's System Restore to undo harmful changes to your computer and restore it's settings and performance. System Restore returns your computer to an earlier time, called restore point, without causing you to lose recent work, such as saved documents or e-mails. Changes made to your computer by System Restore are completely reversible. XP automatically creates restore points, called system checkpoints, and you can create your own restore points. This is useful if you are about to make a major change to your system, such as installing a new program or changing your registry.

Things You'll Need

  • Your computer must be on, booted up and running.
  • Pad and pencil to make notes about restore date.

Step 1

Click on "Start" and select "All Programs." Open the "Accessories" and move to "System Tools," then click on System Restore. The next screen is a Welcome to System Restore.

Step 2

Select "Restore my computer to an earlier time." The next screen displays a calendar showing choices of restore points. Select your desired restore point date and click "Next."

Step 3

Click "Next" again to confirm your choice and the computer will start restoring itself. The system restarts during the restore process.

Tips & Warnings

  • This is a very strong feature of Windows XP. Windows 98-95 does not have this.
  • It is extremely handy and can well save you a trip to the computer shop.
  • Performing this may sound ominous and dangerous. Will have to admit, first time I did it I was more than a little apprehensive. Turned out fine, saved the day.