What Happens When You Do a System Restore on a Computer?

By Shanika Chapman

System Restore can be a real lifesaver if you have recently installed new software or new hardware drivers that have made your system unstable or completely unusable. System Restore is like a time machine for your computer, in which the user is able to restore a previous configuration from before problems began to occur.

Windows System Settings Are Reverted

The Windows Registry is restored to its state at the Restore Point, meaning that any programs installed since the Restore Point was established will need to be reinstalled, and Windows configuration changes you may have made will most likely be lost.

File Associations Are Changed

Different file types, such as video, pictures or spreadsheets, automatically open with a specified program. Any file associations will revert to their previous setting. Reinstalling the desired software will allow you to fix this easily.

New Files Are Not Deleted

Many inexperienced users worry that performing a System Restore will remove new files added or created since the restore point. This is not the case; while configurations are rolled back, personal data files are not removed.

Wallpaper Is Reset

One event that shocks many users into believing some of their data may have been lost is the change in their wallpaper. Despite this change, your personal files have not been affected.

A New Restore Point Is Created

After a System Restore has taken place, a new option is available in the System Restore window: "Undo my last restoration." This option allows you to utilize a new restore point created while the previous Restoration occurred.