How to Restore a Computer to the Original State

by Gina Poirier

Downloading software onto your PC can sometimes make it unstable. Consider restoring it to an earlier or original state if it is inexplicably freezing or shutting down. This process works if you have Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7.

Step 1

Turn on your computer if it is not already running.

Step 2

Save any work and close any programs that are open.

Step 3

Click the "Start" button in the lower left corner of the screen. This may look like the Windows symbol on later editions.

Step 4

Point your cursor and click on "Programs."

Step 5

Click on the "Accessories" folder.

Step 6

Click on the "System Tools" folder.

Step 7

Click on the "System Restore" button.

Follow the prompts from the help wizard that appears on your screen.


  • If you want to restore your computer to its original state, be prepared to reinstall all of your software. This is a time-consuming process. If you want to restore your computer to an earlier date, be prepared to reinstall all software that you installed after that date.


About the Author

Gina Poirier has a professional background in nonprofit administration and management, primarily with youth development organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of Washington and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

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