Use System Restore to solve computer problems

Last month we introduced Windows Updates. Sometimes updates can have negative effects on a computer, slowing it down or causing it to work incorrectly. This may happen when we install programs as well. This is when the System Restore tool comes to the rescue.

The System Restore tool reverts changes on your computer made by updates or programs, without affecting your personal documents, images and files. The system automatically creates restore points, which are like snapshots of your computer, whenever a major update or program is installed. When System Restore tool is used any programs installed since the restore point you choose will be removed and any changes you made to your computer will revert back to that point in time.

System Restore isn’t necessarily the first place to go when you have a problem. First try restarting your computer, making sure it turns off completely. If the problem started just after installing a program, you can use the Windows Uninstaller to remove that program. Refer to the March 2015 edition for instructions on how to do this.

Restore points are usually created automatically when a program or a major update is installed. You can also manually create a Restore Point, which is a good idea if you are planning to install several different programs or changing some settings on your machine. Open a folder on your computer and right click “My Computer” or “This PC” and select “Properties”.

When the System window opens, click on the “System Protection” link on the left hand side and a smaller window with the “System Protection” tab selected will open. Click the “Create” button, enter a reference name for this restore point, and click the “Create” button. After a few minutes a confirmation message will appear telling you the restore point has been created.

To restore your computer back, click the “System Restore” button and the “System Restore” window will open. Click the “Next button” and a list of available restore points will appear. Click the “Show more restore points” checkbox to see the full list. Find the restore point you would like to use, and click to select it before clicking the “Next” button.

A final confirmation screen will show with some information about this restore point. There is a link called “Scan for affected programs” which when clicked will scan your computer and give you a report showing what programs will be affected by this action. Before you go any further, make sure any documents you are working on are saved and closed.

If you are sure you want to apply this restore point, click the “Finish” button and Windows will begin the restoration process. Your computer will shortly restart and a message will appear on your screen telling you the process is underway. Once it is completed, you will need to log back into your computer. After you log in, a pop up window will appear telling you whether the process was successful or not. If not try repeating the process with an earlier restore point.