2 Ways To Check If System Restore Is Enabled On Windows

System Restore is a feature in Windows for quite some time now. This feature allows you to create backups of your PC so that you can revert to them later in case something goes wrong or you want to undo any changes made to the computer.

However, for you to go back to a previous computer state, you must have System Restore, also known as File History, enabled beforehand. If it is not enabled, then your PC has no previous states saved to go back to.

In this post, we are going to show you 2 methods you can use to confirm whether System Restore is enabled on your Windows PC or not.

Learn how to enable and use File History or Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

Advantages of System Restore

You never know when bad times are ahead of you. Therefore, it is always better to be prepared and mitigate any threats. This is where System Restore comes in.

System Restore is a preventive feature that can come in handy when something unanticipated happens. This can mean when your system has crashed and is refusing to boot up, or some critical files have gone missing or accidentally deleted, or when a Windows update is faulty and you want to return to the state it was in before the installation.

In such scenarios, none of it would matter if System Restore was not enabled prior. Since the feature was not enabled, Windows would not have created any restore points to revert to.

Furthermore, System Restore is the primary feature used when attempting Disaster Recovery. Disaster Recovery refers to the procedure used when attempting to recover the data lost due to a disaster. A disaster could be natural (earthquake, tsunami, etc.) that destroys the hardware, or manmade, like someone accidentally resetting an entire PC/server.

If System Restore is configured to save the restore points (backups) off-site and in a remote, safe location, those restore points can then be used to recompile all data, eventually saving the day.

Without further ado, let us show you 2 means to check the current System Restore status on your Windows PC.

How to Check If System Restore is Turned On

From System Properties

One method to confirm whether the System Restore feature is enabled is through the system’s properties. Here is how to do it:

  1. Navigate to the following:

    Settings app >> System >> About >> System protection (Under related links)
  2. The System Properties window will now open. If you see Off in front of your OS drive under Protection Settings, it means System Restore is disabled. If it says On, it means it is disabled.

    System Restore is enabled
    System Restore is enabled

Another indicator here is that the System Restore button is not greyed out, which means that there are restore points already created that you can revert to.

If you find that System Restore is disabled, read this blog post to learn how to enable and configure it.

Using Windows PowerShell

You can also determine the status of System Restore using Windows PowerShell. Follow these steps:

  1. Launch PowerShell with elevated privileges.

  2. Now paste the following cmdlet to obtain a list of all restore points created by your system:

    pwsh 4
    Get list of restore points

    If you see any details in the table below, it means that System Restore is enabled and has already created restore point(s). However, if the cmdlet does not return anything, it means that System Restore has not been enabled.

In that case, we strongly suggest that you enable System Restore to prevent any damaging accidents from happening.

Closing Words

System Restore, also known as File History, is a great disaster-prevention tool built right into the Windows operating system. One does not need to use any third-party utilities or applications to keep their data and PC safe.

Simply enable System Restore and save the backups in a remote location (or an external hard drive) where the data is safe, and you can revert to it any time you feel the need to restore that data.

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Subhan Zafar is an established IT professional with interests in Windows and Server infrastructure testing and research, and is currently working with Itechtics as a research consultant. He has studied Electrical Engineering and is also certified by Huawei (HCNA & HCNP Routing and Switching).

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