How to Do a System Restore on Windows XP

Written by chris yokum
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At least once in your life, you'll have to perform a few troubleshooting tasks with your current computer system. Although you may try your best to keep everything in working order, it doesn't always work. You'll need to take a few precautions to prevent important data loss or an inoperable computer system. Even if you aren't a professional when it comes to fixing computers, you can still get your computer working again. With a few simple tips, you'll soon learn how to do a System Restore on Windows XP.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Click the "Start" menu on your computer system. Once this has been done, another list of menu options will appear. Select the "All Programs" link and look for the "Accessories" section. After locating it, click onto "System Tools." It will display several useful tools for maintaining your computer system.

  2. 2

    View the Welcome screen in System Restore. There's a calendar on the page that represents different dates on which your computer has gone through changes. If you've installed or uninstalled software, it will be marked on one of these dates. Clicking onto each one of these dates will display what changes have occurred. If you aren't able to click the date, that means no restore point was created within that time period.

  3. 3

    Choose the date you'd like to restore your computer system to. Select the "Restore My Computer to an Earlier Time" on the entrance page and then click the "Next" button to move forward. If your computer has several restore points, then you'll have the chance to pick the best one for your needs.

  4. 4

    Verify that the right restore point has been chosen before finalising any changes. Click the "Confirm Restore Point Selection" and close any open programs. The restore point won't be successfully created until you do so. Creating a clean restore point should be your main goal when performing this troubleshooting method.

  5. 5

    Click the "Next" button when you're ready to move forward. If you've made a mistake, then select the "Back" button and choose another restore point. After doing this, it will automatically shut down and then reboot. Doing this will allow the changes to take full effect on your computer system.

  6. 6

    View the Restoration Complete page and click the "OK" button if you're satisfied with the new changes. You'll have the chance to undo the restoration if you aren't satisfied with the way your computer system is operating. To do this, just open the System Restore tool again and click "Undo My Last Restoration." It will return your computer system to its original state before performing the System Restore.

Tips and warnings

  • Always close any open programs when performing a System Restore.

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