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How to Restore My Computer to Factory Settings for Vista

Updated February 21, 2017

The System Restore feature on Windows Vista operating systems allows computer owners to turn back the clock on their computers and set the machines to the settings they had on a previous date. System Restore can also help you remove a virus or malware from a computer. Because System Restore creates a restore point to which you can roll back your computer to the settings it had when you first turned it on, you may restore your computer to its original factory settings.

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  1. Click on the "Start" menu on the Windows desktop. The button looks like the Windows logo. A menu will appear.

  2. Select "All Programs" and then click the "Accessories" folder.

  3. Click the "System Tools" folder, then double-click the "System Restore" icon.

  4. Click "Continue" when the "User Account Control" window appears. The "System Restore" window will appear.

  5. Click on the radio button next to "Choose a different restore point" and select "Next." A list of restore points will appear.

  6. Click the box next to "Show restore points later than five days" if you set up your computer more than five days ago.

  7. Click on the earliest restore point in the list. Select "Next."

  8. Click "Finish." Vista will now restore your computer to its factory settings.

  9. Tip

    Vista must restart the computer to complete the restoration process.

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