Fix: System Restore not Working

System Restore is a feature in Microsoft Windows allows users to revert their computer’s state to that of a previous point in time. It is widely used to recover from system malfunction and other problems. You can create a restore point either automatically or manually. The system tends to create a restore point whenever you install a major update or change system settings.

As crucial this feature might be, there are still reports from tons of users where the system fails to work as expected. You might encounter an error message or the restore might simply fail. We have provided several different workarounds for this issue. Take a look.

Solution 1: Running System Restore from Safe Mode

We will enter the Safe mode and then try restoring normally. Safe mode automatically disables all third-party applications from your computer and only lets the crucial one’s running. This behavior ensures that there are no problematic third-party applications running which may cause the problem.

  1. Follow the instructions on our article on how to boot your computer in safe mode.
  2. Once you have booted into safe mode, press Windows + S and type “System Restore” in the dialogue box and open the application.
  3. Once the new window has popped up, click on “System Restore”.

  1. Click Next. Make sure that you check the option “Show more restore points”. Now all the restore points will be in front of you. Select the correct one and click Next.

  1. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the restore process.

Solution 2: Checking if System Restore is enabled

If the System Restore utility is itself disabled, you will not be able to create restore points or restore using one. For this, we will go to the Group Policy Editor and make some necessary changes. You might require an administrative account to follow these instructions.

  1. Press Windows + R, type “gpedit.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Once in the group policy editor, navigate to the following path:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > System Restore

  1. Here you will see two different keys. We will change them and make sure that System Restore is enabled.

  1. Open the key Turn off Configuration and make sure that it is set to Not Configured. Do the same for Turn off System Restore.
  2. Restart your computer after making changes and see if this fixes the problem.

Solution 3: Disabling Antivirus Software

All Antivirus software constantly monitor your computer’s activity which also includes your attempts to restore Windows to a prior point in time. You can check our article on How to Disable your Antivirus. We have listed the ways on how to disable the software by covering as many products as we can. Some specific Antivirus features which were noted to cause the problem included Norton Product Tamper Protection. This feature didn’t let you tamper with your Windows and the Norton product until you turn this feature off manually using the administrator account.  Nonetheless, you should disable your antivirus software no matter what it is.

After disabling your Antivirus, restart your computer and see if this made any difference. If it didn’t, feel free to enable the antivirus software back on.

Note: Disable your antivirus software at your own risk. Appuals will not be responsible for any damage caused to your computer.

Solution 4: Disabling Trusteer Rapport

Trusteer Rapport is a security software designed to protect confidential data from malware and phishing. It has intensive anti-phishing methods implemented and it protects users from almost all kinds of attacks. It immediately alerts suspicious activities and always makes sure that the website is safe before you enter your credentials.

There have been results which show that Rapport was one of the third-party software which caused the computer to not respond to request to do a system restore. You should try disabling the software and then try. If disabling doesn’t work, you can go ahead and uninstall it.

Solution 5: Resetting Repository

If all the above methods don’t work out, we can try resetting the repository. This will, in turn, refresh all the related files. We will rename the folder to some other name and force the system to detect and create a new one using the commands in command prompt.

Note: This method will erase all your currently existing System Restore points. It is meant for users who cannot create the restore point manually.

  1. Follow the instructions on our article on how to boot your computer in safe mode.
  2. Now press Windows + S, type “command prompt” in the dialogue box, right-click it and select “Run as administrator”.
  3. Once in elevated command prompt, type “net stop winmgmt”. This will forcefully stop Windows Management Instrumentation Service.

  1. Restart your computer after executing the command. Now open the elevated command prompt again and execute the following instructions:

net stop winmgmt

winmgmt /resetRepository

  1. Restart your computer again and see if you can create a restore point manually.

Solution 6: Check if Services are Turned On

A reason why you might be experiencing this problem is because your services are turned off. There are various cases where to troubleshoot an issue, your turn your services off. Furthermore, there is some PC optimization software who turn your services off in order to reduce the CPU usage or ‘optimize’ your computer.

  1. Press Windows + R, type “services.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Once at the services window, check your services and make sure they are not turned off.
  3. One notable service which you should check is “Volume Shadow Copy”. This is the primary process responsible for managing system images. Set the state as automatic and make sure it is turned on.

  1. Also, check if the process “Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider” is up and running. Navigate to its properties and set its startup state as automatic and make sure it is running.

  1. In addition to these services, also make sure other services are up and running. Restart your computer after making the changes and check if the problem got solved.

Solution 7: Using third-party applications

There have been several reports of Microsoft depreciating the System Image Backup (SIB) solution. This means that Microsoft has stopped the development and support of the feature but it is still available in various PC’s. If this is true, you should resort to third-party applications who do the job.

Some of the third-party applications are Deep Freeze or Macrium. Do note that you might have to purchase a full edition to get access to all of the features available through these applications. You can always experiment with all the other system restore software out there.

These tips are for people who are unable to create System Restore points on their computer.

  • Make sure that you have enough disk space on your hard drive for the System Restores to be stored.
  • Try making System Restores after an update. Sometimes, large updates can cause problems with the older system restores.
  • If the problem still persists after all the above solutions, you should consider reinstalling Windows to a fresh copy.
  • You can run the System File Checker (SFC) to scan for any corrupt files. You can also use DISM.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: System Restore not Working

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

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