System Restore is available and fully functional in Windows 10. However, the bad news is that this feature is turned off by default. Even worse, the interface to enable and manage System Restore is relatively hidden in the legacy Control Panel, and isn’t something that a typical user will stumble upon while browsing the new Windows 10 Settings app. That leaves users on their own to eventually discover the feature, hear about it from colleagues, or find an article like this one on the Web.
While there are new update and restore features built in to Windows 10, including the option to roll the system back entirely to the previous version of Windows, System Restore may still be a good choice for many users. Here’s how you can enable System Restore in Windows 10.
The easiest way to find the System Restore configuration window in Windows 10 is to simply search for it via the Start Menu. Just click on the Search or Cortana icon in your desktop taskbar, or tap the Windows Key on your keyboard, and type System Restore.
You’ll see a search result appear labeled Create a restore point. Click it and you’ll be taken directly to the System Protection tab of the System Properties window, which is where System Restore options are located. Alternatively, you can navigate to this same location via Control Panel > System > System Protection.
If you’ve used System Restore in a previous version of Windows, you’ll recognize the interface. All eligible drives will be listed in the “Protection Settings” portion of the window, and you’ll need to manually enable System Restore on each drive you want protected. Due to the nature of System Restore, however, most users will only need to enable it on their primary C drive to gain adequate protection.
To enable System Restore in Windows 10, select your desired drive from the list and click Configure. In the new window that appears, click the option labeled Turn on system protection.
System Restore is useless without drive space in which to store its restore points, of course, so you’ll also need to reserve a portion of your drive for this purpose in the Disk Space Usage section of the window. As you drag the slider to the right, you’ll see the designated usage space represented both in actual size as well as a percentage of your drive. The more space you assign to System Restore, the more restore points you’ll have at your disposal in the event of a critical system issue. Assigning too much space, however, limits what’s available to you for applications and user data, so be sure to strike a good balance. On all but the smallest of drives, we recommend reserving at least 10GB for System Restore.
With your changes made, click Apply and then OK to save your new configuration and close the window. System Restore will now be enabled for your selected drive, and you can let it operate automatically in the background or manually create restore points as desired. If you ever encounter an issue and need to perform a System Restore, just head back to this same window and click System Restore to launch the restore interface. Of note, in the event of catastrophic issues where Windows is no longer bootable, you can access your system restore points from the Windows 10 recovery environment.