Windows System Restore
What it's good for and why you should use it regularly

    System restore is not a highly hyped feature of Windows - but it should be.

    System restore was introduced along with Windows XP. But that version almost never worked as it should have. With the introduction of Windows Vista System Restore was revamped into a tool that could work to save your system and your files.

    In Windows 7 System restore really became a powerful tool to recover your PC from mishaps caused by malware attacks, bad or improperly installed software or just about any error that could happen to a Windows PC.

    PC experts have a constant refrain - backup, backup, backup. And that is very good advice. But when your PC goes haywire reaching for your backup disk or reinstalling a saved system image is not necessarily the first thing you should try.
    First open System Restore!
    Restore your PC back to a time when it was running like a Swiss Watch - without losing your files!

    For more detailed information concerning Windows System Restore try these Microsoft links:

What you can (or should) do

Be sure System Restore is turned on:

    Open System Protection:
    *Click the Start Button
    *Then right-click Computer
    *Then choose Properties
    *Choose System Protection (listed on the left). This window shows if System Restore is on and also shows which drives it's protecting.

You can create a shortcut to System Protection:
    *Click the Start Button.
    *Type System Properties into the Search Box.
    *Right-click on SystemPropertiesProtection.
    *Choose Create Shortcut - a shortcut named SystemPropertiesProtection - Shortcut will be created on the desktop.
    You can right-click on the new shortcut and change the name simply to System Protection then place the new shortcut in your Quick Launch Menu if you wish.

For maximum protection:
    Create a new restore point on a regular basis - perhaps once a month. Name it Clean System or whatever you will remember.
    Create a new restore point just before installing new programs and especially new Windows device driver software.
    Using the shortcut to the System Protection window will give you a fast and easy way - without any more typing - to easily create new Restore Points.
    It's a really good idea to create a new restore point before installing new software. Then if you have a problem you can roll the changes back and undo any damage done or errors introduced into your system - all the while preserving system integrity and your important personal files.

Windows System Restore is NOT a backup tool. To be sure your irreplacable files are protected it is always a good idea to make regular backups. Use a free cloud service such as Dropbox or Microsoft Skydrive or get a USB flash drive to keep local copies of your files.
For more information concerning backups see my file Back Up Your PC.

Some virus/malware may, in order to protect itself, disable some system tools such as System Restore. If that is the case the malware must be removed by other means. Then, if any problems persist, use System Restore to recover from them.