Restore Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 to an earlier state using System Restore (How To)

Last updated on September 22nd, 2015

System Restore is a Windows 8 feature (first appeared in Windows XP OS) that continuously checks your system and creates a new restore point (state) when a critical change is made on your computer (e.g. after a Windows update, after a program installation or removal, after a hardware change, etc.). 

System restore is a very useful Windows feature because it can help the user to easily resolve Windows problems when something goes wrong with his computer (e.g. virus attack, power corruption, etc.).

This tutorial contains step by step instructions on how to restore Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 to a previous working state by using System Restore.


How to restore Windows 8 to an earlier working state using system restore.


Step 1: Enter Windows to Advanced Options Boot menu.

In order to start system restore in Windows 8 (or 8.1) you have to boot Windows in Advanced Options (Troubleshooting) menu. To do that you have the following options:


Option 1. From Windows GUI.

1. Put your mouse on the lower left side of the screen to bring up the 'Charms" bar' and click Settings.


2. Click Power & while holding the SHIFT key down, press Restart.



3. Continue to step 2.


Option 2. From Login Screen.

1. Click Power & while holding the SHIFT key down, press Restart.

2. Continue to step 2.


Option 3: Using Windows 8 installation media.

1. Put your Windows 8 installation media in the CD/DVD ROM drive. *

* Note: If you don't have an installation media you can download one by using these instructions: How to Download Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 ISO files legally

2. Enter BIOS settings and at Boot Order setting, set the CD/DVD drive as first boot device (Save & Exit BIOS Setup).


4. Select the Language to install, Time/Currency format and Keyboard input method and press Next.



5. Choose Repair your computer.


6. Continue to step 2.


Option 4: Using UEFI Interface.

If your computer supports UEFI*, then you can use it to enter in Windows Advanced Option Menu. The way to enter "Advanced Options menu" (Safe Mode, Safe mode with networking, etc.), depends on your computer's manufacturer. So you have to read your computer's manufacturer manual for more details. (e.g. In Sony Vaio laptops that supports UEFI, you have to press the "ASSIST" key on your laptop, while your laptop is Powered-OFF.)

* UEFI Interface: In the latest technology computers, the BIOS supports UEFI. The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) provides a software interface between the operating system and your hardware. The UEFI interface, replaces the BIOS interface and by using it, you can diagnose and repair your system, without the need of an operating system.


Step 2. Run System Restore from Advanced Boot Menu.

When your computer restarts, it brings you to a Choose an option screen.

1. Choose Troubleshoot.



4. Choose Advanced Options.



5. Choose System Restore



(Your computer restarts again)

6. Select an account with administrative privileges, type a password for that account and  click Continue.



7. Click Next.



8. Check the Show more restore points checkbox, select an earlier working state from the list and press Next.



9. Review your selection and if you agree, press Finish.



10. Finally press Yes to confirm your decision.



11. Now wait until the restore process is completed. During the restore process, your computer will restart several times and when it's done, you should enter in Windows without problems.

That's it!

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