How to Turn On System Restore in Windows 10 & Windows 8

Enable System Protection

Windows System Protection feature allows you to protect and back up personal data stored on your personal computer. We strongly recommend you to enable and set up Restore Points and File History features which are disabled by default in Windows 8 & 10 clients.

Part A. Turn on and set up System Protection

You need to turn on and set up Windows system protection, and then create restore points for your system.  The detailed guide below will help you to pass through this procedure quickly and easily.

1. Click Windows startstart-button-windows-10 button (or press Windows key). Type “create a restore point” without quotes. Go to Create a restore point option.

Search Create a Restore Point Windows 10

2. System Properties dialogue window will appear. If there is Off status in the Protection Settings column, click Configure button to continue.

System properties configure Windows 10

3. System Protection window will appear. Check the “Turn on system protection” checkbox. Next, adjust the maximum disk space that will be used for restore copies. You should base your decision on your overall hard drive volume. Once you adjust maximum disk space usage, click OK button.

Turn on system protection Windows 10

The more hard drive space you provide to System Protection, the more Restore Points you’ll have at your disposal in the event of a malware infiltration or other serious system failure. We recommend adjusting at least 12GB disk space for System Protection feature.

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Part B. Create a Restore Point

1. Click Create button to create a new restore point.

Create system restore point Windows 10

2. You’ll be asked for a name, and you may give it a useful name that you’ll be able to easily identify later. Click Create button.

Create system restore point type name Windows 10

3. Wait until creating a restore point is complete.

Create system restore point process Windows 10

With enabled Restore Points you can easily undo unwanted system changes made by malware at any time.

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Part C. File History Feature

System Protection feature backs up important Windows operating system files, including boot and drive configurations, Windows Registry files, and hardware drivers, but it will not back up and store your personal files such as documents, media files or photos. So, you need to turn on File History feature that allows to back up and restore modified, locked or encrypted files.

Once you set up File History, you can back up your files to a directory on your hard drive, or you can connect an external drive (external HDD, flash drive or cloud storage) and Windows will automatically back up your files to it.

Using any external drive or storage for these purposes is the easiest way to set up and enable File History feature.

Let’s consider a case when a user doesn’t have access to any external drive or cloud storage.

In the case when you don’t enable File History feature and try to restore previous versions of any folder or file using context menu…

Program files folder restore previous versions Windows 10

Or using Properties…

Program files folder restore properties Windows 10

You will see “There are no previous versions available” message in the Previous versions tab. It means that you don’t have any stored previous versions of this file or folder.

Program files folder restore previous versions Windows 10

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Part D. How to turn on File History feature

Let’s set up and enable File History feature.

1. Click Windows button in the left-bottom corner (or press Windows key). Go to Settings.

Windows start button settings Windows 10

2. Select Update & security settings.

Settings update security Windows 10

3.1. Once you’re there, connect your external hard drive and then go to Backup in the left navigation bar and click the “+” next to Add a drive. Choose your external drive there. File History will start to back up your files. An on/off slider will now appear under a new heading called “Automatically back up my files.”

Settings update security backup add a drive Windows 10

3.2. If you don’t connect external hard drive to Windows, you will see the message “No usable drives found”.

No usable drives found Windows 10

3.2.1. You need to create a new virtual hard drive to back up your files. Click Windows button, or press Windows key. Type file history and select File History in the list.

Search file history Windows 10

3.2.2. The following dialogue window will appear:

File history main windows Windows 10

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Part E. How to create and set up a virtual local hard-drive for File History

Step 1. Creating a virtual hard-drive

1. Right-click Windows button to open context menu. Choose Disk Management settings.

Launch disk management Windows 10

2. Select Disk (C:).

Select disk C Windows 10

3. Move the cursor to Disk (C:) and right-click on it. Select Shrink Volume… option.

Disk C shrink volume Windows 10

4. Wait until querying shrink space is complete.

Wait until querying shrink process Windows 10

5. Enter the amount of space for the new hard-drive partition. Click Shrink button to confirm.

Enter the amount of space Windows 10

6. A new hard-drive will appear. You will see Unallocated virtual hard-disk highlighted with black color.  Right-click that disk and select New Simple Volume…

New simple volume Windows 10

7. New Simple Volume Wizard window will appear. Click Next button.

New simple volume wizard Windows 10

8. Specify volume size for the new hard-drive partition. Click Next button.

Specify volume size Windows 10

9. Assign the new drive letter (“H” in our sample). Click Next button.

Assign drive letter or path Windows 10

10. Select file system format and give a name to the new partition (File History in our sample). You may leave File system and Allocation unit size unchanged. Click Next button to continue.

Format partition Windows 10

11. Check all the selected settings and click Finish button.

Completing the new simple volume wizard Windows 10

12. New (H:) hard-drive partition named File History successfully created.

Disk H File History Windows 10

13. Go to This PC and check if the new hard-drive partition is already listed there.

Go to "This PC" Windows 10

14. Next, you need to open access to the new hard-drive partition. Right-click the hard-drive partition icon and go to Properties.

Hard drive H properties Windows 10

15. Go to Sharing tab and click Advanced Sharing button.

Advanced sharing Windows 10

16. Click Permissions button in the Advanced Sharing window.

Permissions advanced sharing Windows 10

17. Click Add… button in the Permissions for H window.

Permissions for "H" add Windows 10

18. Click Advanced button in the Select Users or Groups window.

Select users or groups Windows 10

19. Click Find Now button.

Find now select users or groups Windows 10

20. Scroll down the Search results and select SYSTEM name. Click OK button or double-click SYSTEM. SYSTEM is selected to grant permission to system apps only. This measure is needed to make your data back ups more secure.

System find now select users or groups Windows 10

21. Click OK button.

Ok select users or groups Windows 10

22. Choose SYSTEM in the Group or user names. Check all checkboxes in the Allow column. Click OK button.

Choose system and check checkboxes Windows 10

23. Next, click OK button.

Ok advanced sharing Windows 10

24. Click Close button.

Close properties disk "H" Windows 10

25. You will see Disk (H:) icon with two little people at the bottom. This icon means that you have successfully granted permission to this hard-drive partition.

Icon with two little people Windows 10

26. Go to Network settings in the left navigation bar.

Go to network Windows 10

27. If you get “Network discovery is turned off” message, right-click this message line and select Turn on network discovery and file sharing option.

Turn on network discovery and file sharing Windows 10

28. Choose “No, make the network that I am connected to a private network” in the window.

Network discovery and file sharing message Windows 10

29. Wait until the process is complete and double-click the computer icon.

Network desktop icon Windows 10

30. You fill see the following folder icon

Folder H network Windows 10

31. Once you have created new virtual hard-drive and granted access to it, you can go back to File History set up.

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Step 2. How to set up a local drive for File History

Next, you need to set up the new drive for File History feature. So, let’s keep going.

1. Click Select drive in the left navigation bar of File History window.

Select drive file history Windows 10

2. Click Add network location.

Add network location Windows 10

3. Select your new local hard-drive. Click OK button.

Select a File History drive Windows 10

4. Click Turn on button to enable File History feature.

Drive turn on Windows 10

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Part F. File History Settings

File History feature has a few settings you may find useful. For example, you may choose how often you want to save copies of your files, and how long the saved copies will be stored. You may also exclude the folders and files that you don’t need to back up.

Go to Advanced settings in the left navigation bar.

Advanced settings File History disk Windows 10

Choose how often you want to back up copies of your folders and files.

Save copies of files Windows 10

Choose how long to keep saved versions of your files.

Keep saved versions Windows 10

Click Save changes button to confirm.

Click save changes button Windows 10

Go to Exclude folders in the left navigation bar if you want to exclude some folders or files.

Exclude folders Windows 10

Click Add button to exclude folders or files.

Exclude from File History disk add Windows 10

Choose the folders or files which you want to exclude and click Select Folder.

Select folder Windows 10

Click Save changes button.

Save changes exclude from File History Windows 10

File History set up is complete!

If you select Restore previous versions option in context menu, you will see saved copies of choses file or folder. You can select any saved copy and click Restore button to start recovery process.

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