If you’re encountering problems with your Windows 11 or Windows 10 operating system that you cannot solve, or have experienced issues after a problematic major Windows update, performing a system restore may help you get things back on track. With a system restore, you can return your computer to a previous date or restore it to factory default settings if you prefer.
However, a common question is whether you can restore Windows 11/10 without a restore point. Unfortunately, the answer is no. You cannot restore Windows to a previous date if the system restore point does not exist. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that you have enabled System Restore in Windows 11 or 10 to automatically create system restore points or manually create a recovery drive as a backup.
This guide will assist you in determining the appropriate steps to take depending on your current situation, including whether you can still boot into Windows or if you don’t have a restore point, and will provide you with the necessary instructions to successfully restore your computer to a previous date.
How to do a system restore in Windows 11/10
If you have a restore point, follow these steps to restore your Windows 11/10 to the restore point. If you are unsure whether you have a restore point, proceed with the steps below and check if any restore points appear in the restore point selection window.
If you still have access to Windows 11/10:
- Go to the start menu.
- Search for “System” and open it.
- From the left pane, click on “Advanced system settings.”
- Go to the “System Protection” tab.
- Click on the “System Restore…” button.
- Click “Next.”
- Select a restore point from the list (any date you prefer).
- Click “Next” and follow the rest of the on-screen instructions.
- Windows will then restore to a previous date (your selected restore point).
If the “System Restore” button is greyed out, it means that you don’t have any previously saved restore points. If that’s the case, the system restore protection may have been disabled.
If you don’t have a restore point, the only option is to reset Windows 11/10 to its factory default settings. There will be an option to keep all your files while performing the reset. However, it is highly recommended that you back up all essential files before resetting. To restore Windows 11/10 to factory settings, read: How to reset Windows 11/10 to factory default.
If you can’t boot into Windows to access the system restore window:
If the issue is severe and you cannot access the Windows 10/11 login screen, you can force your PC to boot into the Windows Recovery Environment (RE), where you can perform a system restore and reset for Windows 11/10.
- If your PC is running, hold and press the power button for about 5 seconds until your PC is completely off. Turn it on again.
- As soon as you see the Windows 11 or Windows 10 loading logo, hold and press the power button again to force another switch off. Repeat this three times.
- When Windows detects unusual startup activities, it will automatically boot into Windows RE.
Follow these steps to perform a system restore in Windows 11/10 when you reach the Windows RE screen:
- Click “Troubleshoot.”
- Click “Advanced options.”
- Click “System Restore.”
- Select a restore point if available.
- Follow the rest of the on-screen instructions to start the system restore.
If you can access Windows 11/10 and want to boot into Windows RE:
If you can access Windows and want to boot into Windows RE without any hassle, go to the start menu. Click on the power button. While holding the Shift key, click on Restart. Windows will then boot into the Windows Recovery Environment.
Alternatively, you can boot into Windows RE by going to the Start menu > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced Startup, and then click on the “Restart now” button. After that, follow the instructions above to restore your Windows to a previous date or restore Windows to its factory default settings.
Can I restore Windows 11/10 without a restore point?
No, you cannot restore Windows without a restore point. However, if there has been a major Windows Update applied recently, you may still be able to roll back to a previous state before the update.
When should you restore, reset, or reinstall Windows 11/10?
If you have a system restore point saved in your Windows 11 or Windows 10, perform a system restore. If not, try to roll back the Windows 11/10 update to an earlier build before the update. If neither option is available, reset your Windows. If resetting doesn’t work, reinstall Windows 11/10 using the media creation tool.
It’s important to note that resetting or reinstalling Windows will erase all data and programs on your computer. Therefore, it’s essential to back up all important files before proceeding with either option.