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Turn Off System Restore

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If you customize the configuration of your computer for security or other reasons, turning off the System Restore feature on your Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 computer will prevent your changes from being overwritten. To do so:

Windows XP

  1. Open the Start menu, highlight Programs, then highlight Accessories, and then click Windows Explorer. 1st part of step 1.
  2. In the window that opens, make sure that My Computer is selected on the left, then right-click anywhere on the screen and select Properties from the menu that opens. Windows Update screenshot indicating the location of the review and install updates link.
  3. In the window that opens, select the System Restore tab. Click the checkbox next to Turn off System Restore, click Apply, then click OK. Windows Update screenshot indicating the location of the Install Now buttton.

Windows Vista

  1. Open the Start menu, type into the search box system, then click on System in the search results.
    1st part of step 1.
  2. In the System control panel that opens, click on System Protection in the lefthand panel. Type in your Administrator password if prompted.
    Windows Vista System control panel with option to open System Protection
  3. While in the System Protection window, uncheck all disks.
    Windows Vista System Protection window, unchecking all protected disks to disable System Restore
  4. After unchecking the disks, when prompted, click Turn System Restore Off.
    Windows Vista turn off System Restore

Windows 7

  1. Open the Start menu, type into the search box system, then click on System in the search results.
    1st part of step 1.
  2. In the System control panel that opens, click on System Protection on the left hand panel. Type in your Administrator password if prompted.
    Windows Vista System control panel with option to open System Protection
  3. While in the System Protection window, click on the Configure option below the list of available drives.
    Windows Vista System Protection window, unchecking all protected disks to disable System Restore
  4. Click on the Turn off system protection option.
    Windows Vista turn off System Restore
  5. A window will prompt you to confirm the disabling of system protection. Click Yes when prompted.
    Windows Vista turn off System Restore

Page last reviewed: September 3, 2009