How to Delete Windows Restore Points
By: Date: March 6, 2021 Categories: How To,Windows

It usually takes time to adjust to new settings and the current build of the Windows Operating system.  Some, however, are not satisfied and prefer to revert back to the previous working state.  This is possible if a Restore point is created.

So, then what is Restore Point?

A restore point is a feature that allows the user to revert or roll back to the previous working state. This means that you can easily reset your PC to that point by creating a Restore Point. The System Restore takes a snapshot of the system files and the Windows registry.  These are saved as Restore points.  Microsoft’s official documentation states that a Restore Point can last anywhere around 90 days unless space constraints. It is a wonderful tool that protects computer software.   However, it should be noted that when a System Restore Point is created, Windows does not include the data files. They only capture the resident program, settings, and Windows Registry. Also, necessary files are taken as a backup which is necessary to reconstruct the system drive to the point where you want to roll back.

Next, the question arises, How to create a restore point?

It is very simple.  For Windows 10/11, creating a Restore point is done automatically. Usually, whenever the operating system installs a new update, a restore point is automatically made.

When to create a System Restore point?

As a precautionary measure,  a system restore point should be created before:

  1. Installing any program or making any changes to the Windows registry.
  2. Before cleaning any junk files, ensure that any programs with user profiles might not get deleted accidentally.  This can make the computer/program unstable.
  • Before allowing any website to perform specific tasks on your computers, such as checking for error and their correction.

 The Restore Points are stored in a protected OS System Volume Information folder which is hidden.  This folder is in each drive’s root directory, which has the system protection turned on. While Restore point has its advantages, the downside is that a single restore point can take up to 600 MB of disk space.  So if there are many Restore Points created, then there will soon be a problem of insufficient disk space as  1- 2 GB disk space can be used up.  Usually, Windows automatically deletes the old Restore Points to make room for the new ones. This is done not to exceed the allocated space limit.

 It is better to manually delete system restore points in Windows 10/11 in other cases. Please follow the guidelines which are mentioned below:

  1. Go to settings from the Windows start button and click on the System option.
  2. Then, click on the ‘About’ section from the left pane.
  3. From there, select the ‘System Protection’ setting and click on the System Protection tab.
  4. Now, select the drive and click on the Configure button.
  5. Press the delete button to delete all the restore points saved on the drive.

That is all that is required.  Please note that the steps detailed above need to be repeated for each drive to enable system protection.

Another method to delete Restore point is via CMD.

 This process is usually employed if you want to delete a specific System Restore Point by using the command prompt. The process is as follows:

  1. Open the Windows search feature and type ‘CMD. Then right-click on the CMD to select the ‘run as Administrator’ feature.
  2. Then, type in the command: vssadmin list shadows
  3. This command will show the list of all the system restore points saved in the drive. Carefully note down the creation date and time of the restore point you want to delete along with the shadow copy ID of the restore point.
  4. Now type the command: vssadmin delete shadows /Shadow={shadow copy ID}

In the brackets{} enter your shadow copy ID.

  1. You will be asked to reconfirm, that is, if you want to delete the shadow copy. Then type ‘Y’ for yes and press the Enter key on the confirmation prompt.

The selected Restore point will be deleted.  Please note that it is better to check and decide carefully before deleting the Restore point. Because once a Restore point is deleted, you cannot roll back to the previous working state. The System Restore does not run on disks smaller than 1 GB.

CONCLUSION

It is ok to delete the System Restore Points.  However, you need to be careful and select which Restore Points should be deleted.    There is no limit to the number of times you can reinstall Windows.  However, about 1 GB space is enough for storing about 10  Restore points for good order sake.

For those using the computer for office work, the frequency of creating a System Restore point can be less.  The frequency should be more for die-hard gamers as the games frequently change their graphics and sound settings.