U-Tools: Unique Tools for Windows System Administrators
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What is a Restore Point?

A Windows System Restore Point is a special kind of volume snapshot than can be used to capture the computer's state in order to undo undesired changes.

You can use the Windows System Restore Tool to revert your computer back to its original state.

VSS Writers

A restore point takes longer to create than a regular snapshot. Windows uses special software called VSS writers to help create the restore point. The VSS writers contact registered applications on the computer and order them to temporarily quiesce all activity so that the computer is in a stable state.

While the applications are frozen, Windows creates the volume snapshot and lets the VSS Writers apply any changes needed to make the snapshot image recoverable. Windows then closes the snapshot and the VSS Writers instruct the registered applications to resume normal operation.

The regular Volume Shadow Copy (Previous Version) snapshots that you create with U-Recover do not use VSS writers. A shadow copy snapshot will be in a “crash-consistent” state, which is equivalent to simply turning off the power on your computer. This means that any data that was not yet committed to disk storage at the time of the snapshot will be lost.

Shadow Copies Versus Restore Points

Creating a volume shadow copy is faster (seconds) than creating a restore point (about a minute). The operation happens quietly in the background and there is no measurable interruption in using your computer. In contrast, a restore point pauses the whole computer for up to a minute while all the VSS aware applications checkpoint themselves.

It might be possible to restore your computer using a shadow copy snapshot instead of a restore point, but this is not recommended. This is because no VSS writers were involved, so any data that was written mid-flight when the snapshot was created would be lost, possibly leaving the app in an inconsistent state.

System Protection on Windows 10 and Windows 11

On Windows 7, System Protection was enabled by default and the computer automatically created a restore point at midnight if no other restore point was created in the last 7 days (24 hours on Windows Vista).

System Protection is disabled by default on Windows 10 and Windows 11. Scheduled restore points are not supported. With U-Recover you can enable System Protection and whenever you wish: on demand, or when an application install requests it, or automatically on a schedule that you specify.