How to turn on System Restore in Windows 10 to protect against bad updates

Home users can't refuse updates, so it pays to make sure System Restore is active in case disaster strikes.

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Michael Homnick

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We’ve already talked a few times about Microsoft’s new approach to delivering updates for home users in Windows 10. Unlike previous versions of the OS, Home users won’t be able to prevent updates from being installed on their PC.

While this is probably advantageous for most people it does bring up two major objections: fears about a bad update screwing up your PC, and downloading updates at times that aren’t desirable, such as when you’re on a metered connection.


The second objection can be taken care of if you set your Wi-Fi connection as metered—Windows 10 may also detect when you’re on a metered wireless connection.

As for the first, there are two things you can do. One is to make sure you snag the Microsoft-provided utility that lets you hide bad updates—albeit after the fact. In addition, you should make sure to turn on System Restore, which many users are finding inexplicably disabled by default in Windows 10.

Turning System Restore on is very simple and tells Windows to create a restore point before installing any updates. That way, if a bad update messes up your system, you can roll it back right away.

Getting to System Protection, the Windows 10 Way


System Restore can help you rollback to a pre-borked stage.

The easiest way to get to System Protection is via the Cortana/search box on the task bar. Just type in “System Protection” and at the top of the pop-up panel you should see Create a restore point Control panel. Click that and the System Properties window appears.

As you can see, in my case the protection is already on. If yours isn’t, click Configure... and in the next window, select the radio button that says Turn on system protection.

The defaults under Disk Space Usage should be fine for most users, but if you’d like to change it just adjust the slider that says Max Usage. Now hit Apply, then OK, close the System Properties window, and you’re done.

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