Does System Restore Remove/Delete Files? Answered!

Does System Restore remove/delete files, programs? Some people still cannot figure out what Windows System Restore can and cannot do. Follow this article and make it clear.


by Ivy Updated on October 18, 2022

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About System Restore

System Restore is a built-in tool which can be used to roll the system back to a previous known good state. When the system goes wrong, the first thing comes to mind is to restore the system to the previous good state.

However, there is still some doubt and misconceptions about what System Restore can and cannot do. Questions like: does System Restore remove files, does System restore delete programs, etc are frequently asked. Let’s make it clear what System Restore can and cannot do here.

What can System Restore do?

System Restore regularly creates and saves restore points on your computer by using a feature called system protection. It allows you to restore Windows system files, registry settings installed on your system, programs, to an earlier data.

If you have corrupted system files, then restoring your system to a previous time may help you to get your system back and running. You may ask: does system restore delete programs? Any programs installed after the restore points will be uninstalled. System Restore will also affect Windows updates. Any installed updates after restore points will be uninstalled.

What can System Restore not do?

Although System Restore can change all your system files, Windows updates and programs, it will not remove/delete or modify any of your personal files like your photos, documents, music, videos, emails stored on your hard drive. Even you have uploaded a few dozen pictures and documents, it will not undo the upload.

Although System Restore may remove a program you've installed, it will not delete the files you have made through the program.

You may still have another question: does System Restore delete viruses? System Restore will not delete or clean viruses, or other malware. Virus or malware sometimes will be deeply integrated into your operating system. Doing a system restore will not help you anything. It is better to install a good antivirus software.

After learning what System restore can and cannot do, you may get a clear idea that System Restore will not remove your personal files. That is to say, your personal files will not be affected by System Restore. Also, if you want to restore deleted/removed files, it will not work by performing System Restore.

How to recover deleted files with system restore points

Windows creates backup files automatically from time to time. Deleted files can be easily recovered with backups. To restore files, make sure you have backups created before. Follow the steps shown below:

Step 1. Right click on the file/folder or the drive where you lost your file. For e.g. your file got deleted in My Photos, then right click on My Photos. Then select Properties.

Step 2. This will opens a new window. In this new window, click on the Previous Versions tab present at the top.

Step 3. A new menu appears which has several backups at different times. Select the backup which you want to restore by clicking on it.

Previous Version

Step 4. Once you select the file, click on the Restore option. A message appears asking are you sure you want to restore the data. Click on Restore.

A better way to protect everything on your computer

System Restore does help you restore your Windows system files, programs to the previous state, however, it cannot be used to restore your personal files. Beside, restore points are created on the corresponding volume, once the hard drive or system crashes, the restore points will also be deleted. To protect your computer better, you should find a powerful backup and restore software.

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a professional free backup and restore software. It supports to create system backup, disk backup, partition backup, file and folder backup. you can backup files to different locations and restore the deleted files via image backup created by AOMEI Backupper easily.

This software allows you to create incremental backup, which saves you much space. Let’s see how to protect your computer with this software.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Standard and open this software. Click Backup, and then System Backup.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

System Backup

Step 2. It will automatically choose source partition for you. Choose another location to store your backup. You’d better not to backup to the same hard drive as the source one.

Select Destination

Step 3. You can schedule automatic Windows backup by clicking Schedule and have some more advanced settings by clicking Options. After all your settings, click Start Backup.

Schedule Settings

✍ Tips: 

  • If you want to protect your whole disk, you can use Disk Backup feature. If you want to backup personal files only, just use File Backup feature.
  • If you want to create a system image backup and save it on a custom recovery partition, AOMEI OneKey Recovery can do you a favor.
  • To deploy/restore your system image to multiple computers within LAN, a wonderful image deployment software AOMEI Image Deploy (AID) is necessary.
Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.