By Ivy / Last Updated February 21, 2020

System Restore is a built-in feature for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 that allows you to restore your computer to a point where it works fine. And it will include the installed programs and its settings, Windows Registry, necessary system files.

Should I disable system restore?

Normally, Windows will create system restore points with System Restore feature automatically before installing new software, updating a driver, installing Windows updates, etc. If there are no such events, the system restore point will be created by every 7 days.

You can use it to restore your computer to an earlier date when it runs into small issues, but it becomes useless when system crashes or disk crashes. Because it does not contain system and all the boot files that are required to boot Windows.

In sum, as time goes by, system restore will take up much space if you don’t turn off system restore. To some extent, low disk space will slow down your computer. What’s worse, you may lose the installed apps and saved files. So, you can choose to turn off system restore.

How to turn off system restore in Windows?

In the following, I’ll introduce you 2 common used ways to stop system restore in Windows 10, 8,7. The first one is via system protection while the second one use group policy editor. Keep reading below to learn the detailed steps.

Method 1: Turn off system restore via system protection

Whatever reason you want to stop system restore in Windows 10, 8, 7, you can use the following steps. Just the interface in different system will have a little difference.

Step 1. Click the Start button >Control Panel >System >System Protection subsequently. If prompt, type your administrator password or click “Continue”.

Step 2. Select the disk you want to turn off system restore and click the Configure button.

Step 3. In the System Protection for Local Disk (C:) window, tick “Disable system protection” and “OK” to save the changes.

Disable System Protection

Method 2: Disable system restore using Group Policy

For group policy, it’s only available in some operating system, such as, Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise, Windows 8 Professional and Enterprise, Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise and Educations.

If your computer is running one of these operating system, you could try this method. If not, you can go back to the first method.

Step 1. Press “Win + R” to open the Run window, then type “gpedit. msc” and hit “OK”. After a few seconds, you will see the main page of the local group policy editor.

Step 2. Go to the following location and select “System Restore” key at the left panel.

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\System Restore

Step 3. Double-click “Turn off System Restore” and then tick “Enabled” and hit “OK”.

Turn Off System Restore Group Policy

How to protect system after you stop system restore?

Turning off system protection means all existing restore points on the disk will be deleted and new restore points will not be created. As a result, if your system run into issues, you will not be able to use system restore to undo unwanted system changes on the whole drive.

Now, how to protect your system becomes a question. Here, I highly recommend you to backup system with a trust and reliable backup software and save the image outside computer, such as, external hard drive, flash drive. It’s much safe than system restore.

In this case, the image file will not take up disk space of your local computer and you can restore your computer, even when system crashes or disk crashes. Besides, all files saved the system or disk will be backed up as well.

Need a trust and reliable backup software

Here, I’ll introduce you a trust and reliable backup software for Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista, it’s AOMEI Backupper Professional. It not only has an intuitive interface, but also supports all basic backup solutions, such as, system backup, disk backup, partition backup, file backup.

Besides, it has many extra features that can help you get rid of problems, such as, splitting, compression, daily backup, USB plug in, incremental or differential backup, backup scheme, etc. I just explain you some features in this software.

  • Daily, weekly, monthly backup: Single backup is not enough to protect your system and data. Because you may change your files and install new programs on the disk. It’s recommended to create a schedule backup by per day, week, month.

  • Incremental backup or differential backup: This feature is used to save backup time and disk space for users who want to create a schedule backup. Because both backup types only backup the changed files after the first full backup.

  • Backup scheme: This feature is very useful, especially for users who have a limited budget and does not afford a big disk. It will delete backup files via a specific role.

Backup system to external hard drive with AOMEI Backupper

Step 1. Prepare an external hard drive, connect it to your computer and make sure it can be detected.

Step 2. Download, install and open AOMEI Backupper Professional. Then, Select “System Backup” under the Backup tab. To backup entire disk, click “Disk Backup” as instead.

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System Backup

Step 3. As you can see, the software automatically select system partition and boot related partitions. You just need to click where the arrow point and select the external hard drive as destination path.

Select Backup Destination

Step 4. Click “Schedule”, select one or more settings under the General or Advanced tab. You can select daily backup or incremental backup separately. Also, you can use both settings simultaneously, such as, daily incremental backup.

Schedule Settings General

Step 5. Click “Scheme” and turn on “Enable Backup Scheme”, then choose a scheme and set the number of backups you want to retain. Finally, click “OK” to exit this window.

Enable Backup Scheme

Note: If you already have a schedule backup, you can go to “Home”, select a backup task and click the three horizontal lines, then click “Edit Backup”. After that, you will see a pop-up window and the scheme is at the bottom. Just set it up just like step 5.

Step 6. You are almost done. The last step is to click "Start Backup".


It’s not recommended to turn off system restore in Windows 7/8/10 unless you create a system backup using a trust and reliable backup sofware like AOMEI Backupper.

With it, you can save the image to external hard drive or USB drive, so the image file does not occupy local disk space. Besides, it also offers you many powerful features, such as, incremental and differential backup, USB plug in, Backup Scheme, which will bring you much convenience.

Also, it’s still a restore software that can restore system from external hard drive when system crashes. More important, it can create a bootable media to boot computer in trouble and support dissimilar hardware restore.