By default, System Restore automatically creates a restore point once per week and also before major events like an app or driver installation. If you want even more protection, you can force Windows to create a restore point automatically every time you start your PC.
System Restore is an important tool that can help you recover from many different types of problems. The only trouble is that when restoring to a previous restore point, you reverse many of the changes made to your PC since that restore point was created. These changes include apps and drivers that have been installed or uninstalled, changes that apps have made to the Registry and settings files, and Windows updates that have been applied. System Restore does create weekly restore points for you—and you can create your own manual restore points—but for a little more peace of mind, you can also have System Restore create a restore point every time Windows starts.
Making this change requires two steps. First, you’ll use the Windows Registry to change the frequency at which Windows can trigger automatic restore points, and then you’ll use Task Scheduler to set a startup task that creates a restore point.
Step One: Change the Restore Point Creation Frequency
Windows controls the creation of automatic restore points based on a frequency setting to help limit the number of restore points that get saved. By default, Windows won’t create an automatic restore point if another restore point has been created in the last 24 hours. This does not prevent you from creating a manual restore point, and it does not prevent the creation of restore points due to an app or driver installation. Rather, it limits how often Windows creates its own periodic restore points. In order for Task Scheduler to create a restore point at every startup, you’ll need to turn that frequency setting off. And don’t worry, your drive is not going to fill up with tons of restore points. For one thing, you get to set the limit on how much disk space System Restore can use, which by default is about 2% of a drive’s space. Also, Windows does a pretty good job and clearing out old restore points.
To adjust the restore point frequency, you can either dive in and make a simple change to the Registry yourself or download our one-click Registry hacks.
Change the Restore Point Creation Frequency by Editing the Registry Manually
Standard warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool and misusing it can render your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a pretty simple hack and as long as you stick to the instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. That said, if you’ve never worked with it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor before you get started. And definitely back up the Registry (and your computer!) before making changes.
Open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing “regedit.” Press Enter to open Registry Editor and give it permission to make changes to your PC.
In the Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key:
Next, you’ll create a new value inside the
SystemRestore key. Right-click the
SystemRestore key and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new value
By default, the
SystemRestorePointCreationFrequency will have a value of zero and that’s how we’re going to leave it. This effectively turns off the frequency check by setting the interval to zero. You can now close Registry Editor and move on to step two.
Download Our One-Click Registry Hack
If you don’t feel like diving into the Registry yourself, we’ve created a couple of registry hacks you can use. The “Set System Restore Point Frequency to Zero” hack creates the
SystemRestorePointCreationFrequency value and sets it to zero. The “Restore System Restore Point Frequency to Default” hack deletes the value, restoring the default setting. Both hacks are included in the following ZIP file. Double-click the one you want to use and click through the prompts. When you’ve applied the hack you want, restart your computer (or log off and back on).
These hacks are really just the
SystemRestore key, stripped down to the
SystemRestorePointCreationFrequency value we talked about in the previous section and then exported to a .REG file. Running either of the hacks sets that value to the appropriate number. And if you enjoy fiddling with the Registry, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to make your own Registry hacks.
Step Two: Schedule a Startup Task to Create a New Restore Point
After setting the restore point frequency to zero in the Registry, your next step is to use the Windows Task Scheduler to create a task that runs when Windows starts and creates a new restore point.
Open Task Scheduler by pressing Start, typing “Task Scheduler,” and then hitting Enter.
In the Task Scheduler window, in the Action pane on the right-hand side, click “Create Task.”
In the Create Task window, on the “General” tab, type a name for your task and then select both the “Run whether user is logged on or not” and “Run with highest privileges” options. On the “Configure for” drop-down menu, select the version of Windows you’re running.
Next, you’ll set up a trigger to initiate the task when Windows starts. On the “Triggers” tab, click the “New” button.
In the New Trigger window, on the “Begin the task” drop-down menu, select the “At startup” option and then click “OK.”
Next, you’ll tell Task Manager what action it should take, which is to run the Windows Management Instrumentation Control program (wmic.exe) with a few arguments to let it know what you want it to do. Back in the Create Task window, switch to the “Actions” tab and click the “New” button.
In the New Action window, make sure the “Start a program” option is selected in the “Action” drop-down menu. In the “Program/script” box, type the following program name:
And in the “Add arguments (optional)” box, type the following arguments:
/Namespace:\\root\default Path SystemRestore Call CreateRestorePoint "Startup Restore Point", 100, 7
When you’re done, click “OK.”
Back in the Create Task window, switch to the “Conditions” tab. If you’re running Windows on a laptop and you want the task to run whether or not the laptop is using battery or AC power, turn the “start the task only if the computer is on AC power” option off. When you’re done, click the “OK” button to create the new task.
Windows will ask you to enter sign in credentials it can use to execute the task. The username should already be filled out, so type your password and then click “OK.”
You can now close Task Scheduler. The next time you restart Windows, System Restore should create a new restore point for you.
If you want to reverse your changes and go back to the default System Restore settings, you’ll need to delete—or disable—the task you created and remove the value you created from the Registry. To remove the task, open up Task Scheduler and select the “Task Scheduler Library” folder in the left-hand pane. Scroll through the list until you find the task you created, right-click it, and then choose either “Disable” or “Delete” from the context menu.
To remove the Registry entry you created, go back to the
SystemRestore key we talked about and delete the
SystemRestorePointCreationFrequency value you created—or just use our “Restore System Restore Point Frequency to Default” hack.
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