What is system protection?

System protection is a feature that regularly creates and saves information about your computer's system files and settings. System protection also saves previous versions of files that you've modified. It saves these files in restore points, which are created just before significant system events, such as the installation of a program or device driver. They're also created automatically once every seven days if no other restore points were created in the previous seven days, but you can create restore points manually at any time.

System protection is automatically on for the drive that Windows is installed on. System protection can only be turned on for drives that are formatted using the NTFS file system.

There are two ways that you can take advantage of system protection:

  • If your computer is running slowly or isn't working properly, you can use System Restore to return your computer's system files and settings to an earlier point in time using a restore point. For more information about System Restore, see System Restore: frequently asked questions.

  • If you accidentally modify or delete a file or folder, you can restore it to a previous version that's saved as part of a restore point. For more information about previous versions, see Previous versions of files: frequently asked questions.