General discussion

Why are my Windows system restore points disappearing?

Jun 25, 2010 6:46AM PDT

Why are my Windows system restore points disappearing?

I hope you all can help. I am having problems with my system restore points in Windows 7. I create the restore points, but when after I shut down my PC, they are gone. This is happening with all restore points that the system creates also, such as when it installs updates. I have tried everything suggested online. I made sure that system restore is on, I checked the service, and I set volume shadowing to automatic. Does anyone else having this issue? Any help or ideas would be really appreciated.

Submitted by: Paul C.

Here are some featured member answers to get you started, but
please read all the advice and suggestions that our
members have contributed to this question.

System Restore Points --Submitted by hideout587

Restore points disappearing - Houdini is back - LOL --Submitted by GEO2003

Maybe some external application is doing this --Submitted by algotechie

It happened to me, too --Submitted by rje49

Advanced System parameters : size limitation on disk --Submitted by verdyp

Do you use McAfee? --Submitted by mintzs1

Thank you to all who contributed!

If you have any addition advice, solutions, or recommendations for Paul, please step right up and post it. Please be as detailed as possible when providing an answer. Thank you!

Discussion is locked

Reply to: Why are my Windows system restore points disappearing?
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: Why are my Windows system restore points disappearing?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
- Collapse -
Restore disappearance
Jun 25, 2010 9:59AM PDT

First, do a manual restore point. Check to make sure it "took". Then run your anti-virus program of choice. I've had this happen, and have to say that (unfortunately) it is often the precursor to a full system crash. Make sure you back up your most valuable files at the very least, and good luck!

- Collapse -
Restore disappearence
Jul 2, 2010 11:25PM PDT

in regards to your restore points dissapearing, are you uning a dual booth systom? if you are an windoows is the first one installed, if it is like vista, you will lose all restore points every time you start your computor.

- Collapse -
Restore Disappearence
Jul 2, 2010 11:38PM PDT

i an sorry for the bad spelling, what i mean is if you have windows 7, an you have split your hard drive an installed another operating system, then that could be the problum.

- Collapse -
Try this
Jun 25, 2010 10:01AM PDT

(1) Make sure 'System Restore' (SR) has all the authority it needs: system restore icon-> right click-> properties->click to security tab and put checks in all auth columns

(2) Give SR all the space it wants: within the 'Search programs and Files' of the START menu type 'create restore point' -> click on link found for 'create restore point' -> Custom->stretch slider ALL the WAY to right (max). Apply and reboot PC. Go back to 'create restore point', create one and reboot. See if restore point is still there.

- Collapse -
System restore--Windows 7
Jul 2, 2010 9:25AM PDT

When I right-click on the icon, I see only "System Restore" and "Unpin from taskbar. No "Properties."

- Collapse -
re: restore points disappearing
Jun 25, 2010 10:07AM PDT

Is the system stable? Then the system will do automatic restore points on a timely basis. If you want to generate a restore point, do one manually. XP did this too since no changes were detected then one would assume the system as stable and no need to generate restore points unless something major changes - like a Patch Tuesday or something of that nature. Would suggest you look at the system logs and see if they had pulled updates on Tuesdays.

- Collapse -
System Restore Points
Jun 25, 2010 10:07AM PDT

While I do not run Windows 7, I did have this same problem a while back with my two of my Windows XP (SP2) systems, as well as on my old Windows ME system. Each system had different problems/resolutions and I will give you each one that worked for me. Hopefully, there is something I will detail below that will also work for your Windows 7 system...

-=Resolution 1: The most likely culprit is that the System Restore folder has been corrupted somehow. Going on this assumption, do the following (note that you will lose any and all previous restore points you might still have by using this method)

a. Right-click My Computer> Properties, then click on the System Restore tab.
b. Check the box that says "Disable Restore on all drives"
c. Click "Apply" then reboot your PC. (you will be prompted to reboot)
d. After the system fully reboots, go back to the System Restore tab again and uncheck the "Disable Restore on all drives" box.
e. Reboot once more.
f. After the second reboot, go to Start > Accessories > System Tools > Restore and choose "Create a Restore Point"
g. Name the restore point whatever you wish (Date and time will be automatically added)
h. After the restore point has been created (assuming without error), go back to Start> Accessories> System Tools> Restore and choose "Restore my computer to an earlier date and time". Select the restore point you created.

If all goes well, you should receive a message that the system has been successfully restored.

-=Resolution 2: Assuming your system is in good health and that your have checked for viruses, spyware and disk errors, there are 2 other possible causes for your problem:

- Collapse -
Restore points disapering - Houdini is back - LOL
Jun 25, 2010 12:25PM PDT

I just wanted to give support to all the steps written by hideout587
I would have been the best steps I would have suggested in order to fix the problem - and NO - I am not trying to take any credit.
But I was a beta tester of Win 7 all the way to Release Candidate, and his posting show the proper way of approching this type of fix.

Just one last point- Many utilities that help you clean the junk in your computer - tend to have an AutoFix button that may include OLD sysstem restores or ALL system restores.

After you take the steps outline by hideout587, please make sure that if you have any free of paid application to clean your system, that you familiarize yourself with it and its settings to make sure that it is not deleting them at startup.

Check the Startup applications that run when Windows starts and see if a cleaning or maitanance applications is running.

To do this - click on start menu - type - System configuration - click on it - and the window that opens will have several Tabs - go to the one that is label Start Up.

One more thing - it has been mentioned by some that they can do System Restore points while in Safe Mode.
That is clearly an indication that the folder and register pointers are not corrupt.

Once you log into Win 7, some Antivirus and maintanace programs have the tendency to protect those files from changing or being created.
I use Avast 5.0 free and prior version and it has never giving me a problem - but I hear other do because of the way they treat those folders/files.

Again the above would be a matter of learning the programs settings and see if any conflic exist.

Good Luck.

- Collapse -
Very lucid presentation
Jul 2, 2010 12:36PM PDT


I sure do respect the systematic way you present a "fix". Very seldom do I post a response, but yours I found exceptional. For what it's worth, I learned more from your response that simply how to fix a restore point. Much thanks.

- Collapse -
Thank you hideout587
Jul 2, 2010 4:08PM PDT

I was not having exactly the same problem but your fix did the trick for my problem also. Everytime I used system restore I got the message stating that system restore could not restore system please use another restore point. I used all the restore points that I had but always got the same message. I finally gave up and decided to get use to life without system restore. Thanks again, I guess I will now have to get use to life WITH system restore!

- Collapse -
Attn: GEO2003, incurablegeek, & jake
Jul 2, 2010 11:55PM PDT

Just wanted thank you all for taking the time to thank me for my reply regarding fixing restore points.

~ Susan (hideout587)

- Collapse -
Registry cleaner
Jul 4, 2010 9:31PM PDT

If you use a registry cleaner, like the very popular CCleaner, you may be corrupting your registry in the eyes of your SR application. SR takes snapshots of the registry as is, and if you clean up your registry with CCleaner, the SR save points taken before the registry cleaning may not work. Some people like to clean up new installments by running CCleaner just after installing a program, but if the installation doesn't work and they want to SR their system, they may find that they can't. Only run CCleaner when you're confident your system is stable.

- Collapse -
This also works for dysfunctional system restore
Aug 21, 2011 11:59PM PDT

I finally got around to reading this and wish I'd read it sooner. I haven't been able to do System Restore for a while, even in Safe Mode, which used to work for me. With no confidence whatsoever, I tried Solution # 1. Now I can use System Restore again, and I don't have to go into Safe Mode.

Thank you!!

- Collapse -
Wrong directory may be answer
Jun 25, 2010 10:15AM PDT

Restore may be writing restore points to a directory that it can't find.

- Collapse -
Never found a solution for this, but there is a better way.
Jun 25, 2010 10:33AM PDT

MS system restore has never ever worked for me, and I wound up with a severe distrust of the strategy. Incremental cloning of the entire hardrive was more time consuming and used more disk space, but much MUCH more reliable. Nowadays I only run windows from a virtual environment like the one provided by VMWare. In this case, taking snapshots is a much more reliable way of ensuring all is well - always.

- Collapse -
System Restore in Tune Up Utilities
Jun 25, 2010 11:20AM PDT

Try to go to this web site it is called Tune Up Utilities which is really good and it has a system restore in it. You can have all the feature for the 30 days free trial. It has other features too besides system restore. I have been using Tune Up Utilities for about 2 years. My system restore is not giving me anytroubles at all. This might fix your problem. Anytime you would like to restore something or create a restore point you just go into undo changes in Tune Up Utilities. When you do Microsoft Automatic Update Tume Up Utilities will create a restore point for you automatically. Tune Up Utilities sycranizes with windows system restore.

- Collapse -
Jun 25, 2010 11:35AM PDT

I never could get restore to work normally either.
I would turn off Norton, the Windows firewall and anything else I thought could be causing problems. That was on XP, Vista and now Windows 7.
I now just go into safe mode and do the restore from there and it works everytime with no problem.

- Collapse -
Memory perhaps..?
Jun 25, 2010 11:21AM PDT

My pc usually suspends system restore points, if there is too little memory available.

- Collapse -
It happened to me, too
Jun 25, 2010 11:44AM PDT

I went through the same thing last year with W7 RC. There is a long discussion on Microsoft's forum about this, as several others reported the same problem. I eventually nailed down the cause- the installation of my beloved MS Office 97! After re-installing W7 RC for the 3rd time, I created a restore point before each and every program I installed, then rechecked after installation & re-boot until the evidence was clear. I was mildly surprised; I had suspected a system maintenence utility!
Several months later, one of the MS moderators confirmed that Office 97 created a registry conflict.
If you don't have Office 97 installed, the culprit may well be another program.

- Collapse -
restore points disappearing
Jun 25, 2010 11:59AM PDT

increase your restore point chase size! the sys will erase old points if the chase is small.

- Collapse -
: Why are my Windows system restore points disappearing?
Jun 25, 2010 12:01PM PDT

I had the same problem on XP (service pack 3). On my test machine I started to install the software on my normal machine and check the restore points. I was admin on both machines. When I installed my virus software (Trend) the restore points disappeared! I hope this is of help?

- Collapse -
Why are my Windows system restore points disappearing?
Jun 25, 2010 12:26PM PDT

Have you tried turning system restore off, reboot; turn it back on; reboot. then see if it works. I know it may not work, but I have over the years that sometimes something that simple well get things working that look like they are turned but are not working.

- Collapse -
unwanted program a.k.a. virus?
Jun 25, 2010 12:38PM PDT

We all know that windows is vulnerable to any virus or malware. Based on my experience as a computer technician in my company, having unwanted programs may disable your system restore or delete your system restore point. My suggestions are pick the best anti-virus for you and always update your system using windows update.


- Collapse -
Maybe some external application is doing this
Jun 25, 2010 12:48PM PDT

There are some programs that free up disk space to enhance performance. It might be that you've installed one of those and that program is set (probably by default or you made that choice long back and forgot now) to erase the old System Restore points on every reboot. Make sure all such utility programs are set to the correct options regarding the Restore points.

- Collapse -
missing restore points
Jun 25, 2010 1:02PM PDT

I can only offer one hint. I had the same problem with XP but found the solution with McAfee virus protection software as the culpret. Actually it was my ignorance.

If you use McAfee's virus software, there is a PC cleaning option. One of the tasks in the list for cleaning is restore points. You must uncheck this box before cleaning or your restore points will be eradicated. Sorry I cannot help more.

- Collapse -
Windows 7 lost profile and restore points
Oct 1, 2010 12:28AM PDT

All of a sudden I am rebooting into a new profile and none of my restore points are available.

Seems like the same idiots wrote windows 7 as wrote all the others.


TIA -- Joe

- Collapse -
System Restore
Jun 25, 2010 1:52PM PDT

I think that those go away as new ones are created (after a certain point).

- Collapse -
Disk space for Sytem Resore is full
Jun 25, 2010 2:05PM PDT

It sounds like the disk spaced allowed for System Restore is full (Previous versions of files and System Restore share the same disk space). To change the settings- type advanced system properties in search. click- view advanced system settings click- the System Protection box. You can now change your System Restore settings. Highlight the C drive(system) and click the Configure box. You can now change the amount of disk space and the desired protection. If you do not want to allow more disk space for System Restore, you can delete all restore points and previous versions of files. Create a new restore point if you delete the old restore points and files.

- Collapse -
windows 7 and lost restore points
Jun 25, 2010 3:07PM PDT

Paul why don't you save the restore point on disc or floppy before you shut down for a restart and it may be possible that your optimizing choice program is creating a problem with deleting usefull files instead of saving them so you can have more disc space and those programs tend to make choices for you that it thinks will help check to see if you have an optimizer installed and see all the settings and adjust them to manual so it will haveto ask you what choice to make

- Collapse -
Disc space
Jun 25, 2010 7:17PM PDT

Have you checked the amount of disc space that System Restore is allowed to use for restore points?

CNET Forums

Forum Info