Important Question: Does System Restore Recover Deleted Files?

by | Jul 10, 2014 | Business Continuity

Is Your System Setup for System Restore?

The main goal of a system is restoring you computer to a previous state before it started showing blue screens or error messages.  A powerful tool removes programs that don’t play well with the computer, and this is the most powerful.  You can go back days, weeks, months or years before it occurred.  It also brings back files that were previously deleted.

  • Stop using the computer.  If you use the computer after deletion, it has a greater chance of being overwritten.  Immediately be on the hunt to restore files.
  • Make sure system restore is on.  It can’t restore your system when it’s turned off.  System restore naturally creates restore points so you don’t have to.  Set it to remember dates far back by increasing the storage or keep only recent files by decreasing the storage.  System restore points that are turned on after the file has been deleted will not be able to retrieve that file.  You will have to use third-party software or the recycle bin to recover it.
  • Retrieving a file has different steps than a full on system restore.  Go to computer or my computer and find the folder where the file was previously stored.  Right click the folder and select ‘properties.’ Choose “previous versions.”  Another option would be to right click and select ‘restore previous versions.’  Look at the restore points and find your file.  If you cannot browse the restore points for files, you can restore a previous folder.  Click restore, and it should be in that folder.
  • If it does not work there’s a similar program preinstalled on your computer called File History.  Also called Time Machine or Backup & Restore, this does bring your file back to you form a previous state.  The problem? It won’t work if you don’t turn it on.
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System restore should be treated as a last resort.  There is a limit to how many times your computer will restore itself before it stops restoring. Contact us for more information on how to turn back time with system restore.

Dale Shulmistra is a Business Continuity Specialist at Invenio IT, responsible for shaping the company’s technology initiatives -- selecting, designing, implementing & supporting business continuity solutions to bolster client operational efficiencies and eliminate downtime.