Using Windows 10 System Protection For Surface Tablets

4
Using Windows 10 System Protection System

In this article, I’m going to cover how to configure and use Windows 10 System Protection. This is the fifth and final installment in the series on Windows 10 Backup and Recovery Mechanisms For Surface Tablets (or other PCs running Windows 10). If you want to view the previous articles, you can find them at the links below:

The System Protection feature in Windows 10 saves important information on your Surface such as drivers, programs, registry, system files, and settings into “restore points”. Windows automatically creates these restore points when you install or uninstall software and when patches are installed via Windows Updates.

It will also automatically create a restore point if none have been created in the past seven days through installation of software or patches. In addition, you can also manually create a restore point at any time.

With System Protection active, you can easily undo undesired or accidental system changes by reverting the files on your Surface to a previous point in time.

Using Windows 10 System Protection: Configure

By default, System Protection is turned on for your C:\ drive and, frankly, there’s aren’t that many options to configure it because it’s all pretty automatic. So, if you don’t want to mess with the configuration, you can probably safely skip this section.

If you want to alter the configuration, just follow these steps to get to the System Protection settings window:

  • Tap and hold (right-click) the Start Button then select System from the options that appear.

Using Windows 10 System Protection Menu

  • Select System Protection from the left side of the window that appears.

Using Windows 10 System Protection System

  • Select the drive you want to configure System Protection settings on, then tap or click the Configure button.

Using Windows 10 System Protection Configure

From here, you can basically do two things. You can turn System Protection on and off via the radio button. You can also adjust the amount of drive space that will be dedicated for System Protection backups. It works on a “first in – first out” basis; so, once the backups fill the assigned amount of space, older backups will “fall off”.

Using Windows 10 System Protection Configure Options

The more space you assign to System Protection, the more restore points you can keep but it’s going to take up more space on your Surface’s hard drive. So, you’ll have to consider your choice carefully. My recommendation is to allocate no more than 5 to 10% of your hard drive to this feature.

Windows 10 System Protection: Manually Create a Restore Point

If you’re about to make a big change to your system, like deleting a bunch of files or performing a disk cleanup, you may want to consider manually making a restore point – just in case something goes wrong. To do so, just select the Create button outlined below:

Using Windows 10 System Protection Manual

Windows 10 System Protection: Restore To An Earlier Time

From Within Windows

If your Surface is able to boot into Windows but you want to do a System Restore because it’s acting weird (for example, right after you installed a program that happened to be a virus), you can easily do so by following the steps below:

  • Tap and hold (right-click) the Start Button then select System from the options that appear.

Using Windows 10 System Protection Menu

  • Select System Protection from the left side of the window that appears.

Using Windows 10 System Protection System

  • Select the System Restore button.

Using Windows 10 System Protection Restore

  • From here, you can select which restore point you want to use. By default, it will choose the recommended restore point (which is usually the latest).

Using Windows 10 System Protection Configure Options

  • Select Next, and follow the prompts.

Just be aware that any changes you made between the date of the System Restore backup you’re using and now will be wiped out. This includes software you may have installed and updates that were installed (which is kind of the point, isn’t it?)

From a Recovery Drive

The steps above tell you how to use a restore point when things go wrong in your system, but only if Windows is still able to boot on your Surface. So, what happens if you can’t boot your Surface? In this case, you can use a Surface up and running again.

If you don’t have a recovery drive (you should, you know…) you can try to boot your computer and if it fails three times, it will trigger the automatic repair environment in Windows 10, which will also let you access the option to use a restore point. In either case, once you get into the recovery options, the steps to restore the restore point are the same:

  • Click Next, and click Repair your computer.
  • Click on Troubleshoot, Advanced options, System Restore.
  • System Restore will load, and you can use the previous steps from Using System Restore to restore your system.

Windows 10 System Protection: Restore Individual Files

Microsoft designed System Protection to be an all or nothing feature because, usually, you’re restoring your system to an earlier time due to a system crash or bad software install/update.

However, with a little bit of help from a 3rd party program, you can copy individual files and folders out of the System Protection  and backup data much like you can with File History (but without the need for a separate backup drive).

You’ll need a program called System Restore Explorer which can be downloaded from: HERE.

Using Windows 10 System Protection System SRE

It’s free and easy to use. Basically, after the program is installed, you just run it then pick the restore point you want to mount. After it’s mounted, you can easily copy out individual files and folders.

So, now you should have a pretty good idea how to configure and use the Windows 10 System Protection feature on your Surface. If you use it along with the other built-in technologies in Windows 10, you will be able to easily recover from just about any type of data loss.

Tim


SHARE
is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director). He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.

4 COMMENTS

  1. System Restore Explorer requires Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 and the install fails on a new Surface with Win10 pre-loaded. How did you install and setup SRE? Is Framework 3.5 compatible with Framework 4.5 (the latest version of .NET Framework)?

Leave a Reply