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By enabling System Protection in your system, it will help you restore the system with the most recent date.

You can restore the data by using system restore from the System protection menu in Device Manager.

This first method is just one way that users can access System Protection in Windows 8.1.

1. Right-click on the Windows Start flag in the bottom left corner of the display.

Windows Start Flag

2. Click on System.

System from context menu select

3. Click on the System Protection link in the left frame.

System Properties

From this point, the use of System Protection functions using the same processes used with Windows 7.

To access System Restore in Windows 8, please use the following steps to open System Restore.

1. Move the mouse to the bottom right corner of the display and wait for the Charm bar to open. Once the Charm bar is open, click on Settings.


2. On the PC Settings window that opens, click on Update and Recovery.

PC Settings

3. Click on Recovery.

Update and Recovery  - Recovery

4. On the Recovery screen, click the Restart Now button below Advanced Startup.

5. The computer will reboot into the Advanced Boot options menu.


6. The next screen that loads has three options. Click on the Troubleshoot option’s button.

2 - Choose option screen

7. The screen that loads lists three options. The three options are Refresh your PC, Remove Everything, and Advanced options. Select the Advanced Options button.

3 - Troubleshoot screen

8. The next screen will have 5 or more new items listed. These options are System Restore, System Image Recovery, Startup Repair, Command Prompt, and Startup Settings. Some systems may also have an option for UEFI Firmware Settings (it may also be called BIOS Firmware settings depending on the computer’s motherboard configuration). Select the System Restore option.

4 - Advanced options screen

9. Select a user account to continue. In this case, the account I am using is my Ralby account.

Ralby account

10. Enter the password for the account. Click the Continue button.

Ralby pwd

11. From this point, Windows 8.1 loads the System Restore wizard used in Windows 7. The process for restoring the computer uses the same steps that were used in Windows 7. For more information on that process, please see my Using System Protection in Windows 7 article.

System Restore 1

Restoring Previous Versions of Personal Files

In Windows 8.1, Microsoft removed the Restore previous versions option when users right-click on a file to get to its context menu.  Instead, Microsoft now has a feature called File History that they have introduced. File History is located in the Update and Recovery section of PC Settings. File History stores copies of users’ personal files

To access File History, use steps 1 – 3 above but select File History instead of either of the other two options.  The File History window and its options will load.

File History 1

From this screen, users can enable and configure File History.  To enable File History, slide the toggle on the slider bar to the right.  Next, users can select the drive for storing the file versions on if they need a different drive than the one selected.  Network drive locations can  be used for storing the file versions if desired or needed. Once File History is turned on, it will start to perform an initial backup of users’ personal files. To perform a manual backup, users will need click the Back up now button.

File History 2


By default only desktop ,My Documents, favorites and contacts only will come under the File History backup. If you want to take the back up of oter partition right click and select  “include in library” and create new library, then it will come under the library.

To restore the files saved by File History, use the steps below.

1. Left-click on the Windows flag icon.

Windows Start Flag


2. Type File History while the Start screen is displayed and Windows 8.1 will search for any programs or tools using that name.

File History Restore 1

3. Click on the Restore your files with File History option to load the following window.

Home - File History


4. From here, users can browse through the folders just like users can do with File Explorer.  To change which version of the files are being opened, users will need to use the arrow keys in the bottom middle of the File History window.

File History can also be accessed through the Control Panel.  When the View by: is set to Category, select the System and Security option and then select the appropriate item in the File History section.  Users can also select the Save backup copies of your files with File History option listed under System and Security to open the File History screen.  For users set to show Large or Small icons, click on File History.

File History main

On the left side of the File History window are options for restoring personal files, selecting the hard drive for storing the file versions, a section allowing users to exclude folders or libraries from being backed up, and an advanced settings section.  The Restore personal files option opens the same window shown in item 3 above in this section.  Select drive allows users to choose where to save the backed up personal files.  The Advanced Settings section allows users to select how often to make copies of the files, how much space to allocate for storing the files, and a duration for keeping the saved file versions.  Users can also recommend the selected drive to other members of the same Homegroup as well as view logfiles for recent issues.