How to Use Windows System Restore from Command Prompt

Posted January 10, 2012 by ryanramsey23 in Windows

Viruses, malware, and spyware often block antivirus and recovery tools from running. Corrupted files or drivers may prevent your desktop from loading correctly. If you can at least boot to a command prompt, you have a good shot of restoring your system with Windows System Restore.

Booting to safe mode and running System Restore is a trick that will get you out of many problems. Many people have used this technique when I first wrote about it in XP back in 2004. Microsoft has continued this feature, and it still works correctly all the latest versions of Windows including Vista and Windows 7.

1.  Restart your computer.

2.  During the boot process, press F8 to enter Safe Mode.
    Select Safe Mode with Command Prompt.  Press Enter.


3.  Select the OS (if multiple boot options are shown). Press Enter.

4.  Select your User Account.


5.  A command prompt window will open.



6.   For Windows 7 type rstrui.exe and press Enter.
      For Windows XP type %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe


7.  System Restore will open.
     Select Restore my computer to an earlier time.
     Click the Next button.


8.  Select a date you would like to restore your computer to and click next.


9.  You are done!  Windows will prompt you when the process is complete.

10. Enjoy your restored computer!


The Conversation

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  • James

    I appreciate the info. This will be very useful.

    One question though, a virus that was on my uncle’s computer turned off his system restore(that I had turned on a few weeks earlier) for all disks. Is there anyway to go back and use a restore point that the system no longer recognizes?

  • ryanramsey23

    No, unfortunately there is no way to use a restore point if there were none created or they have been deleted. I like to use automated backup softare such as Acronis in conjunction with System Restore in case one of them fails. There may be a solution though if you can identify the virus. I recommend using an antivirus scanner and then doing a search for how to remove it.

  • april

    thanks for the above info unfortunately this did not work for me it just says not recongnized as a internal or external command operable program or batch file.

  • charles

    see i know i don’t have a virus or at lest i think i know see I’m in safe mod right now and well I’m not to sure what to do, the last thing i downloaded was windows XP service pack 3 i had the pack 2 working fine but when i went to down load the pack 3 ever thing was fine and working it installed and i restarted like it said to do and now the screen loads but stops and kicks me to boot menu and i tried to uninstall the pack but if i do that then i lose the pack 2 and 1 so I’m lost. All I was trying to do was get my net frame 4 to work so they mft made me down load the pack , could the link they sent me be bugged( have a virus)? or do i need other up dates to run the software ?i had this happen before but i did a full recovery and used my back up disc for my lost software. I’m betting its the pack 3 and if not then i don’t know and if could be some thing less plz let me know i have cone to this page before and use your tips more then 1 or 2s and all i can say is thank you and if you can plz help me thank you for reading this