System Restore is an excellent tool that can rescue the system from catastrophe. But, when you’re unable to revert the system configuration from normal mode, you can perform System Restore rollback offline via Windows Recovery Environment, or from Safe Mode.
This post tells you how to revert the system configuration by rolling back to an earlier restore point in offline mode — via System Recovery Options or Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE). Windows Recovery Environment loads very minimal set of drivers wherein restore point rollbacks can be more successful, as no 3rd party programs or drivers are loaded in the Recovery Environment.
Rollback via System Recovery Options (Windows RE)
In Windows 8 and Windows 10, press WinKey + X to open the Power User menu. Click Shut down or sign out, press and hold the SHIFT key and click Restart. In Windows 10, you can also open Settings (WinKey + i), click Update and Security, click Recovery, and click the Restart Now button under Advanced startup.
You can also press and hold SHIFT, and restart Windows from the login screen. This gets you to Recovery Options.
If Windows doesn’t start, then boot the system using your Windows installation media to access the Recovery Options. Or you may use the Recovery drive if you’ve created one already. For more information, refer to section “Accessing the Recovery Environment” in article How to Edit the Registry Offline Using Windows Recovery Environment?
In the Recovery Options, click Troubleshoot.
Click Advanced options.
Select System Restore
Select the user account
Type in the password, and click Continue
In the System Restore window, click Next.
You can see the date and time of each restore point available. Select the recent restore point that was created when the system was stable, and click Next
Click Yes when you see the following dialog:
If rollback were successful, you’d see the following message:
On the other hand, if you get any errors such as unable to mount the registry hive or similar errors, go back and choose a different restore point and try again.
Once done, restart Windows.
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.