Backup and Restore Turn On or Off System Protection for Drives in Windows 11


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System_Restore_banner.png

Turning on system protection for a drive allows System Restore to include the drive when restore points are created so you can undo undesired system changes by reverting to a previous point in time.

System Restore monitors system changes and saves the system state as a restore point. If a system problem develops as a result of a system change, the user can return the system to a previous state using the data from a restore point.

Restore points are created to let users select a previous system state. Each restore point contains the required information to restore the system to the selected state. Restore points are created before key changes are made to the system.

System Restore automatically manages the disk space that is allocated for restore points. It purges the oldest restore points to make room for new ones. System Restore allocates space based on the size of the hard disk and the version of Windows that the computer runs, as shown in the following table. You can adjust the maximum disk space per drive used for system protection.

Use System Restore to make restore points when you install a new app, driver, or Windows update, and when you create a restore point manually. System Restore does not restore user data or documents, so it will not cause users to lose their files, e-mail, browsing history, or favorites. Restoring will remove apps, drivers, and updates installed after the restore point was made. System Restore is also made available to users in the Windows Recovery Environment or safe mode, making it easier for them to restore their computers to a state before problems occurred.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off system protection to create restore points and do a system restore for drives in Windows 11.


You must be signed in as an administrator to turn on or off system protection for a drive.

System protection can only be turned on for drives that are formatted using the NTFS file system.


Turning off system protection for a drive will delete all restore points created for the drive.

It is highly recommended to leave system protection turned on for your Windows drive (ex: C: ) to quickly restore Windows 11 back to a previous restore point as needed.

Restore points are not meant to take the place of backups and system images. Instead, restore points are only an extra short term method of recovery to have handy as needed. Be sure to always keep updated backups and system images to be safe.



Contents

  • Option One: Turn On or Off System Protection for Drives in System Properties
  • Option Two: Turn On or Off System Protection for Drives in PowerShell
  • Option Three: Turn Off System Protection for All Drives using REG file





OPTION ONE

Turn On or Off System Protection for Drives in System Properties


This option is not available while in safe mode.


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on System on the left side, and click/tap on About on the right side. (see screenshot below)

System_Protection_System_Properties-1.png

3 Click/tap on the System protection link on the left side. You can now close Settings if you like. (see screenshot below)

System_Protection_System_Properties-2.png

4 Under Protection Settings, select a drive (ex: "C") you want to turn on or off protection for, and click/tap on the Configure button. (see screenshot below)

System_Protection_System_Properties-3.png

5 Do step 6 (on) or step 7 (off) below for what you want.


6 Turn On System Protection for Drive

A) Under Restore Settings, select (dot) Turn on system protection. (see screenshot below)​

You will not be able to Turn on system protection for other drives if system protection is not turned on for the Windows "System" drive.


B) Under Disk Space Usage, adjust the Max usage slider to the maximum disk space you want used for system protection.​

The more Max usage you set, the more restore points you will have available for the drive. Of course, this will use more free space on the drive, so be sure to set an amount that balances your needs.


C) Click/tap on OK.​

System_Protection_System_Properties-4.png


7 Turn Off System Protection for Drive

A) Under Restore Settings, select (dot) Disable system protection, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)​

System_Protection_System_Properties-5.png

B) Click/tap on Yes to confirm. (see screenshot below)​

System_Protection_System_Properties-6.png





OPTION TWO

Turn On or Off System Protection for Drives in PowerShell


1 Open Windows Terminal (Admin), and select Windows PowerShell.

2 Type the command below you want to use into Windows Terminal (Admin), and press Enter. (see screenshots below)

(Turn on System Protection for drive)​
Enable-ComputerRestore -Drive "<drive letter>:\"

OR​

(Turn off System Protection for drive)​
Disable-ComputerRestore -Drive "<drive letter>:\"

Substitute <drive letter> in the command above with the actual drive letter (ex: "C") you want to turn on or off system protection for.

For example: Enable-ComputerRestore -Drive "C:\"

If you would like to turn on or off system protection for multiple drives at once, then you can add a comma, space, and another drive letter followed by a colon and a backslash and enclosed in quotation marks like below for both the "C" and "D" drives.

For example: Enable-ComputerRestore -Drive "C:\", "D:\"



3 You can now close Windows Terminal (Admin) if you like.

Disable_System_Protection_PowerShell.png

Enable_System_Protection_PowerShell.png







OPTION THREE

Turn Off System Protection for All Drives using REG file


1 Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below.

Turn_off_System_Protection_for_all_drives.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SPP\Clients]
"{09F7EDC5-294E-4180-AF6A-FB0E6A0E9513}"=-

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SystemRestore]
"RPSessionInterval"=dword:00000000

2 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

3 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

4 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

5 You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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abactuon

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Enable-ComputerRestore, Disable-ComputerRestore are available for PowerShell 7.x ?
ss.png
 

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MontgomeryMinds

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I just tried this now, and sysdm.cpl,,4 aka the "System Protection" tab of "System Properties" (aka "Advanced System Settings") did say it was on, but clicking "Configure" revealed that the "Disk Space Usage" was set to 0 (zero).
 

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Brink

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I just tried this now, and sysdm.cpl,,4 aka the "System Protection" tab of "System Properties" (aka "Advanced System Settings") did say it was on, but clicking "Configure" revealed that the "Disk Space Usage" was set to 0 (zero).

Hello, :-)

If current usage shows as 0, then it may not have had a restore point created for it yet.
 

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TechnoMage2021

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OH, the pain! One of the most valuable little MS Gadgets that they ever put into Windows was/is System Restore. And yet, some want to disable it. Arggg!

I've taken service calls on PC's where I knew dang well that all I'd have to do is perform a System Restore, do a little Cleanup and the job would be done and the PC would be running like new again.
Then I'd finally get to the PC in question and find out that some Odlid had turned OFF system restore. Of course there was NO C: drive backup either. That can be a PC Tech's nightmare!

A very clever programmer and good friend (I hope) wrote a nice little script that will force a new restore point every time it's run.
I put that script in my STARTUP folder, so I'm sure to get a new restore point on every Boot Up. That has come in handy more times than I can even recount. When I'm doing program tuning, and development, I may reboot my PC many times a day, and I may also have to call on System Restore to do a quick "Backup and try again".

You'll never really know the true value of System Restore till you don't have it.
I just recently found that the script I had, to force a new Restore Point, that was specifically written for Win-10 would not run in Win-11, till I did a little editing and changed all the 10's in the script to 11's. Now it works just fine.

It you set it up right, it will only use as much HD space as you alot for it. I'm told that the oldest Restore Points will just drop off in the bit-bucket when the allotted space is used up.

I just saw that script for turning OFF System Restore.
Shawn, if I change the last number in the last line, of that little script, from a Zero to a One, will that Turn ON System Restore?

On my last install of Win-11 (yesterday) I found that the System Restore function was turned OFF by default. I had one Heck of a time finding the little window where I could turn it on again. It's a lot harder than in Win-8.1, for instance.

Cheers Mates!
TM :cool:
 

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Brink

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OH, the pain! One of the most valuable little MS Gadgets that they ever put into Windows was/is System Restore. And yet, some want to disable it. Arggg!

I've taken service calls on PC's where I knew dang well that all I'd have to do is perform a System Restore, do a little Cleanup and the job would be done and the PC would be running like new again.
Then I'd finally get to the PC in question and find out that some Odlid had turned OFF system restore. Of course there was NO C: drive backup either. That can be a PC Tech's nightmare!

A very clever programmer and good friend (I hope) wrote a nice little script that will force a new restore point every time it's run.
I put that script in my STARTUP folder, so I'm sure to get a new restore point on every Boot Up. That has come in handy more times than I can even recount. When I'm doing program tuning, and development, I may reboot my PC many times a day, and I may also have to call on System Restore to do a quick "Backup and try again".

You'll never really know the true value of System Restore till you don't have it.
I just recently found that the script I had, to force a new Restore Point, that was specifically written for Win-10 would not run in Win-11, till I did a little editing and changed all the 10's in the script to 11's. Now it works just fine.

It you set it up right, it will only use as much HD space as you alot for it. I'm told that the oldest Restore Points will just drop off in the bit-bucket when the allotted space is used up.

I just saw that script for turning OFF System Restore.
Shawn, if I change the last number in the last line, of that little script, from a Zero to a One, will that Turn ON System Restore?

On my last install of Win-11 (yesterday) I found that the System Restore function was turned OFF by default. I had one Heck of a time finding the little window where I could turn it on again. It's a lot harder than in Win-8.1, for instance.

Cheers Mates!
TM :cool:

Hello mate,

I'm afraid not. The "{09F7EDC5-294E-4180-AF6A-FB0E6A0E9513}" value uses the unique drive ID when turned on, so there's not a way to have a universal turn on REG. :(
 

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TechnoMage2021

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(sniff)
I wondered about that.
It was a real pain, to find that little window, so I could finally get System Restore turned on, space set and the first point set, but then the little script to Force a Restore Point worked great!
Subsequent Restore Points are labeled "Instant Restore Point"
Thank you Shawn!

I had such a script for a previous version of Windows, that would label each new restore point "Hacked The Registry".
That created much concern for my customers who had to do a System Restore, so I went into the Script and changed it.
I kind of liked it, but I had to keep the customers happy. ;-) I never did change that on my own computer!

Several times a week, I make C: partition backups, for just in case I ever have a drive failure, etc.
But for the little Ooops, that happen once in a while, System Restore can save the day, and that doesn't mess with my programs, data files, etc.

But, "convince a man against his will, and he'll remain of the same opinion still"

Thanks again Shawn, for all your hard work, here and on the other Windows forums.
Personally, I know I don't thank you often enough.

TechnoMage :cool:
 

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Haydon

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In my System Properties > System Protection > Disk Space Usage , the Max Usage is automatically set by the system to 4.74 GB. I assume that the allocated GBs is used for doing System Restores (and perhaps for doing other things too)

Can someone make it plausible to me how it is possible to restore systems of tens of GBs with only a few GBs? Or is my assumption wrong?

Thanks!
 

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Ghot

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In my System Properties > System Protection > Disk Space Usage , the Max Usage is automatically set by the system to 4.74 GB. I assume that the allocated GBs is used for doing System Restores (and perhaps for doing other things too)

Can someone make it plausible to me how it is possible to restore systems of tens of GBs with only a few GBs? Or is my assumption wrong?

Thanks!




A System Restore point is only the "changes" since the last restore point.
It's not like a full backup.
 

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SIW2

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how it is possible to restore systems of tens of GBs with only a few GBs
It doesn't. Only the registry and certain files are restored. There was an article at ms storage blog some time ago that listed the filetypes and so on, but can't find it now.
 

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Haydon

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It doesn't. Only the registry and certain files are restored. There was an article at ms storage blog some time ago that listed the filetypes and so on, but can't find it now.
The Max Usage value is automatically set by the system

on my W11 machine at 4.74 GB
on my W10 machine at 93.09 GB

That's a very big difference, and the question arises:
how many GB is meaningful?
(if one were to manually set the value)
 

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Ghot

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The Max Usage value is automatically set by the system

on my W11 machine at 4.74 GB
on my W10 machine at 93.09 GB

That's a very big difference, and the question arises:
how many GB is meaningful?
(if one were to manually set the value)


However much you want.
System Restore is not very reliable. That's why we use backup software, and just disable System Restore.
 

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    Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22621.1194 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦22H2
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    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
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    Dell U3011 30"
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    2560 x 1600
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    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
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    Built by Ghot® (not in use)
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    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
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    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
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    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
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    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
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    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
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    up to 2048 x 1536
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    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
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    Lite-On LTR-52246S CD/RW
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    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724

Haydon

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That begs the question. Just assume that System Restore is turned on and answer the question how many GB we can meaningfully allocate to support the function.
 

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Haydon

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FWIW, I checked the current usage on my W10 machine to be 3.50 GB and manually set the Max Usage value to 18.26 GB. I can't really imagine why actual usage would soar to 5 times its current usage, but we'll see. I'll run the W10 machine like that and if I run into trouble, I'll increase the Max Usage value again 🤷‍♂️
 

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Haydon

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A look under the hood, I browsed through the pages and found references up to W7 but not later, the article is dated 8/19/2020

 

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FBtje

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It is said that System Restore restores the system to a previous state by restoring system files and drivers and undoing Windows Updates only. Am I right this is not completely true, but that it can also restore previous versions of files in your Library? Is it because they are considered 'system' files?

I checked this by opening the Properties window of any file in the Library and choosing the Previous versions tab. And indeed.. as soon as you change a file in your Library, it can be restored to a previous state. A bit weird if you ask me, because normally one's personal files are in the Libraries and then it would be a bit redundant if you ask me. Because File History and Windows Backup also make backup copies of different versions of your files in the Library. Am I missing something?

I am also not sure why you should enable System Restore for other disks besides the System Disk. What does that add?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Microsoft Windows 11 Pro (64-bit)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Predator PO9-600 (DG.E0KEH.001)
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-8700K 6 Core, 3.70GHz (max. 4.70GHz)
    Motherboard
    American Megatrends Inc. Predator PO9-600, chipset Intel Z370 (Kaby Lake)
    Memory
    Kingston DDR4-2400/PC4-19200 2x 8 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB
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    Intel (Realtek Audio Codec) / NVIDIA High Definition Audio
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    Samsung TV UE46B6000VP (46" • Full HD • LCD • 100Hz)
    Screen Resolution
    1080p, 1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Solidigm™ 600p (formerly Intel®), 256GB (NVMe)
    Toshiba DT01ACA100, 1TB (SATA)
    Seagate ST2000DM001, 2TB (SATA)
    Seagate ST4000LM024 Expansion+ Disk Device, 4TB (USB)
    PSU
    730 W
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    Acer Predator PO9-600 Desktop
    Cooling
    Acer
    Keyboard
    Logitech K120 (wired, always)
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    350 Mbit/s down / 35 Mbit/s up
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    Google Chrome
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    - Marantz 2226B amplifier. Designed in California, made in Japan (1977)
    - Sony XB8 S.A.W. Super Woofer speakers

Brink

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It is said that System Restore restores the system to a previous state by restoring system files and drivers and undoing Windows Updates only. Am I right this is not completely true, but that it can also restore previous versions of files in your Library? Is it because they are considered 'system' files?

I checked this by opening the Properties window of any file in the Library and choosing the Previous versions tab. And indeed.. as soon as you change a file in your Library, it can be restored to a previous state. A bit weird if you ask me, because normally one's personal files are in the Libraries and then it would be a bit redundant if you ask me. Because File History and Windows Backup also make backup copies of different versions of your files in the Library. Am I missing something?

I am also not sure why you should enable System Restore for other disks besides the System Disk. What does that add?

Hello FBtje, and welcome. :alien:

Usually items in the "C:\Users" folder is not included in a restore point.
 

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    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
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    Custom self build
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    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
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    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
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    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
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    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
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    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
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    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
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    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
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    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
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    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
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    HP Spectre x360 2in1
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    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
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    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
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    Intel Iris Plus
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    Intel SST
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    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
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    3840 x 2160
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    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
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    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

FBtje

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Hello Brink,
Thanks for welcoming me.

I think it shouldn't make any difference, but I moved all my User's Files, for example C:\Users\My Username\Videos to a separate drive (M:\Videos). This M:\Videos folder is part of the Library Videos which is located at: C:\Users\My Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries.

If these items are not included in restore points (System Protection), why am I able to restore previous versions of these items. They are not coming from File History (disabled).

Screenshot 2023-01-01 234359.jpg
Screenshot 2023-01-01 234500.jpg
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Microsoft Windows 11 Pro (64-bit)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Predator PO9-600 (DG.E0KEH.001)
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-8700K 6 Core, 3.70GHz (max. 4.70GHz)
    Motherboard
    American Megatrends Inc. Predator PO9-600, chipset Intel Z370 (Kaby Lake)
    Memory
    Kingston DDR4-2400/PC4-19200 2x 8 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB
    Sound Card
    Intel (Realtek Audio Codec) / NVIDIA High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung TV UE46B6000VP (46" • Full HD • LCD • 100Hz)
    Screen Resolution
    1080p, 1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Solidigm™ 600p (formerly Intel®), 256GB (NVMe)
    Toshiba DT01ACA100, 1TB (SATA)
    Seagate ST2000DM001, 2TB (SATA)
    Seagate ST4000LM024 Expansion+ Disk Device, 4TB (USB)
    PSU
    730 W
    Case
    Acer Predator PO9-600 Desktop
    Cooling
    Acer
    Keyboard
    Logitech K120 (wired, always)
    Mouse
    An extremely cheap (€ 1,99) Prologic optical 1000 DPI (wired, no wireless mouse for me!)
    Internet Speed
    350 Mbit/s down / 35 Mbit/s up
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Security
    Other Info
    - Marantz 2226B amplifier. Designed in California, made in Japan (1977)
    - Sony XB8 S.A.W. Super Woofer speakers

Brink

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Hello Brink,
Thanks for welcoming me.

I think it shouldn't make any difference, but I moved all my User's Files, for example C:\Users\My Username\Videos to a separate drive (M:\Videos). This M:\Videos folder is part of the Library Videos which is located at: C:\Users\My Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries.

If these items are not included in restore points (System Protection), why am I able to restore previous versions of these items. They are not coming from File History (disabled).

Were they included in a Windows Backup or system image?

If you included the drive they are on in system protection, then they could get included for that drive.

It's just that it's usually not included if on the OS drive at the default "C:\Users" folder location.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
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