How to Delete Windows Restore Points in Windows 10/11 (2023)

Learn how to delete Windows restore points in Windows 10/11 and clear unnecessary restore points to free up disk space and improve system performance.

How to Delete Windows Restore Points in Windows 10/11 (1)

Restore points in Windows 10 are a useful feature that allows you to go back in time and restore your system to a previous state. Windows automatically creates restore points or you can create them manually.

Over time, these restore points can take up a lot of space on your hard drive, and you may want to delete them to free up space. But not so many people know how to do this.

So, in this article, we will discuss why you may want to delete restore points, how to access the system restore settings in Windows 10, and a step-by-step guide on how to delete restore points.

Understanding Windows Restore Point Windows 10/11

The system restore feature in Windows 10 allows you to go back in time and restore your system to a previous state. It’s useful in case you encounter a problem with your system and need to undo recent changes. For example, when a new Windows update creates problems with your system, you may want to restore it to its previous state.

When you restore your system to a previous state, it will undo any changes made to your files, settings, and installed programs since the restore point was created. This can be useful if you accidentally delete a file or if a program starts causing problems. System Restore also helps you to undo the unwanted changes made by malware or other malicious software.

The system restore feature creates restore points automatically, but you can also create them manually.

To access the system restore settings in Windows 10:

  1. Press the Windows Key + S.
  2. Type "system restore" in the search bar.
  3. Select the "Create a restore point" option.

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This will open the System Properties window, where you can access the system restore settings.

Reasons to Delete Windows System Restore Points

There are several reasons why you may want to delete restore points in Windows 10/11. The key ones are:

  • Disk space limitations: Over time, restore points can take up a lot of space on your hard drive, which can cause performance issues.
  • Old restore points taking up unnecessary space. Old restore points from previous Windows updates may no longer be needed, and you can delete them to free up space.
  • Removing restore points from previous Windows updates. Deleting restore points can also be useful if you encounter a problem with your system and need to undo recent changes. You can delete the restore point that caused the problem and restore your system to a previous state.

How to Delete Restore Points in Windows 10

Deleting restore points in Windows 10/11 is a straightforward process.

But before you delete any restore points, remember that once they are deleted, they cannot be restored. So, it’s always a good idea to create a new restore point before deleting any existing ones.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to delete restore points in Windows 10/11:

Step 1: Press the Windows Key.

Step 2: Type "system restore" in the search bar.

Step 3: Select the "Create a restore point" option. This will open the System Properties window.

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Step 4: In the System Properties window, select the "System Protection" tab. You will see a list of all the drives on your system.

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Step 5: Select the drive that you want to delete restore points for. Usually, this is (C:)(System).

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Step 6: Click on the "Configure" button.
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Step 7: In the new window, you will see two options: "Turn on system protection" and "Delete." Select the "Delete" option.
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Step 8: A new window will appear, asking if you are sure you want to delete all restore points for the selected drive. Click on the "Delete" button, then click “continue” to confirm.

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Step 9: You should see a prompt confirming that the restore points are deleted.

How to Delete All System Restore Points Except the Most Recent One in Windows 10

If you want to save space without deleting your most recent Restore Point, you can delete all Restore Points except your last one. You will do this by running the Disk Cleanup tool using the following steps:

  1. Click Windows Start > then type Disc Cleanup.
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  2. Select the Disk Cleanup app that shows up to launch the utility. This will launch the Disk Cleanup: Driver selection window.
  3. If it launched on the (C:) driver, click Ok. If it launches on another driver, select the (C:) driver and click Ok.
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  4. Under the Disk Clean up for (C:) window, Windows will calculate how much space the system can save and give you a list of files to delete.
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  5. Instead of running this cleanup, click the Cleanup system files button.Windows will calculate the disk space that can be saved again to find more files and folders that can be deleted. Wait for the process to complete.
  6. Now, go to the More options tab.Under the System Restore and shadow copies option, click Clean Up. You’ll see the progress bar while the files are deleted.
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  7. The system will ask you if you are sure you want to delete all but the most recent restore point.
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  8. Click Delete and allow your disk to be cleaned up.
  9. Click Ok to exit Disk Cleanup.

This process will delete all System Restore points except the most recent one and create more free space in the hard disk.

How to Delete an Individual System Restore Point in Windows 10

You may also want to delete a single system restore point. There isn’t a direct way to do this and you may need to use the Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt.

The Windows System Restore points are also called Windows Volume Shadow Copies and Windows manages them internally using the vssadmin program. This Windows program lists the restore points, deletes them, and even resizes their shadow copy storage association.

You can access this program from the Command Prompt or PowerShell to help you delete an individual system restore point.

Here’s how to delete selected System Restore points on Windows 10/11 from the command prompt:

Step 1: Launch Powershell or Command Prompt as an administrator:

  1. Right-click on Windows start (or press Wins Key + X) to launch the Quick Access Menu.
  2. Select Windows PowerShell (Admin) or Command Prompt (Admin).

Step 2: Click Yes if prompted with a User Account Protection popup.

Step 3: In the PowerShell, type the following command, then press Enter:

vssadmin list shadows

This command will display all the Restore Points on the computer. Any command line you see with Shadow Copy ID: in the results is a Restore Point.

Step 4: Note down the Shadow Copy IDs of each individual Restore Point (points) you want to delete. Check the dates of the System Restore point(s) you’ve selected to be sure.

Step 5: Now enter the following command and press Enter to delete individual restore points (shadow copies):

vssadmin delete shadows /{ID}.

You can replace ID with the ID of the shadow copy you noted down.

Step 6: PowerShell (or Command Prompt) will ask you if you’re sure you want to delete the Shadow Copy with Y/N options. If you’re sure to delete the Shadow Copy, press Y.

This will delete the shadow copy (restore point) associated with the Shadow ID you’ve keyed in.

Step 7: Do the same for all the individual or selected restore points you want to delete.

Although this process is straightforward, it can be confusing because of the many data you may see on your screen when you enter the vssadmin list shadows command line.

Note: If you want to delete all restore points using PowerShell, you will type in vssadmin delete shadows /all, which will delete everything.

Confusion also may also come because the vssadmin command doesn’t display the description or name associated with each individual Restore Point.

So, if you do not understand or know the selected restore points you want to delete, you may first want to understand the available restore points through the System Restore interface using the following steps.

  1. Press the Windows Start button > type System Restore.
  2. Launch the Create Restore Point.
  3. Click on the System restore link > Select the Choose a different restore point option.
  4. Click on the Next button.
  5. Check the box next to Show more restore points at the bottom left. This will give you a list of the available restore points.
  6. Now, check the name and description of each restore point to understand, then note which one(s) you want to delete.

Tips for Managing Restore Points

Managing restore points can be tricky, but a few tips can help you free up space and keep your system running smoothly.

  • Create a new restore point before deleting any existing ones. This will ensure that you have a backup in case something goes wrong.
  • Regularly check the amount of space that restore points are taking up on your hard drive. If they are taking up a significant amount of space, consider deleting some of the older ones.
  • If you are running low on disk space, consider turning off the system restore feature for a specific drive. This will prevent Windows from creating new restore points for that drive, which will free up space. To turn off system restore for a specific drive, go to the System Properties window, select the "System Protection" tab, select the drive you want to turn off system restore for, and then click on the "Configure" button. In the new window, select the "Turn off system protection" option.
  • Consider using a third-party backup and restore tool. These tools can provide more advanced features, such as scheduling backups and incremental backups, which can help you save space on your hard drive.

Conclusion

Deleting restore points in Windows 10 is a useful way to free up space on your hard drive and improve the performance of your system.

But it's important to remember that once restore points are deleted, they cannot be restored.

So, before deleting any existing one, creating a new restore point is always a good idea.

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Further Reading

» » How to Restore deleted files» How to Restore Your Previous Version of Windows» How To Fix Antimalware Service Executable (MsMpEng) High CPU Usage» What is the msmpeng.exe Antimalware Service Executable?

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