Windows System Restore is an excellent recovery utility you can use in case of data corruption or app installation failure. You can revert to a point when your PC worked flawlessly. But many users face the ‘System Restore Did Not Complete Successfully’ error and cannot successfully apply a restore point.
The reasons for this System Restore not finishing error are several, like a corrupt restore point, glitched services, an over-protective anti-virus program, or hard disk errors. You can try out these eight methods to fix the bothersome System Restore error on Windows.
1. Completely Close and Relaunch System Restore
If the System Restore app encounters a glitch or freezes, it won’t be able to execute the restore. So, you must close and restart the tool and then reattempt the restore process. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut to launch Task Manager. Click on the search bar, type rstrui, and press Enter.
Step 2: Right-click on the System Restore process and click on the End Task option.
Step 3: Close the Task Manager window.
Step 4: Press the Windows key to open the Start menu, type rstrui in the search bar, and click on the open option from the search results.
Step 5: Try to apply a system restore point and check if it encounters an error.
2. Tweak Volume Shadow Copy Service
Volume Shadow Copy service aids System Restore in creating and applying images. If this services glitches or doesn’t run when required, you will face the System Restore keep failing issue on your PC. Repeat the following steps to configure this service:
Step 1: Press the Windows key to open the Start menu, type Services in the search bar, and press Enter.
Step 2: From the Services window, locate the Volume Shadow Copy service in the list. Right-click on it and choose Restart option.
Step 3: If the Volume Shadow Copy service is in a disabled state, you’ll need to configure it to run it automatically. Double-click on the service to open its properties. Go to the Startup type section and select the Automatic option from the list.
Step 4: Click on the Apply button. Click on the Start button.
Step 5: Lastly, click on the OK button. Close the Services utility.
3. Attempt System Restore Using Another Restore Point
The restore point you are trying to apply to your system may be corrupt. So, you can revert to another restore point, if there is one available on the list. Depending upon its date of creation, you might lose some more installed apps and updates which you will have to reinstall later.
Press the Windows key to open the Start menu, type rstrui in the search bar, and click on the open option from the search results.
Pick a different restore point from the list and follow the on-screen instructions to apply the restore point on your PC.
4. Temporarily Disable Windows Defender
An over-protective antivirus program can also impede the System Restore process. To rule out this possibility, you can temporarily disable the antivirus program and reattempt the System Restore process. Here’s how to disable Windows Defender:
Step 1: Press the Windows key, type virus & threat protection, and press Enter.
Step 2: Scroll down and click on the Manage settings option listed under the ‘Virus & threat protection’ settings.
Step 3: Click on the toggle below the Real-time protection.
Step 4: The User Account Control window will launch. Click on the Yes button to disable Windows Defender.
If you use a third-party antivirus program, go to the system tray icons area on bottom-right corner of the Taskbar and disable it until the next reboot.
5. Use System Restore in Clean Boot Mode
System Restore can conflict with the background processes of third-party apps. So, you can use the Clean boot mode with only essential Microsoft services running in the background (including the Volume Shadow Copy service) to apply a restore point. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Press the Windows key to open the Start menu, type msconfig in the search bar, and press Enter.
Step 2: When the System Configuration window opens, click on the Services tab.
Step 3: Select the ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ checkbox. Click on the Disable all button to disable all the third-party services.
Step 4: Click on the Apply button. Then click on the OK button.
Step 5: Lastly, click on the Restart button.
Step 6: Wait for your PC to boot to the desktop. Login and run the System Restore utility. Pick a restore point and check if you are able to apply it successfully.
6. Run a Check Disk Scan
If you still can’t apply the System Restore point, you need to use the Check Disk tool to scan for corrupted files and bad sectors. The utility will then try to fix these issues for you. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Press the Windows + E keyboard shortcut to launch the File Explorer.
Step 2: Select the C: drive and right-click on it. Click on the Properties option.
Step 3: Switch to the Tools tab. Click on the Check button.
Step 4: Click on the Scan drive option.
Step 5: The scan will take some time to complete. Close the Properties window afterward.
7. Uninstall Recent Updates
Buggy Windows updates can break some features on your PC. If you face the system restore not working issue after installing a recent Windows update, you must roll back the update. Here’s how:
Step 1: Press the Windows key to open the Start menu, type Uninstall Updates in the search bar, and press Enter.
Step 2: Locate the latest installed update in the list. When you find one, click on the Uninstall button.
Step 3: Reconfirm your decision to remove the update by clicking on the Uninstall button.
You may need to restart your PC to remove the update.
8. Perform an In-Place Upgrade
The last resort is to perform an in-place upgrade of your Windows PC. It is a much better option compared to System Reset because it only replaces Windows OS files while keeping the personal files, installed software and apps, and settings intact. However, you can only perform an in-place upgrade if you have either a Home or Pro Edition of Windows 10 or Windows 11. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Download the Windows ISO file on your system. In this case, we’ll check out the Windows 11 ISO.
Step 2: Double-click on the file to mount it. Then double-click on the setup.exe file to launch the Windows installer.
Step 3: The User Account Control window will launch. Click on the Yes button.
Step 4: Click on the ‘Change how Setup downloads updates’ option.
Step 5: Select the ‘Not right now’ option and click on Next.
Step 6: End User Licencse Agreement page will pop up. Click on the Accept button.
Step 7: Click on the ‘Change what to keep’ option.
Step 8: Choose the ‘Keep personal files and apps’ option and click on Next.
Step 9: Click on the Install button.
Step 10: Follow the on-screen instruction to perform the in-place upgrade. Wait for your Windows PC to boot to the desktop.
Fix System Restore
Don’t impulsively reset your PC when the ‘System Restore Did Not Complete Successfully’ error occurs. Firstly, try a different restore point, tweak its services, and use a clean boot to perform System Restore. After that, scan your disk drives for errors, remove Windows updates, and perform an in-place upgrade as a last resort.
Last updated on 26 June, 2023
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