Check for Affected Programs & Drivers When You System Restore

Learn how to check for affected apps and drivers when you use System Restore to make your system restore easy and effortless to carry out.

If you’re prepared for the worst, you most likely set up a System Restore point in the past. However, up until now, it was hard to see what programs and drivers this feature affects once you activate it, making restoration harder than it should be. In this article, you can learn how to check for affected apps and drivers when you use System Restore.

Check for Affected Programs & Drivers


What is System Restore?

System Restore is essentially a way to travel back in time — well, at least for your system. The feature in Windows allows you to return your system to a state that was recorded at a past point in time, potentially fixing any issues caused by new apps, malware, or simple manual error.

While System Restore isn’t able to alter, delete, or move your personal files, it still affects key parts of your computer. The table below shows what System Restore can and can’t do, according to Microsoft’s official description of the built-in feature:

Affected by System Restore

Not Affected by System Restore

Installed Windows apps and programs

Antivirus software

System files

Documents folder in C: drive

Registry entries and settings

Personal files (emails, photos, etc.)


Malware located in personal files

Windows Updates


Find out what programs, drivers, and files will be affected after a System Restore

In the past, you’d take a shot in the dark and see what breaks and disappears after completing a System Restore task. Now, you can directly check for affected programs and drivers, then focus on restoring those instead of spending countless hours trying to figure out what was lost.

  1. Open the Start menu search, or use the Ctrl + S keyboard shortcut to bring up the search field.
    Check for Affected Programs & Drivers
  2. Type in rstrui.exe and launch the System Restore tool. You should be able to see all of your past restore points listed here.
  3. Click on the “Choose a different restore point” option, or select any of your available restore points to check the items it’ll affect when used.
    choose a different restore point
  4. Click on the Scan for affected programs button and let the scan run. This will analyze all of your files, applications, and drivers, then conclude what will be affected if you return to a past restore point.
    scan for affected program
  5. Once the scan concludes, you’ll see a list of what will be affected or deleted. It’s able to list all of the programs and drivers which will be deleted and those which will be restored too.
  6. Now, you can make a better, more educated decision on how you want to use the System Restore feature. Make sure to take notes about the affected apps and drivers before proceeding with the restoration. You can even prepare the necessary installers on a secondary device ahead of time.

Final thoughts

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