How to Start System Restore When You Can No Longer Log Into Windows

System Restore is a great tool that allows you to revert Windows and its settings to a previous state. This is useful when you encounter problems with drivers that destabilize the system or software that malfunctions. However, at times, some of the changes you make may impact your system so badly that you can no longer log into Windows. What can you do in such scenarios? How do you start System Restore and use it to repair your Windows installation? Read this guide and find out:

How to Start System Restore Using Advanced Boot Options in Windows 8 & Windows 8.1

In Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, you need to get to the screen with Advanced Boot Options. The procedure for getting to it is a bit hard to figure out, especially when you can no longer log into Windows. The trick is to use another Windows computer or device to create a system repair disc or a USB flash drive.

In Windows 8 you can use a system repair disc and boot from it. Here's a tutorial on how to create one: How to Create a System Repair Disc for Windows 7 & Windows 8.

In Windows 8.1, you need to create a USB memory stick with system recovery tools. Here's a guide showing you how to create one: How to Create a Recovery Drive on a USB Memory Stick in Windows 8 & 8.1.

Boot from the recovery disc or the USB flash drive that you created. Once you get past the loading screen, you will see several options: choose Troubleshoot.

Then, click or tap Advanced Options.

Now you have access to several system recovery tools. Press System Restore in order to start it.

Windows takes some time to prepare System Restore. When ready for use, you are asked to choose one user account to continue. Select an account that is set as administrator on your Windows 8.1 computer or device. On our test computer we had only one user account available.

Then you are asked to enter the password for that account. Please pay attention to the fact that Windows shares the keyboard layout it is using (1). If you need to change it, press Change keyboard layout (2) and select another one. When ready, type the password into the appropriate field (3) and press Continue (4).

System Restore is now started and you can use it to revert Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 to a previously working state.

From here on, the steps involved in restoring your system are the same as those mentioned in this guide: How to Restore your PC with System Restore, in Windows 7 & Windows 8.

How to Start System Restore Using Advanced Boot Options in Windows 7

In Windows 7 it is slightly easier to get to the screen with advanced boot options. After starting your computer, press F8 on your keyboard. The Advanced Boot Options screen is shown. Select Repair Your Computer.

Another way is to create a system repair disc on another computer and boot from it. Here's how to create this kind of disc: How to Create a System Repair Disc for Windows 7 & Windows 8.

Your system recovery options are loaded. When done, you are asked to select the keyboard input method. Select the keyboard input you desire and press Next.

Then you are asked to select a user account that is set as administrator and type its password. Do so and then click OK.

Your System Recovery Options are displayed. Select System Restore.

System Restore is now loaded and you can use it to restore Windows 7 to a previous state.

From here on, the steps involved in restoring your system are the same as those mentioned in this guide: How to Restore your PC with System Restore, in Windows 7 & Windows 8.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to start System Restore even when you can't log into Windows, it will be much easier to recover your system to a previously working state. To make sure that System Restore is easy to access, don't hesitate to create a system repair disc or a USB flash drive with recovery tools while your Windows computer or device is working well. You will be happy you did so later on, when you encounter problems.