Scheduling automatic creation of restore points in Win7

We recently published an article on how to manually create system restore points in Windows 7, HERE. One of our subscribers (Dan) subsequently posed a very good question via the comments… “how can I set it to do it once a week automatically?

First off I’m going to re-iterate under what circumstances Window 7 does automatically create restore points:

  • Prior to an application installation (provided the application utilizes an installer which is System Restore compliant).
  • Prior to Windows Update installation.
  • Or if no other restore points have been created for 7 days.

Setting up automatic creation of restore points outside those parameters is possible but does involve utilizing a 3rd party script or software. Windows Task Scheduler can only perform scheduled tasks if you tell it to run a certain script/software under a specific set of circumstances (called triggers). So, one needs to either setup a script which, when run, will create restore points or install 3rd party software which will do the same thing.

Delving into Task Scheduler and perusing system restore settings can certainly create some confusion. Type task scheduler into the Start search box and click on the corresponding item in the results:

From the left hand panel in Task Scheduler, expand the required folders and navigate to Microsoft>Windows>System restore. In the middle of the center panel you should now see a row of tabs, click on the General tab:

“This task creates regular system protection points”… okay, now click on the Triggers tab:

These are the default settings and you could be forgiven for thinking this is all set up to to create regular system restore points at 12.00am each day – not so. What the daily task actually involves is checking to see if a restore point has been created in the past 7 days. If no restore point has been created then, and only then, will one be automatically created. Same with “At system startup” – you wouldn’t expect a restore point to be created every time you booted up or restarted, that would plainly be overkill. Both settings are actually only a check.

Now here’s the rub: even if you do utilize a script or 3rd party software to schedule regular creation of restore points, there is still UAC to overcome. Seeing how you are pointing to an external program, a UAC window will likely popup during the process seeking your permission to allow the software to run and, unless you are actually sitting at the computer to click “Yes”, the whole thing will stall at that point – sort of defeats the automatic bit, doesn’t it. You could turn off UAC of course but I definitely wouldn’t recommend doing that. I believe the permissions issue can also be overcome by including specific code in a script but that is way beyond my level of expertise.

Even if you did go to all the trouble of setting it up properly, I can’t see any real benefits. Apart from the fact that it is no simple procedure in the first place, there are much better backup and restore options available – imaging for one. My advice would be to stick with the system restore parameters set in Windows by default and supplement with regular imaging. Imaging provides the ultimate restore point solution anyway.

Posted in:
About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

There are 11 comments

Comments are closed.