Delete System Restore Points To Free Disk Space

Windows XP’s System Restore is a great feature for recovering your system after you’ve made a configuration change or installed software that your computer doesn’t seem to agree with.

Every 24 hours, or when you make a change to your system, Windows XP creates a new restore point. System Restore can use up to 12% of your hard disk space for restore points. If you need to free up disk space, you can delete the existing restore points using the Disk Cleanup utility.

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs | Accessories | System Tools and click Disk Cleanup.

  2. Click OK.
  3. From the Disk Cleanup dialog box, click the More Options tab.
  4. Click Yes to confirm your actions.
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  • Robert

    OK, this method of deleting restore points deletes ALL restore points.

    What do I do to keep the very first manually created restore point after I reinstalled the OS? Are the restore files descriptive enough that I can determine the one I want to keep? Do the restore files have a date that would help me to select the one I want to keep?

    Say I have found the restore file to keep, now what do I do to keep it from being deleted?

  • Dam

    This method doesn’t delete all the restore points. It keeps the most current one and deletes the rest!

  • Matt

    This was very helpful, since the previous restore points are infected with spyware and viruses that are detected during a scans.


  • Jarkko

    You can also remove all restore points:

    “To delete all the restore points on your computer, disable and re-enable system restore on the system. Click Start, Control Panel, and then the System icon. Click on the System Restore tab in the dialog box, select the Turn off System Restore check box, and click Apply. Clear the check box again to re-enable System Restore and then click OK.”


  • GSP

    Great. Thanks.

  • http://[email protected] tim turks

    Usually your most recent restore point is the bad one and the earlier restore points are the ones you would need so HOW DO YOU MANUALLY DELETE SYSTEM RESTORE POINTS AND KEEP THE ONES YOU WANT!!!!???? This question is still left unanswered. Could it be that some moron(s) overlooked this neccessity when the program was designed?

  • Velo Steve

    It is not possible to delete newer restore points while keeping old ones. While this would be desirable, the designers apparently felt that the space requirements would be excessive. My understanding is that the restore points only record changes, so that a restore to an older point requires stepping backward through all of them. At least the system does this for you, so to the user it’s a single step.

  • http://[email protected] tim turks

    I guess to make things clear I will have to repeat . I do not want windows vista to choose my restore points. This caused me to have to reinstall my operating system which for vista is about a 3 hour process. I had perfectly known good restore points in place but vista deleted them when it overwrote them every time I updated or installed a new program. By the time I realized something was wrong it was too late and all the newly created restore points were worthless since I had already inherited the problem when vista created them. By choosing my own restore points I have verified my system is working properly at the time I created them which is something vista does NOT do when it creates restore points.

    Microsoft has taken away a lot of control by the user with the new vista platform which to me is NOT a good thing

  • assassin17

    nope for me is not working ….. i need more deep answer on this one , cant open system restore files cant delete , cant nothing ….. access denied ….. via total commander is asking for a password and far is no good also :( help ?

  • ajin

    u need to diasable and renable system restore..
    disablin system restore wont do..
    u can disable it after completing one cycle..

  • james

    One very IMPORTANT question left unanswer.
    “How to delete unwanted restore points BUT able to keep one(s) that created manually?”

    How come all the smart morons can simply ignor this critical question? I figured u r all Salesman dressed in IT coats.? This is a typical sterotype of salesman; and not all salesman are like that.

  • kyle

    if you want to manage when your system creates restore points, so you have more control, use the mmc snap-in. If you have vista hold the win logo key and press r, it`ll bring up the run box in which you type mmc. Thats the microsoft management console. click file, click add/remove snap-in. scroll down to task scheduler and double click it, then choose local computer. Click ok. In the left pane expand task scheduler (local), expand task scheduler library, microsoft, windows, system restore. In the top center pane double click SR, from there you will have full control of you`re system restores.

    I would reccomend setting everything to disabled, and manually create a restore point at intervals of your choosing. following i will give 2 vb scripts to aid you in the latter. copy and paste these in notepad and save with a “.vbs” extension. 1st to reset system restore and 2nd to instantly create a restore point.

    ‘This VBScript
    ‘1. Erases all Restore Points
    ‘2. Then Disables System Restore

    strComputer = “.”
    Set objWMIService = GetObject(“winmgmts:\\” & strComputer & “\root\default”)
    Set objItem = objWMIService.Get(“SystemRestore”)
    errResults = objItem.Disable(“”)
    ‘*****End here******

    ‘*****Start here******
    ‘This VBScript creates a new restore point called “Kyle`s Idea”

    Set IRP = getobject(“winmgmts:\\.\root\default:Systemrestore”)
    MYRP = IRP.createrestorepoint (“Kyle`s Idea”, 0, 100)
    ‘******End here*****

  • matt

    try my delete restore points utility

  • Bud Stansbury

    I need a utility that will work on Windows Xp pro and Vista

  • Harikrishna

    Thanks, It works 100% fine

  • Jon Heller

    Don’t forget… if you use the scripts (which work great), paste them into notepad, name them, add .vbs on the end as the extension, and save them using ‘Save as…’ then in the drop down be SURE to use ALL FILES.

    If you don’t it will save as a text file and be worthless…


  • jailani

    it helped me a lot

  • Virgil

    I was doing a bit of googleing for a script of this type and happened to come across this site. I thank you very much for it has helped me greatly when automating this to run on a system I may sell to a client. I tried working with another one, but to no avail. Thanks again…

  • Buzz99

    Latest version of ccleaner can do delte selective restore points in Windows XP

  • Xenomorph1138

    Thx for the tips. Very useful information.

  • Xenomorph1138

    Thx again to Buzz99 for the “CCleaner” tip. The new system restore feature allows one to remove individual restore points. Very f**kin’ coool!

  • Mi Tasol

    If i want to print this to take home to fix my home computer it seems that I need to cut down a forest as there is no easy to find print icon

    It may be good detail but I will not waste that much paper to fix the problem so you have lost a potential “customer” as next time Dogpile finds Lockergnome I will ignore it.

  • sanja

    how to delete only one restore point?

  • Marco

    If you wish to keep a specific restore point;
    Restore that specific one, clean up the pc and done.
    That’s easy…….

    “Usually your most recent restore point is the bad one and the earlier restore points are the ones you would need so HOW DO YOU MANUALLY DELETE SYSTEM RESTORE POINTS AND KEEP THE ONES YOU WANT!!!!???? This question is still left unanswered. Could it be that some moron(s) overlooked this neccessity when the program was designed?”

  • ASH

    Use CCleaner, you can go through and keep which ones you want to use!

  • Gujreet Singh

    @Jarkko Thank you.. thats what I actually needed.

    I used the tool from to see that there were so many restore points on my disks, and these disks were supposed to have a lot of empty space, but apparently my backup tool from was creating VSS Shadow Copies and not deleteing those restore points!

    So I enabled-disabled the feature on my non-system disks (every partition except C:) , using Vista’s System Protection Settings and voila my free space on D: increased from 150 MB to 26.4 GB!!!

    Thanks again for taking time to write that method of removing restore points.

  • Jim

    This article is the danger of oversimplifying some quick fix for disk space problems. The procedure outlined deletes ALL restore points except the most recent. The article should have been VERY CLEAR on that. Deleting ALL restore points except the most recent can be very risky if a virus, other infection or serious registry or dll corruption discovered and a prior restore point other than the most recent is needed. A strategy for reducing the space used, the frequency of automatic restore point creation and removing selected old restore points discussed along with the risks involved. For some, this procedure may lead to more problems than it solves.

  • MARK

    For all those who want to clear only a particular restore point, Download CCleaner.
    In CCleaner, 1.Click the tools tab on the left panel.
    2. Select “System Restore”.
    you will get a list of previous/old restore points till the currently created one.

    3. Select a point and press “DELETE”.

    CCleaner is a good utility tat cleans your system from old/unused files, JUNK files, temporary files , browsing history,ect
    It is free of cost.

  • sukumar

    I would like to keep the first restore point (the restore point created when I bought the laptop) and delete all the remaining including new restore point. What should i do?

    Can you please suggest me a solution..?

  • Hari Om

    Thank u………..

    Those who have problems they can use Jarkko’s tech which is 4th from top……..

  • Liam Quade

    I like my 8GB SD card. For the most part it’s fine since I don’t record very long videos and I usually have a computer nearby that I can empty my SD card to if it gets full.

  • jim

    i keep a 32 gb in mine for music and quick transfers of files… works great. for more active stuff like code or dropbox storage, i use an ExpressCard SSD.

  • Kyle Mackulak

    I have a 128 MB card Chris! BOOM! You can’t beat that! It really teaches me to value what files are truly important.

  • Hal Woz Here

    i just use 128gb ssd in my macbook air and a western digital my passport 1tb. perfect for traveling when i need more then 256gb which is what id have if i used this sdxc card

  • Kyle

    SSD’s will be a truly viable option when software developers stop bloating their software