System Restore Explorer

System Restore Explorer is a tool which allows you to browse system restore points on your computer and select individual ones for deletion should you wish to free up some disk space. It also allows you to mount the contents of a restore point into a folder so that you can browse and copy individual files, without the need to perform a full system restore.

System Restore Explorer

When you select a restore point and mountit the tool will create a shortcut to that particular restore point which will allow you to browse the contents and copy files. Once you have finished with a particular restore point you can either use the tool to unmount it or simply delete the shortcut (deleting the shortcut will not delete the restore point).

Mounted system restore point

I have tested this tool on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 beta, unfortunately the SRRemoveRestorePoint function didn’t appear to function as described on Windows XP, so I have had to restrict the use of this tool to Windows Vista and newer (and there is a check in the install and the app 🙂 )

System Restore Explorer uses AlphaVSS, which is a .net library which allows access to the Volume Shadow Copy Service. The Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is a set of COM interfaces, delivered with various versions of Microsoft Windows, that implements a framework to allow volume backups to be performed while applications on a system continue to write to the volumes. Hence how system restore points are created!

If you’d like to give System Restore Explorer a try then you can download it here, please feel free to leave feedback via the comments section.


  • 0.0.1-Internal release
  • 0.0.2-Alpha release, initially just a blog posting (and only allowed restore points to be deleted, not browsed)
  • 0.0.3-Alpha release, this was the first version to allow a restore point to be mounted and the contents to be browsed. Zip file only, no install and only worked on x86 systems.
  • 0.0.4-Beta release, now with installer, and AlphaVSS support for both x86 and x64 versions of Windows.
  • 0.0.5-Beta release, updated AlphaVSS components, made changes to auto-update system, there is now a menu option to disable the server check (Some people appear to be paranoid about apps that make an outgoing connection!)

159 thoughts on “System Restore Explorer

  1. Used this utility to recover file(s) that were not in Recycle Bin or avaialbe in Windows 7 File or Partiton Recovery. Worked exactly as described perfectly.

  2. What an excellent article! I was referred to it as the solution to my problem of having deleted a windows.old folder after an upgrade to a windows 7 machine which turned out to have some critical data on it. This was a godsend, thank you so much.

  3. I have my harddisk split into 3 partitions: C (System), D (Docs) and E (Backup). To (when rightclicking on a folder or file) use the “Previous Version” option I turned on System Restore for all these 3 partitions.
    The available stations as viewed in the System Properties Window are in this order: D then E and then C.
    Now, when using your System Restore Explorer I only can explore the Restore Point of the D partition so not C. I think this is because the D partition is on top of the list. When I turned of System Restore for D and E, then System Restore Explorer views the C Restore Point. But I don’t want to disable System Restore for D and E.
    My question: is there a way to change the Available Stations-order so to view the C System Restore Point and leave SR for D and E enabled?
    Thank you.

    • Hi, thanks for your message, unfortunately I have not seen this problem and I am not currently doing any active development on this project. There is no way to change the order of the partitions that are displayed in SRE. Sorry.

  4. This tool is magic ! i first tried to restaure various system points via windows 7 as i accidentally deleted huge amount of precious datas which i thought were definitely lost. I was so desperated that i had to try something else. I googled ‘recover files folders datas windows 7’ by chance and i found this article. After installation, SRE showed me various system points (some of which were differents from w7). I tried one of them and all my datas were there and i was able to retrieve them. I couldn’t believe it ! thank you so much for this article and this great tool, you cannot imagine how much i’m relieved !

  5. Extremely useful and helpful utility.
    A rare but much needed Windows Vista, 7, 8 tool.
    The SRE program saved a great deal of time and effort
    in trying to investigate and recover files and folders
    with regards to Windows restore points and operations.
    Much appreciation for the SRE program.

  6. I updates the Previous Version program. It let now let’s you choose the individual file you want to see previous versions for on sny drive and then a list of those previous versions which are different from your current one are listed.

    You can then select one of them and do a Save As to save it to a new location. My software does not require you to wade through the Explorer trees of snapshots to see if your file has a previous version in a specific snapshot and whether it is different from your current one. It does it all for you. In that way it is more like the Windows Vista (only found in the Business and Ultimate versions) and 7 Previous Version feature than System Restore Explorer:

    • The link on this 10 June 2013 comment works, and so does the program, although the UI is clunky and caused me a couple of false starts.

      On the other hand. System Restore Explorer did not work in Windows 8.1 updated to the date of this e-mail. I got to the list of available restore points and clicked on the most recent one before I overwrote my file, but nevertheless the only action availabe was still just “delete”. The “mount” button did not ungrey itself.

  7. Pingback: Fun Cleaning off the FBI Virus | Adam Leinss' Tech Tips

  8. Thank You Thank You Thank You. I have no idea why my document disappeared but 4 days work deadline 8 hours time. Your program is amazing.Wow now I must go and apologise to all the people I have yelled at for the past hour. You have saved me. Thanks Thanks Thanks again!!!

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  11. Nic,

    Hi. First off, amazing job on this tool. I was curious if you were willing to publish or email source code on request. Your program is amazing, however, if possible, I would like to make some small modifications. I am a C# programmer of some accomplishment, although I’ve never tinkered with this particular lib. I would like to be able to add some more user friendly features, such as selecting particular drives to load, as opposed to just a mass load of all available drives.

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  13. Pingback: How to Recover deleted files using Previous versions (Shadow Copy) in Windows 7/Vista - The Winhelponline Blog

  14. Thanks a lot for this – just used it to restore >20 desktop links to temporarily inactive network resources that were deleted with no rhyme or reason – or recycle bin.
    How stupid can OS developers be?
    Anyway, the so-called “System Maintenance troubleshooter” is now disabled 😉

  15. I tried your program out, all I get is this mysterious error message:

    Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

    Any ideas?

    Windows Vista Home Premium SP2 64-bit (all latest updates)
    5 Restore Points available

    • I’m sorry this isn’t working for you, but unfortunately I’m no longer supporting this software as I do not have time for updates and do not have Vista to test on.

      • UPDATE: Solved it by turning the (miserable) User Account Control (UAC) back on. Thanks for this useful tool!

  16. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your tool was a life-saver for me today and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating it!

  17. Does system restore explorer allow me to look at individual entries within the registry of the selected restore point? I don’t need to recover specific files; what I need to do is to internally examine previous registry states to see what might have changed (that damaged my operating system) when I installed a program. I am unable to actually perform a system restore – it fails every time. However, if I could manually examine the registry in previous restore points, perhaps I can locate the damaging changed entry or entries that took place since then.

    • SRE let’s you look at individual files (not registry keys) I guess you could extract a previous registry HIVE file and load it into a registry editor, but I don’t know for sure.

  18. Pingback: How To: Use a System Restore point to recover a file

  19. Pingback: System Restore Explorer - View, Delete and Browse Inside System Restore Points

  20. (Windows 8.1 64bit)

    Every time I run your application I get an error:

    System.FormatException: String was not recognized as a valid DateTime.
    at System.DateTimeParse.Parse(String s, DateTimeFormatInfo dtfi, DateTimeStyles styles)
    at .„.Compare(Object , Object )

    When I click “Continue” the error pops up one more time. Clicking “Continue” again and the application opens as normal. If I try to delete a restore point, another error pops up. Should mention that all of these errors say:

    String was not recognized as a valid Date Time.

    Could you please fix this? I would like to have a nice easy to use restore point manager.

    • I’m not sure what time zone you are in and how your dates are formatted, but I can not reproduce the problem on Windows 8.1 here. Unfortunately I don’t really have time to support this app any longer. This is why I released the source code onto

  21. Thank you very much for this tool.

    Windows’ System Restore function works in strange and mysterious ways, restoring some file types but not others, and leaving many programs only half-functional.

    Thanks to this tool, I was able to restore the files of certain programs only, making them work again while still running off the restored, old version of Windows.

  22. Thank you so much for this software, saved the folder that I worked on for hundreds of hours without destroying my latest stuff (by actually restoring to that point)

  23. Pingback: Manage System Restore Points in Windows with System Restore Explorer - GizGat

  24. Wow, this clever, user-friendly little program has just made my day: after much desperate searching I was able to recover accidently overwritten AppData from a System Restore point, thereby recovering months of irreplaceable work. I was sure the data must be there, but Windows refused to let me at it, which was unbearably fustrating!

    Thank you very much, Nic for developing this fantastic life-saving tool!

  25. Dear Mr Nic,

    I am thankful that I discovered your system restore explorer and just used it this morning (17 September 2014 – Singapore time) to recover and restore my desktop folders which I deleted completely by mistake.

    Your system restore explorer has been really superb, work so well in recovering deleted files/folder. Most importantly, it is extremely user-friendly.

    By the way, are you still revising & updating the system restore explorer which you have had written?

    Once again, thank you, Mr. Nic.

    Best Regards,

    LK WEE

  26. I have problem with the app: I have more than one drive in the system and apparently this app will only allow mounting of the System (C:) drive that has Windows. It doesn’t allow me to see or choose or mount the drive I need to restore files from!

    Also – why does the program attempt to access the Internet? My Windows 7 Firewall control blocked access to a website that ‘isn’t there’ as soon as this program was run: IP

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  28. Pingback: Manage System Restore Points in Windows with System Restore Explorer - Tech Gizmo

  29. When trying to use SRE on Vista I get “Error Value Does Not Fall Within Expected Range”. What can I do to put in the correct value?

  30. Hi Nic,

    I have a computer that suffered a loss due to the CryptoWall virus and all documents were encrypted. The system restore points were deleted, but I have recovered them. I have recovered a number of other files from other parts of the drive so I am certain the restore points are viable, but would love to see what is in the them as we may be able to do a complete restore if we can get in there. However, threading them into the System Volume Information folder on the same and newly reformatted computer is not working.

    Any ideas how we can mount the system restore points like an archive individualy? Any assistance you can give would be awesome!



  31. Hi Nic,

    Is it possible to find / view and restore bookmarks / .bak extension (Chrome Bookmarks particularly) permanently deleted from AppData / Win 7 system, through your developed SRE solution?

    In simple words, can Chrome bookmarks .bak file get recovered as well?

    Your instant response will be highly appreciated, thank you…

  32. Pingback: Mount Windows System Restore Points To Browse And Extract Files by Britec | clax

  33. Hello, I can’t install the software as I get the following error message: “installation directory must be on a local hard drive”. I’m trying to install it on local hard disk partition C: (Windows 7 x86). Thanks.

  34. Hi Nic, is there a way to use your util to mount / extract Restore point of another computer. I have my home desktop 8.1 which will not boot into Windows after some windows patch update. Tried all possible ways, Start up / repair error log say Registry is corrupt / cannot be repaired. Restore does not work using any of the 3-4 restore points, complains about some JSQuery file in the IE temp folder being corrupt in each of the Restore point.

    Using a Linux boot disk I managed to mount the HD and copy the Restore point to my laptop and thought would point your tool to that restore point, extract the Reg hives, copy them to the original messed up system and reboot. But then realized your tool did not have such an option. I tried to be sneaky, copied that restore point to the same Sys vol info location on my laptop and even tried renaming that restore point to a restore point which was on my local system. But it would just disappear and reappear back with the original name.

    Any pointers. I guess your tool is simply reliant on the Vol shadow APIs to mount and extract the restore point but was wondering if there is way to trick or hack its DB to make it consider the remote Restore point as its own local restore point.

    So in short, I want to be able to mount and extract the Reg files of a restore point copied from another computer.

    Thank you and keep up the good work.

    • Your spot on, I rely on the Volume Shadow Copy API’s. I’m not aware of any way to achieve what you are after, but I haven’t been doing much development in this area recently, so it may be possible.

    • Jigs, i’m in the same, or simillar, situation, look;

      My O.S. is Winsows Ultimate 64bits.

      *VSS has been disabled.

      *VS copies has been deleted, previously were deleted the store points (i’m a Little confused about these two apparently different things: Restore Points/Shadow Copies).

      *Restore System has been disabled.

      Plugging the disc to another machine i’ve been able to “see” into “System Volume Information” folder, through Recuva, large deleted (but recoverable) files with this kind of names; {3cfc80e0-be42-11e5-a950-f46d04d75d0c}{3808876b-c176-4e48-b7ae-04046e6cc752}, …are this large files Restore Points or Shadow Copies?, are the same thing, or very different?

      Well, just in order to experiment i’ve saved one of those files & after a lot of trys i’ve been able to mount this file as a virtual DVD-rom (through a non-commercial version of DaemonTools Light). Just in case, i’ve made an image of this virtual unit through Testdisk. Later i’ve used Photorec & extracted thousands of files from from the .dd image.

      Obviously, this restore point (or shadow copy?) has not the files that really matters, mostly of the files are Little images, txt’s, system files, & all kind of temporary files coming from the activity of the web browsers.

      I’m begging for someone who tell me that is posible to get back a deleted shadow copy, or several of them. The problem is that i don’t know where to search for those “Sadow Copies”, or if those files has some kind of name to search for.

      I was able to “rebuild” the “System Volume Information” folder, these are the files i’ve recovered:

      *SPP (folder in which is contained the “OnlineMetadataCache” sub-folder)

      *{7048df7f-d34b-11e5-b260-f46d04d75d0c}{3808876b-c176-4e48-b7ae-04046e6cc752} (large system file).

      *{3808876b-c176-4e48-b7ae-04046e6cc752} (64kb system file).

      *MountPointManagerRemoteDatabase (0kb system file).


      The very unknown (for me!) thing, is how to set the relationship between this recovered “System Volume Information” folder & the Windows registry. I assume/wonder that if this relationship is rebuilted, we’ll be able to recover entirely deleted shadow copies. Can someine tell me if i’m totally wrong about this?

      I’ve made some proofs, as delete many large files from my disk when System Restore is active, & later, obviously, i was able to recover all those file by simply navigate into the restore points through “System Restore Explorer” & “ShadowExplorerPortable” apps.

      How to rebuild a recovered SVI folder-WindowsRegistry relationship; is there a chance?

      I’m sorry for this so large question…

      Thx a lot in advance for the sacrifice of this part of your valuable time!

    • see my post on 23/3/16 below – new version I have created allows mounting of points from drives removed from other computers!

  35. Hi Nic,
    Thanks so much for System Restore Explorer. It allowed me to restore a Google Chrome bookmarks file. I never thought that System Restore would backup a user file like this and had all but given up hope when I saw a reference to your program. I downloaded and ran your program and then was pleasantly surprised to see the bookmark files present in the mounted restores. Was then able to copy the bookmark file to the current Chrome profile in AppData. Fantastic! Thanks so much!
    Bob Niemann
    Minnesota, USA

  36. Hey there NIC,
    Excellent program. I am very impressed on how you found the solutions to create this program. I have been searching for ways to SAVE these SYSTEM RESTORE files in C:\System Volume Information, off to a flash drive. Because VIRUSES and such can delete these RESTORE POINT, I thought it would be a great idea to save these files to an external device, then, when needing to go back to a certain restore point, just copy these files back into C:\System Volume Information.

  37. I get an error when launching the program:

    Value was either too large or too small for an Int64

    I got many restore points and it turns out they have become corrupted and I need to restore my update history so yeah…

    I thought I could browse it and restore it

    • I’m getting the same error. I tried uninstalling and re installing and I receive the same error. It used to work fine before I had to restore my system with True Image. Did you ever fix the problem? If so how?

  38. Nic – you’ve just saved a huge amount of my time! I lost some important files and was able to use your software to restore them to what I needed! YAY! 🙂 Thanks again!

  39. Pingback: Mount Windows System Restore Points To Browse And Extract Files by Britec - Best Skills

  40. Hi Nic,

    I know you’re not developing this anymore but i feel like i don’t understand how to use this tool and maybe it’d be easy to help me out. It runs successfully, and it shows one restore point (dont know why just one – probably because of my space restrictions on restore points) but when I click mount on it, it only creates a symlink called ShadowCopy1 in my C drive – this symlink is invalid, it points to \\?\GLOBALROOT\Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopy1 – a folder that’s not actually accessible and so I can’t follow the symlink. Any ideas? I don’t even know how to unmount it now, because the unmount option is greyed out on the restore points. Just randomly guessing, seems like your symlink creation procedure doesn’t finish properly – it creates an invalid symlink but the software doesn’t know any mounting happenes so it won’t let me unmount it anymore. (i’m on windows 8.1 btw)

  41. I tried it yesterday on Win 8.1.
    It was really easy & worked as described
    What a great tool!! Up to now I did this manually.
    & it takes forever. Now only a few minutes!!
    Great idea.

  42. After I first installed it the program didn’t appear in my list of programs. I installed it again, and now it is there. However, it only shows the two restore points that were created as a result of the installation, so it is no help at all to me.

    • Windows Installer creates those two restore points. You have to have System Restore enabled and of created restore points. This tool doesn’t actually create the restore points, it just let’s you browse their contents.

      • Hey Nic! I’m very excited about your program! Here’s my question: for several days I was cutting and pasting into a word document (let’s say from the 24th-28th), which I didn’t save (my bad)). On the 28th Windows did an Update, and shut down my computer while I was asleep. I know I have a Restore Point on the 26th, when I know the doc I’m looking for (Document4) was being autosaved….Do you think I could use your program to find it? Thanks so much, and either way I’m glad to know your program exists!

  43. Hello! I just wanted to comment and let anyone who might need this know that this program also works on windows 10! I lost everything when updating and this tool helped me get all my lost files back. It literally saved my life. Thanks!!

  44. Fantastic tool! Ran it on Windows 7. Recovered a powerpoint file that was accidentally overwritten. What a life saver. Thx!

  45. I have a VERY messed up issue with a windows 8.1 install post ahci driver install, and I cannot even boot into windows recovery etc. I used your tool with the os hdd taken out and hooked up as external drive on another computer. Amazingly, it found and read my system restore point no problem!

    My Question: Is there any way to restore this point to my os drive that is currently slaved as an external?

    • It was never designed to support this scenario and I very much expect it will fail. Unfortunately I am no longer working on this tool so I can’t provide any support. The source code is freely available on Github.

      • Nic, No problems. I managed to get things to work by swapping it in as master in my other laptop, where I could change the bios modes more freely. I honestly cannot believe the lack of attention to not bricking peoples devices in the last few years!

    • I’m sorry Seth, may be i’m late now, but, did you try to fix through the Boot or Start up Fix with the W8.1 install usb/disc?

  46. hey I cannot figure out how to download system restore explorer

    Failed to send your message. Please try later or contact administrator by other way

    • Sorry Contact Form plugin configuration is currently broken, download link is at the bottom of the post. I am no longer working on this tool.

  47. Hi

    Have been using your fantastic program for a while now

    As you were no longer developing it – I decided to write a new version which also allows you to mount recovery points from other drives as well – so if your system has two drives then you can see points from both

    It also works if you connect a drive from another computer – so you can then mount and recovery files from that drive just like any other drive

    My version requires .NET 4.5 or later to be installed and also the visual c++ 2013 redistributables

    Hope it works for others to use – let me know how you get on copy

      • Darren – the test/ was not found 4/19.
        It worked today. Thanks.

        There are problems with SRE and Pruit for large Chrome Bookmarks files (>3MB) on Win8.1. I’d like to try your .net4.5 version.

        • I tried Darren’s ShadowCopyExplorer. It also fails for large Bookmarks files. The files extract OK (correct size, date), but when you try to open them with WordPad, which should be OK, they’re text files, WordPad hangs on damage as you try to scroll down.

          • Darren’s ShadowCopyExplorer works as advertise! The problem encountered is specific to my Win 8.1 laptop or my elaborate bookmarks file. Otherwise it works as expected. I’ve tried it on other machines.

      • Hi Darren, i’ve just downloaded your version of Nic’s great work. I’m wondering; if your soft is capable to see Shadow Volume Copies in drives from other computers, it seems that you’ve solved many essential issues about the relationship between the Windows registry and the VSC regions of a drive. So…, if a VSC is deleted, by accident, drive damage or ransomware as Teslacrypt, Cryptowall..; could be possible that your future improvements target those deleted sectors as an attempt to recover them?

        Thx a lot for your valuable time.

        • Hi Jason

          It already allows you to see the shadow copies on the drive of another computer if say it won’t boot etc – if you remove the drive from one computer and connect it to another and then run my program it works

          As for seeing/recovering deleted points – I’m not sure how I would even go about that to be honest – as depending on version of Windows they are stored in strange ways and in different locations – so would probably require running a data recovery program first to recover all deleted data and then running my tool to see if you can access the shadow copies – but like anything deleted, unless it is recovered quickly before parts of it overwritten it is unlikely to work

          Ransomware often uses the window system tool vssadmin.exe to delete the points – for my customers I am creating a tool which stops this running either by permissions or renaming it – then most crypto.. can’t delete the points. The same tool blocks cipher.exe which stops them encrypting files as well

          • Thx a lot for your valuable reply!

            Yes, i’m now researching about to recover the whole content of the System Volume Information’s folder. Actually i was experimenting (before your great work on the Nic’s soft) about it through the free Recuva version…; once the folder structure is rebuilted i’ve done a .dd image of that folder through Testdisk. After that, i’ve mounted the .dd as a virtual dvd-rom through the free version of Daemon Tools. Then i’ve exctracted thousands of little healthy files from there, totally healthy, but most of them are little txt & jpg, seems as temporal files, no one user documents &/or personal files.

            Now i’m gonna try to infect a system with the worst cryptovirus possible, i’ll try to rebuild the SVI folder through much pro softs (as R-Studio, Spinrite & AOMEI) & later i’ll search for VSCopies using your improvements.

            Btw, you’ve made a great job about the interface & the new capabilities, THX A LOT!!!!!!!!!!!

            I’ll keep you updated about my progress in this hard challenge, perhaps an automation of the whole thing could be performed by your skills, if the try that i’m gonna do is succesfull, & if you find it usefull.


          • I’m sorry, forgotten to say that cryptovirus can be defeated as you’ve said, yes, but the loses of data in the world are catastrophic before we knew how to stop the extorsionists, i’m tryin’ to find a way to recover, at least, some data for the old victims that i know.

            Now i’m thinking about this scenario;

            *i recover an entirely SVI folder to another drive.
            *i put the recovered SVI folder in the original disk.
            *i connect the drive to my machine.
            *i boot my Windows…; & here is the question; if my VSS service is active…, it will delete the SVI recovered folder in the testing disk once my system booted up…?, may i disable my VSS service before all the op in order to let SRE see the Restore Points of the testing disk?

            I know that i must give, to the recovered files inside the SVI folder, certain parameters, as hidden & system/guid, otherwise the SVI folder is equal to nothing for the system…, but i’ve experienced instant deletion of those files once a system starts, i think because the Windows registry does not allow to “live” unregistered system files in the O.S…

            What do you think about it?

            Sorry for take of your valuable time this way!


  48. Pingback: How To Selectively Delete System Restore Points? - The Winhelponline Blog

  49. UNBELIEVABLE! This is valuable software that should be part of Windows! You should get a medal for developing this utility. Thanks so much.

    • Darren,
      Found your program today and created a (Win10 1607) System Restore Point with your program.
      The program stated “Restore Point created successfully” but the restore point wasn’t added to the list.
      Not tested anything else jet.

    • Darren,
      Creating Restore Point doesn’t work. (Win10.0.14393)
      Stated “Restore Point created successfully” but no restore point is created and listed.

  50. Darren,

    I’m attempting to view Shadow copies on a drive from another system. I can’t get it to show any restore points, but I know they are there. Do you have any tips for how to get it to look specifically at one drive on your system? Thanks!

  51. Hi Brian
    Never had an issue with it to be honest – if drive appears okay in explorer and has restore points on it – then it shows them in tool okay – could perhaps be a mismatch of OS versions or how drive is connected?

  52. I was delighted today when I found I was able to recover thousands of files previously thought to be hopelessly lost, using System Restore Explorer. It saved the day when Windows’ own System Restore utility couldn’t, or wouldn’t, show me the content of Volume Shadow Copies.

    Many thanks Nic

    Highly recommended.

  53. Darren,
    Found your program today and created a (Win10 1607) System Restore Point with your program.
    The program stated “Restore Point created successfully” but the restore point wasn’t added to the list.
    Not tested anything else jet.

    • Hi Jan
      As per our discussion via email – I have tested this on many other machines running same version of Windows and restore points create without a problem

  54. Thanks Nic! Before I go further I am using, Window 10 latest version of the OS as of 11-18-2016. Used this tool to recover a Speed Dial SDBackups folder from the system restore point in a mozilla folder if a reader has the same system and problem that would C:\users\YourUserName\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\blabla.default-yada\SDBackups. I needed the file from the a restored version of the Mozilla folder, I dint even know if there was going to be a Mozilla folder but yey, there it was and low and behold so were all my previous installed plugs and backup data. ^ months of research saved. Very happy, great stuff.

  55. Looks like System Restore Explorer is GMT only. I’m in the Eastern US & SRE’s interpretation of the timestamp on a given restore point is off by 5 hours.

  56. Hallo,
    I tryed to install system restore explorer on my Windows 10 61bit laptop.
    But every time I try to start it I always get a message that ” … is to great or to small for ???64″
    What can I do to get it running?

  57. In other words, without having to perform a system restore operation, you will be able to browse the data that existed on your computer on the date of the restore point creation. This is one of its strongest points, as such a feature is rarely to be seen in similar applications.

  58. Hi Nick, first off thank you for this tool! Secondly I attempted to go on Github to create a pull request but as I’m a novice on github I cannot figure out why I cannot create one. Either they are disabled (button is shaded out) or maybe one of my script blockers or popup blockers is blocking the button. So I apologize for posting this here as opposed to there.

    I downloaded your tool to check out some (what I believe are points before malicious installs) to do a comparison with the current drive but these points do not show up in windows restore nor your tool as choices.

    So my (pull) request is that you add a open file option to your tool so I may mount these hidden points. There is also a 35 Gig file that should not be there and was created with an unknown sid that I would really like to get a peek at. 🙂

    Once again thank you for sharing this great tool, if I remembered how to program I’d try to add it myself but 27 years without coding has taken my memory away. 🙂

  59. Absolutely brilliant utility! Thank you so much, Nic! This saved me after I foolishly deleted my Firefox sessionstore.js AND backup files using CCleaner. I was able to use System Restore Explorer to restore my backup files and recover some much-needed tabs. Thank you again!!!

  60. Pingback: How to Delete Old System Restore Points in Windows – Dsniggas.Net

  61. Pingback: 4 Free Tools To Create, Manage, And Mount Restore Points | Site Guide

  62. Pingback: 3 of the Best Tools to Manage System Restore Points in Windows – Tech Gyan

  63. This looks like a fabulous tool – thank you for making it available!

    However, I have an unbootable system that System Restore from WinRE doesn’t wok on and need to mount a restore point to recover registry files, and the only GUI environment I have available is Mini Windows XP on Hiren’s BootCD. I don’t need to remove restore points, but do need to mount them, so… How about allowing it to install in XP and just disable the remove functionality?

    Thank you for your consideration – Grace & Peace!

    • Oh, sorry – I hadn’t read most of the other replies and hadn’t noticed that you’re no longer supporting this program.

      Thank you, all the same!

  64. Pingback: How to Delete Old System Restore Points in Windows – PC Lady

  65. I am having some issues with this on windows 8.1. Some files are just null bytes when viewing them and restoring them

  66. Am surpriesd that I have not provided feedback already. This is a great tool and have found it save not only myself but our customers /clients numerous amounts of time! Still relevant on Win 10. Thank you!

  67. Hi!
    I had to restore a failed drive with a specialized company. They returned me a drive with restored data but unfortunately, the two files really needed are corrupt. I can see in the restored files that System Volume Information is present and seems complete so i hope i can dig in it and find an older version of the file…

    How can i load this particular shadow copie set of files? I need to browse in a folder like : I:\RestoredData\System Volume Information. The List function in the software seems to only check on divre’s root data. Is there a way to load or copy this somewhere else where i can mount those shadow copies files?

  68. Pingback: Access & View System Restore (Shadow Copy / Previous Versions) Backup Files in Windows - Tech Journey

  69. System Restore Explorer .msi requires administrator approval to install.
    After installation, SRE is present as a process, but no executable or UI,
    Window 10 Pro, PCI SSD as boot drive.

  70. hello nic,
    I installed your program 4 month ago on a windows 7 home premium 64 bit pc and it worked right well. but for a week I get some error message, when clicking on the start icon. First of all I give my okay as an administrator, then the following message appears in German: “Der Wert für einen Int64 war zu groß oder zu klein.” In english: “The value for an Int64 was too big or too small.” The only thing that has changed was my harddisk drive. Four weeks ago I used a HDD for Volume C, now since a week I use a SSD. A friend of mine said, I should try to delete all my restore points and build up a new one or two, because the message above means, that there are too many restore points to handle for the program. So I deleted my points, built up two new ones, but the error message was just the same. So what to do now?
    Thanks a lot for an answer…


  71. I posted this a few days ago, on the Microsoft Forum: I’ve lost an important text file, stored on the desktop, and cannot get a copy back from a shadow drive. I’ve tried to get one, but the message says that “previous versions” are not avail. I’ve read that you can get a copy if you have a restore point (system restore?), but cannot find the proceedure. Help would be most appreciated.

    On, to which Frederik Long so kindly referred me, I read the whole blog, then, tonight, tried Nic Bedford’s software. I could not make it work over multiple tries. It must be said that I know just enough about software to get me into trouble, as has been proven once again.
    In the Nic Bedford blog, however, I found a posting by Paul Pruitt, telling of his reworking of Nic’s software into and it worked a treat. I recovered my complete desktip text file, and iti s now safe, sound, and backed up.
    My thanks to Frederik Long and ElderN, without whose assistance I think there would have been much tears and gnashing of teeth, special thanks to Paul Pruitt and Nic Bedford, without whose joint skills my very large, & important to me, text tile would be gone. God bless the Microsoft Forum, and its members, and all those in the computer community who give so freely of their time and knowledge.

  72. When Chrome went bad on me, I had to delete and re-install chrome. I needed a completely new install, so I deleted my chrome bookmarks and emptied the recycle bin (prior to the re-install). After the re-installation, I was calling myself some very bad names. I downloaded this application (System Restore Explorer), installed it. I opened the application, selected my most recent restore date, and easily restored the bookmarks back into chrome using the bookmarks file that this application restored. My restore point was from a system restore point that was created two days prior to my slip up. Very impressed.


  73. Regarding the message “The value for an Int64 was…”. Program works fine (as I used to work with a long time on my Vista) on Windows 10 (1803). Some days ago it stops to work and writes this message on screen.
    I do not know, how this application has been created some years ago, but the only thing, changed on my Windows 10 PC was installation (during installation of some other software products) of Microsoft Visual C++ in different version, as follows:
    2005 redistributable 64-bit 8.0.6100
    2008 redistributable 64-bit 9.0.30729.4148 &
    2017 redistributable 64-bit 14.11.25325.0

    Maybe here is a problem. Because I need these installed application anyway, I do not want to make experiments to find, if these C++ “destroyed” System Restore Explorer.
    If author reads this blog, he might know.
    This was a very good and useful software! Much easier, than to work with VSSADMIN

  74. Pingback: Cómo eliminar puntos de restauración del sistema antiguos en Windows - Guias y Tutoriales

  75. I am trying to use the System Restore Explorer to recover a file from a system restore point. I can mount the restore point and see the file, which is an xlsm file. But when I try to open the file, Excel comes back with the message that the file format and extension is not valid. I know the file was valid at the time of the restore point.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  76. This was amazing for me. I tried multiple times to get some profile settings that were deleted when I upgraded an application. Was able to mount a one week old recovery point and it had all the files I needed!

  77. I just installed “System Restore Explorer”.

    Unfortunately, it will not display anything regarding the C: drive.

    The Win 7 System Restore does contain C: – HOW DO I RESTORE C: USING YOUR SOFTWARE?


  78. Running Windows7, all the restore points show in the listing and when I click on them, the line becomes blue but sometimes mount is enabled and sometimes it is not. When it is, sometimes clicking on mount mounts it leaving the blue high-lite and sometimes it does not and the high-lite is dimmed, unmount not being enabled. That happens with a restore point that have used to restore from so the point must be good.

    • It seems to take time for the system to figure out what it can do with a restore point so patience is the key to accessing the functions.

  79. Pingback: System Restore Explorer –

  80. Win 7, deleting a restore point does not free space for the next restore point (to avoid loosing the oldest one), atleast the indicated space used does not change. Mounts restore points without problem.

  81. Pingback: Tải phần mềm tốt nhất - Download System Restore Explorer -

  82. You have totally saved my ass (or at least ton of hours researching and recovering..)… and a LOT of nerves. I would like to be benefical to you as well, in some affordable way!

  83. Pingback: Sorties logicielles : Pandora FMS, Metasploit, Tubemaster, Everything et quelques autres

  84. Pingback: Cómo recuperar archivos eliminados mediante versiones anteriores (Shadow Copy) en Wind ...

  85. Hello, Nic. My name is Aaron from the U.S. The state of Colorado to be specific. LOL Just wanted to chime in here and say thanks for this marvelous piece of software you coded. I still run Windows 7 (I’m a hold out for “reasons”. Will change that one day) and I needed the ability to retrieve just one file as far back as I could via a system restore point. So I did some Googling and immediately found your software mentioned at the sevenforums website. (They must have good SEO). To my amazement your software did exactly what I needed and I was able to pull that one file from my oldest system restore point.

    That one file I needed is called prefs.js. It exists in the Firefox and my main browser Pale Moon’s profile folders. What happened was that I changed a pref via about:config and then some weeks latter I discovered I was not able to use the clipboard with copy/paste via a browser interface and website. Specifically with copying an image and pasting it directly to my website for an uploaded attachment. But I forgot the exact pref name. So I knew if I could pull up the old prefs.js file and compare it with the current prefs.js file using DiffMerge, I’d find the likely suspect of what pref I added or changed. Sure enough it was dom.event.clipboardevents.enabled. Since the pref never existed before and I had to add it for functionality, I simply deleted it and now copy/paste operations with a website work again. I found this website that talks about the matter.

    Anyway, thanks again for this nice tool. Without it I would have had to go through the pain of backing up my current browser profile and restoring a very old backup profile just to get at the old prefs.js file I was after. Then restoring the current browser profile. I didn’t want to do that because it’s massively sloppy and things could go haywire since there were I don’t know how many updates since my whole browser backup. (The Pale Moon Dev created a backup tool. Can’t remember what software he used, but it’s interesting. It’s like it has its own built-in compiler to create simple stand alone Apps).

    The other option I had was to do a restore of the browser profile in a virtual machine just so that I can pick out the old pref file for my compare and contrast needs. Still a pain.

    And it just so happens that even though I clone my computer and backup important data to augment that clone, my clone was fresh and not old so I couldn’t pull an old prefs.js file from that. Now I’m thinking I should keep two clones for stuff like this. One always older than the other.

    Addendum: I did find maybe a slight issue or perhaps it’s just because of how the system restore point is mounted. I exclusively use a program called Everythig.exe from voidtools for all my searching needs. After I mounted the system restore point I fired up Everything and searched for prefs.js expecting to find it in the mounted system restore point path other than the current Firefox and Pale Moon paths. But it wasn’t there and thought the prefs.js file wasn’t included in the system restore point. Well, I had to manually navigate the mounted system restore folder and still I couldn’t find the file. So I had to turn on ‘show hidden files’. Now I could get into the AppData folder in the mounted system restore point to pull the old prefs.js file.

    I find this interesting because with Everything you don’t have to turn on the ‘show hidden files’ option. It’ll show results whether hidden or protected. At least in my version of x64. It could be in the way in how the system restore point is mounted. I see it’s some kind of shortcut. Beyond that I don’t know the internal operations behind it all.

  86. Hi,
    I had a problem with user fallen out of domain due to failed RAID. When I added user back to a newly set up domain local user profile got damaged. I used System Restore Explorer to copy missing files out of System Restore Point but files are not usable. If I open e.g. PDF file with Adobe Acrobat Reader it says that file is damaged or “wrongly decoded”.
    Did anyone had anything similar? Any idea would be greatly appreciated?

  87. This utility and similar ones only let you access system restore points for the OS it’s running on. I wish I could “point” to external media and mount the system restore points from a hard drive removed from another PC, or mount the system restore points that were copied from another PC. I now have three 3GB files and can’t do anything with them. I smiled for a moment when it seemed 7zip would be able to extract the files to a folder, but it failed.

    System Restore rarely works as it’s supposed to. Being able to extract data from the snapshot files, regardless of their location, would be a way to repair Windows when rstrui fails file restoration or does dumb things such as not letting click “next” after selecting a date.

  88. Hi Nic,

    I am wondering why my mounted restore points are much larger in size than my System Restore size limit. I thought this might be due to hardlinked files back to the originals, however surely the backed up files would be worthless if this were the case.

    Thanks in advance.

  89. C: drive running low on headroom. Went all through the Win 7 system looking for how to delete old restore points as I had done in the past. No luck. Found your program on the net. Went to install it and was asked to replace existing. Duhhh. In my madcap methodology of keeping an 11 year old OS running I forgot I had your program installed.
    And poof. 56 GB remaining shot up to 116 GB with a few clicks.

    A heads up for everybody. Even the cheap SSDs can last for many years if you give them lots of room so they don’t burn the same memory slots over and over.
    And your big hog of drive space is system restore points. Windows essentially trying to murder your SSD.
    In my case, 22 old restore points! Ridiculous! Limit the C: SSD to 3/2rd to 3/4ths free space and back that puppy up! System restore works great but an old spinning disc dedicate to nothing but back ups is the best way to go.

  90. Hi, I tried on different systems.
    When I try click Mount the error appears:

    Unhandled exception has occured…
    InvalidArgument=Value of ‘0’ is not valid for ‘Index’.
    Parameter name: index.

    at System.Windows.Forms.ListView.SelectedIndexCollection.get_Item(Int32 index)
    at ..(Object , EventArgs )
    at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem.RaiseEvent(Object key, EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripMenuItem.OnClick(EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem.HandleClick(EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem.HandleMouseUp(MouseEventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem.FireEventInteractive(EventArgs e, ToolStripItemEventType met)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem.FireEvent(EventArgs e, ToolStripItemEventType met)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStrip.OnMouseUp(MouseEventArgs mea)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripDropDown.OnMouseUp(MouseEventArgs mea)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WmMouseUp(Message& m, MouseButtons button, Int32 clicks)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ScrollableControl.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStrip.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripDropDown.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.OnMessage(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.NativeWindow.Callback(IntPtr hWnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wparam, IntPtr lparam)

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