How to Turn On System Protection for Drives on Windows 11

You might know that creating a restore point is a good habit, but what you might not know is that Windows can also create them for you automatically. This is through a feature known as System Protection. But what is it, and how do you turn it on when it’s off?

Here’s what you need to know.

What Is System Protection on Windows?

System Protection is a feature that creates restore points on a particular drive when it detects changes.

However, not every single change will trigger System Protection. The scenarios under which System Protection will create a restore point automatically include when an app it recognizes makes a change to Windows or a Windows update has been installed.

The restore points created by System Protection are stored on drives on your computer that have the feature enabled, By default, Windows manages how much drive space is allocated to the restore points when the System Protection feature is enabled, which is usually between 1% to 5%. The system will try to keep this space below 10GB. That means if you have a 1TB drive, it will allocate about 1%, and if it’s 256GB, that’s about 4%.

And if the restore points are filling up, it will delete old ones and replace them with new ones. However, there’s a way to manually allocate more drive space for restore points (more on this later).

System Protection is enabled by default, but if it isn’t, you can easily enable it in two ways.

1. How to Turn On System Protection for Drives in the Settings

You can easily turn on System Protection for drives in the Settings app by following the below steps:

  1. Press Win + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to System > About and click on the System protection link.
  3. In the Protection Settings section of the System Properties window, you’ll see a list of available drives. If a drive doesn’t have System Protection enabled, it will say Off next to it. Select the drive you want to enable protection for and click Configure.
  4. Another window will appear. Check the Turn on system protection radial button.
  5. You can also drag the Max Usage slider to the right to allocate more drive space for saving restore points. And if you want to Delete all the restore points on the drive, click Delete.
  6. When you’re done, click OK to close the window and save the changes.

Now the drive has System Protection enabled. If you want to disable it, just follow the above steps, but when you get to step 4, tick the Disable system protection radial button instead.

2. How to Turn On System Protection for Drives in PowerShell

You can also enable System Protection using PowerShell. To do that, follow the steps below:

  1. Press Win + S to open Windows Search and type powershell in the search box.
  2. In the right panel of the search results, click Open as administrator under Windows PowerShell.
  3. Click Yes on the UAC prompt.
  4. In our example, were going to turn on System Protection for the drive letter C. So, in PowerShell, we entered the below command:
    Enable-ComputerRestore -Drive "C:"

    Feel free to replace C in the above command with the drive letter of your choosing.

  5. Hit Enter on your keyboard to run the command.

The System Protection feature will now be enabled on that drive.

If we wanted to disable System Protection with PowerShell, we would enter the below command in step four above:

Disable-ComputerRestore -Drive "C:"

Hit the Enter key to run the command, and the drive will no longer be protected.

Enabling System Protection Is the Best Way to Protect Your Computer

As much as it’s great that Windows allows you to make changes to it to improve your experience, something can go wrong. System Protection is your backup plan in case any changes you’ve made backfire on you. With the restore points it creates, it’s a great option to turn on for at least one of your drives, even if you feel you don’t need it right away.

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