Installed a program that messed up your system configuration in some way? No problem, you can revert it. Windows users can easily revert unwanted system and registry changes, and it’s called system restore.
Change of one of the settings caused your device to malfunction? Fire it up once more to send your computer back through time to that exact state when everything was functional and continue from where you’ve left off.
Simple and easy? Well, there might be a problem, though…
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Before We Begin: System Restore and Malware
Did you know that, in some cases, it’s impossible to get rid of malware infection this way? It is all the more reason to mind what it can and cannot do for the health of your system.
System Restore is one way to restore your system to a point where everything had been in order. But if that’s the only safety net you rely on, you’re making a mistake. It’s like exposing yourself to a contagious disease because you’re counting on a cure to heal you back up. You should always focus on preventing getting infected in the first place.
Sure, you can rely on System Restore (or one of the alternatives) as a last resort. But never forget to put in place the preventive measures too. Go through the following list to see if there’s anything you can incorporate into your cybersecurity strategy, both in remedial and preventive measures.
Best System Restore Alternatives
Restoring the system is enough for most Windows users. But these system restore alternatives can let you unlock more functionality or simplify the process altogether.
#1. ToolWiz Time freeze
Whether it’s for personal or commercial use, ToolWiz Time Freeze is an excellent tool for creating a system snapshot for free. In a way, it works like system restore but offers functionality and customization to play around with. You can, for instance, set it to create a system restore point right after firing up your PC. To save up on resources, you can exclude individual files and folders from its core functionality.
#2. Reboot Restore RX
This one is all about simplicity and keeping it user-friendly. Since there is little to configure, you can jump straight into the action. It’s a great fit for schools, libraries, and internet cafes, and there is a free and paid version to choose from.
#3. Rollback RX
You only need to install it to create the first system snapshot. Then you can schedule all the further ones at preset intervals. Straight from the tray icon, you can manage snapshots, roll back to a previously-made one, recover files and folders, and more. Is there a specific state you want to revert to every time you start your PC? Then you can specify which system snapshot is to launch at boot.
#4. Aomei OneKey Recovery
Compared to the other options mentioned, this one acts as a one-time system backup. But it backs up your files as well, so expect the process to take longer. The upside, of course, is that it functions as a valid backup that you can rely on in the event of a ransomware infection.
To distinguish itself from its alternatives, this tool has built-in cloud backup functionality. It means you won’t have to rely on physical media to store your backups. It’s quite well optimized to boot too. It only backs up whatever you changed since the last backup to conserve resources.
#6. Comodo Time Machine
Comodo Time Machine allows you to revert your system to one of the previously-made system snapshots. So if you’re dealing with an unexplained system crash or deeply-rooted malware, this is one of the solutions to try. (Unfortunately, it’s not available now)
Don’t Wait Until You Need to Restore Your System
Now that you know the remedial measures, it’s time to focus on something even more critical. It boils down to how you can prevent a cyber disaster from happening in the first place.
1. Virtual Machine
Thanks to programs like Oracle VirtualBox, it’s easy to set up a virtual machine. You can use it to test suspicious files without worrying about infecting your primary system. Also, you can play with settings without the fear of misconfiguration in case you don’t quite know what you’re doing. It works like a conventional system that runs in an impenetrable digital bubble. It’s also free. The only thing you need to worry about is having 1-2 spare gigabytes of RAM available to dedicate to it. So unless your PC is super old, you should be fine.
Common sense will indeed take you far in terms of preventing malware infection. But every once in a while, something might still slip through the cracks. It happens to the very best of us. So catch it in its tracks before it gets the chance to do significant damage to your system. That’s what antivirus software is for. You could go with either paid or free tier as there are excellent antivirus software in every category.
Did you know that it’s easy to catch something nasty when connecting to public Wi-Fi? Worse yet, a malicious actor can snoop on every bit of traffic exchanged between you and the target server. It opens you up to data theft. To stay safe, it’s a good idea to install VPN software from a trusted provider like NordVPN. It creates an encrypted tunnel for your connection to pass. It allows you to establish a secure connection to websites and online services from anywhere in the world.
By using a firewall, you can keep an eye on your network traffic and see if there’s something out of the ordinary. In some cases, malware can call home to the control server and let its creator know that it affected another machine. It can also attach screenshots of the infected computer or transfer files. A firewall will alert you in case one of the programs attempts to make a connection without you knowing. It will also prevent unauthorized connections.
Use one of the system restore solutions, and you’ll have one less problem to worry about when it comes to dealing with unpredictable system changes, ransomware and malware. The list features something for every taste and skill level. So go on and have a blast experimenting with one of these to see how it can ramp up your cybersecurity strategy.