During the appearance of serious problems in the operation of the computer, the user is puzzled by the question of how to restore the Windows system. A device running Windows 11 may experience software or hardware-related problems.
One solution to the problem is to restore the system image from a backup. To use this method, you must first create a system recovery image, which is stored in the “WindowsImageBackup” folder on an external or non-system drive.
Using a backup copy, you can restore the computer’s operating system in case of problems and failures in its operation. As a result, a Windows 11 backup recovery is performed on the PC, the computer is restored from a system image that was previously created and saved in a safe place.
Usually, an archive image of the system is stored on external media: an external hard drive or flash drive of sufficient size. Also, for this, they use another hard drive of the computer or another non-system partition of the disk.
You can use third-party software or a built-in tool called Backup and Restore (Windows 7) to back up your Windows 11 operating system.
In this guide, you will find instructions on how to restore the Windows 11 operating system using the system tool. We will take a step-by-step look at the actions in different situations by performing a Windows recovery using a system image file.
How to restore a Windows 11 backup
If a system backup was created on the device, then if necessary, at any time you can restore Windows from a backup. This will restore a complete copy of Windows, applications, and personal files to the computer that were there at the time the system image was created.
The current information on the system drive will be overwritten with data from the backup. As a result of this operation, you may lose some relevant files, but you can restore the functionality of your laptop or desktop PC.
Recovery using a system image is performed in the WinRE recovery environment. This mode can be accessed in several ways:
- From a running operating system using the advanced startup feature.
- Using the Windows 11 Recovery Drive.
- Using the installation bootable USB flash drive with Windows OS.
If you still have access to your desktop and system settings despite the problems, you can enter the WinRE recovery environment without the help of bootable media.
The Windows recovery disc must be written to a USB flash drive in advance. If the PC does not start, boot from the recovery disc to perform troubleshooting work on the computer. There is a separate article about this recovery method on the site.
Similarly, you can use the Windows 11 installation media – a bootable USB flash drive. After entering the Windows RE Recovery Environment, you will be able to use the System Image Recovery tool.
How to restore a Windows 11 backup using Advanced Startup
First, we will consider the simplest way to solve the problem when the user has access to the operating system settings.
To restore a backup in Windows 11, follow these steps:
- Connect an external USB drive with a system backup to the PC if the backup is not stored on the internal drives of this computer.
- Right click on the start menu.
- Launch the Settings app from the context menu.
- In the “System” tab, click on the “Recovery” option.
- In the “Recovery Options” section, in the “Advanced Startup Options” option, click the “Restart Now” button.
- In the opened window “The device will be restarted to save the results” click on the “Restart” button.
- After restarting the computer, the “Select action” window will open, in which you need to click on “Troubleshooting”.
- In the Diagnostics window, select Advanced Options.
- In the “Advanced Options” window, click on “View more recovery options”.
- In the other “Advanced Options” window, click on the “Restore System Image” option.
- After searching for available backups from which you can restore Windows from an image, the “Select a backup system image” window will open.
By default, the “Use the latest available system image (recommended)” option is enabled in this window to restore a Windows 11 backup.
If this PC has multiple backups, you can select a different backup to restore using the “Select a system image” option.
- In the next window, click on the “Next” button.
- In the “Restore a computer from an image” window, click on the “Finish” button.
- In a window with a warning that all data on the restored disks will be replaced with data from the system image, click the “Yes” button.
- The computer is recovering Windows using a system image. This process takes some time.
A full backup of the computer will be restored: Windows 11, settings, applications and files in the state they had at the time of the last backup.
After that, the PC restarts, and then the Windows 11 operating system starts.
How to restore Windows 11 from a backup using a bootable USB drive
It is not always possible to start the recovery process from a functioning OS. In some cases, due to problems, the computer does not start.
The way out will be to use bootable media: Recovery disk or Windows 11 installation flash drive. Using a bootable USB drive, you can start Windows 11 recovery from a USB flash drive.
To restore using a system image file on a failed PC, do the following:
- Insert the Windows 11 installation media into a USB port on your computer.
- Immediately after pressing the PC power button, press the corresponding key on your device to enter the Boot Menu, in which you need to select a bootable USB flash drive to start.
- The Windows Setup window opens on your computer to select the language and other options. Click on the “Next” button.
- In the next window, click on “System Restore”.
- In the Select Action window, navigate to the Troubleshooting option.
- In the Advanced Options window, click on System Image Recovery.
- In the System Image Recovery window, select the target operating system, Windows 11.
Next, the windows of the System Backup Image Recovery Wizard will open. You will need to select an image and start the recovery process. These steps have already been described above in this article.
For various reasons, problems occur on the computer that prevent the Windows 11 operating system and other software from working properly. In such situations, you can restore the image of the Windows system, which was previously created using the built-in tool.
The user can restore Windows 11 from a backup on a working PC, or if the computer cannot be started from a bootable USB flash drive. Restoring the system through an image will return the computer to its previous working state, which it had at the time the backup was created.