How to turn on system protection in Windows 10 and Windows 11

The System Protection feature in Windows is designed to create restore points with the ability to quickly return the operating system to a previous state and is not always enabled by default, and is sometimes not enabled for individual drives.

This easy tutorial details how to enable System Protection in Windows 11 and Windows 10 for individual drives, as well as solutions to problems you may encounter in the process.

Easily enable System Protection in the System Properties window

The basic way to turn on system protection is to use the appropriate settings in the system properties window. If there are any problems, please refer to section two of this article for solutions. Steps to activate system protection:

  1. Right-click the Start button, select Run, type sysdm.cpl. and press Enter. In the window that opens, click the System Protection tab. If used as command protection of system properties – you will be taken directly to the specified tab.
  2. On the System Protection tab, you will see a list of disks and their protection status. If you want to enable system protection on a specific drive, select it and click "Configure".
  3. In the next window, turn the switch to “Turn on system protection” and specify the amount of disk space you want to use to create restore points. If the limit is reached, the oldest restore points will be deleted.
  4. Click OK. Done: System protection for the selected drive is activated. You can also enable it for other drives in the same way.

In the future they can be created (when you install important updates they will be created automatically) and use restore points to undo the changes, as detailed in the articles Windows 11 restore points, Windows 10 restore points.

There may be problems activating system protection, for example, the Configure button is not active and system protection cannot be activated, the Shadow Volume Copy service is reported as not working, or other problems arise. This is discussed later in this article.

Enabling System Protection in PowerShell

Another way to turn on Windows system protection is to use the powershell commands. For this, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the Start button and select “Windows Terminal (Admin)” or “Windows PowerShell (Admin)”.
  2. Use the following command to enable system protection on a specific drive (in the example, system protection is enabled for drive C)
    enable-computerstore -drive "c:\"
  3. To set the size of the disk that can be used for restore points (in the example, 10%), use the command
    vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=c: /for=c: /maxsize=10%

Troubleshooting turning on system protection

Two of the most common errors when trying to activate system protection:

  • An error has occurred in the properties page: Shadow volume copy service used by system restore is not working 0x81000202
  • Your system administrator has disabled system recovery. Contact your system administrator to activate system recovery.

Solution for volume shadow copy service:

  1. Right-click the Start button, select Run, type services.msc and press Enter.
  2. In the list of services, find “Volume Shadow Copy” and double click on the service name.
  3. In the service properties window that opens, make sure the startup type is set to "Manual" (this is the default for this service). If it is set to “Off”, change the value of the field to “Manual” and click “OK” or “Apply”. To be safe, you can also try to start the service yourself using the corresponding button, but it is not necessary.
  4. Close the service window, reopen system protection settings – the error should not appear.

For the second situation, there is a separate article on the website: System recovery: how to load drivers.