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!)

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