Most of the time, Windows behaves itself. Sometimes, of course, it doesn't. Maybe it's the PC's fault, or maybe yours. Or perhaps a cyber criminal somewhere in the world. But it's a fair bet that, at some point, you'll find yourself saying "I wish I could put the computer back to how it was 1 minute ago". Or 1 hour. Or 10 days.
Maybe you clicked a link in an email message that you now suspect you probably shouldn't have done. Or maybe you accidentally deleted a folder full of important files. Or maybe you just finished trying out some new software and discovered that your PC kept crashing when it was installed. Or maybe a broken device driver has corrupted your PC to the point where Windows won't actually boot at all.
If you've ever had such an incident, or you want to start protecting against such a thing happening in the future, then what you need is a program called Rollback Rx. And specifically, Rollback Rx Home Edition, which is a new version of this corporate favourite which is completely free.
To get Rollback Rx Home, head to http://www.horizondatasys.com/en/rollback_rx.ihtml and download the free version. The file is around 22 MB. The program is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust. Once downloaded and installed, you're now protected.
Using the program is simplicity itself. When you think you're about to do something risky, like install new software or update a device driver, or allow someone else to use your PC, right-click on the Rollback Rx icon in the system tray and choose to take a snapshot. It takes just a few seconds. Now just carry on using your PC as before. If, subsequently, you decide that you'd like your PC put back the way it was before, you can choose any of the snapshots you created and restore your PC to that point.
The free edition allows you to create up to 7 snapshots, so you could take one every day of the week if you wanted.
A particularly clever feature is that you can mount a snapshot as a virtual drive . For example, imagine that you realise you've deleted some of last week's important files. You could restore to last week's snapshot, which would bring back the files, but you'd lose all the other work you'd done since last week. So instead of restoring, you can mount last week's snapshot as a drive, explore it using Windows Explorer, retrieve those lost files, then carry on where you left off.
If Rollback Rx does have a downside, it's that it does slow down your PC slightly. Whether this is enough to prevent you using the program is something that you'll need to decide. It does depend largely on the type of things you use your computer for. But when you weigh up the negatives and positives, I think it's certainly worth having. And as someone who regularly tests and then discards lots of software, it's something that will stay on my PC for the foreseeable future.
Head to http://www.horizondatasys.com/en/rollback_rx.ihtml if you want to try it for yourself.
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