When an average user hears about system protection in Windows 10, the first thing that comes to mind is antivirus software. True, an antivirus is responsible for most security-related tasks and real-time protection. Still, Windows has many “under the hood” mechanisms and passive security features. System protection is one of such features.
System protection in Windows 10 and 11 is a default service responsible for creating and managing restore points for quick system rollback. These points allow the user to get their computer to a working state without much hassle. Windows uses system protection by default, but sometimes this feature is off.
If you encountered the “you must enable system protection on this device” message, or you want to ensure your computer is ready for the unexpected, here is how to enable system protection in Windows 10 and 11.
Note: System protection in Windows 10 and 11 requires additional space on each drive with the feature enabled. By default, Windows takes 2% of available space, but you can configure it in the settings. Also, you can delete old restore points to reclaim your storage.
Enable System Protection in Windows 10/11
- Press Win + I and go to System > About.
- Click the System Protection link.
- Alternatively, press Win + R and type systempropertiesprotection.
- Select the drive where you want to turn on system protection and click Configure.
- Click Turn on system protection.
- Next, configure how much space system protection in Windows 10 can utilize. Move the Max Usage slider to adjust the amount of space for system protection.
- If you want to delete restore points and free some space on the drive, click Delete.
Enable System Protection using PowerShell
Here is how to enable system protection in Windows 10 and 11 with a few commands in PowerShell:
- Right-click the Start menu button and select PowerShell (Admin) or Windows Terminal (Admin).
- Run the following command:
enable-computerrestore -drive "C:\"
This command will turn on system protection with default properties.
- To change the amount of free space system restore takes on the selected drive, use the following command:
vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=C: /for=C: /maxsize=15%
You can change 15% to any other value that fits your needs. For example, set larger values on larger disks with more free space.
Now your Windows is ready to create periodic restore points you can use at any time to fix software and OS issues.