Windows – What user files does System Restore affect


Microsoft's website states that "System Restore does not affect personal files, such as e-mail, documents". However, they do not define what personal files are.

Today, I installed a new AMD graphics card. After installing the latest driver (13.1), the system became unstable and occasionally crashes, so I decided to roll back using system restore. The system becomes stable again, but some user files are missing, including those in the C:\Users\<name>\Downloads. It appears to me that zip files are kept and exe files are gone.

Note that the files were still there after the crashes and before system restore, so they're not lost because of the crashes.

Does anyone know what is the precise mechanism Windows uses to decide what files to restore/remove? How does it tell what is a system file and what is not?

Best Answer

Specific file types monitored by System Restore is given at: A "system" file is any file in the Windows directory or any file that has the "System" file attribute.

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