System Restore Not Working Windows 10 – How to Fix

Posted by @Ivy

April 20, 2018

In this article, I will tell you how to fix system restore not working in Windows 10. In addition, you can get how to protect your computer in simple steps.

About system restore not working Windows 10

System Restore was introduced in the previous version of Windows operating system and included in Windows 10 operating system.

In most cases, you will find it’s very useful, especially when your computer run slowly or become unbootable. You can use it restore computer to an earlier date. After that, your computer will work as usual.

However, you may find Windows 10 system restore stuck. And you will receive an error message with details.

System Restore did not complete successfully. Your computer's system files and settings were not changed.

System Restore failed while restoring the directory from the restore point.
Source: AppxStaging
Destination: %ProgramFiles%\WindowsApps
An unspecified error occurred during System Restore. (0x80070091)

System Restore not Working Windows 10

Why you receive error code 0x80070091?

0x80070091 is the most common error code you may receive when you restore from a system restore point in Windows 10.

It stands for ERROR_DIR_NOT_EMPTY (the directory isn't empty). In other words, something is broken in folder %ProgramFiles%\WindowsApps, and the AppxStaging refuses to rewrite the folder from system restore.

1. Some redirections in WindowsApps cannot be deleted.

In WindowsApps foder, there are Some VFS (virtual file system) folders that may contain NTFS links (for folder redirections) and cannot be deleted. But you can rename the WindowsApps folder.

2. Something goes wrong during deleting, updating or moving.

In addition, there are subfolders named Deleted, DeletedAllUserPackages or MovedPackages that contains entries. And these entries can cause this problem.

3. Some interfere like Norton break system restore.

4. Some antivirus software block system restore.

What is WindowsApps?

If you cannot fix the problem using simple solutions, you need to know something about WindowsApps folder. It's the main reason why you will receive the error code 0x80070091. And many users are troubled by this code.

WindowsApps is a hidden folderin C:/Program Files, which is used to store preinstalled apps. It's owned by TrustedInstaler and protected in a special manner.

Thus, you cannot access it via Windows Explorer even if you log in as administrator. If you want to access this folder and view its content, you need to change the ownership of WindowsApps folder.

System restore failed Windows 10 – how to fix

As mentioned above, you will receive this error message when WindowsApps folder is broken. To fix it, you can try to rename WindowsApps folder.

List WindowsApps content without changing permission

If you think the problem was caused by redirection link, you can try to list WindowsApps content and find the redirection link. Then, you can choose to change the ownership of WindowsApps folder and delete it in the specific subfolder.

Step 1. Run CMD as administrator.

Step 2. Type powershell in the command prompt and press Enter.

Step 3. Change the path to WindowsApps foder. You can type the following command.

cd $env:programfiles\WindowsApps

Step 4. Enlist all sub-folders and its contens, store the results within clipboard. You can enter the command below.

(LS -Re -Fi * -Fo -Ea:Inquire).FullName | clip

Step 5. Launch notepad with the command below


List Windowsapps Content

Step 6. Insert clipboard content with function key Ctrl + V

Afterward you can view all the subfolder in the notepad, search VFS sub-folders and make sure if the problem was caused by redirections link in this folder. If so, you can see below and rename this folder and delete the link.

Rename WindowsApps folder within operating system

In general, you cannot access WindowsApps folder owing to permission. It's owned by TrustedInstaler. But you can change the ownership of this folder and rename it.

  • Change the ownership of WindowsApps folder

Step 1. Show hidden WindowsApps folder. You can navigate to Program Files, click the View tab and tick the checkbox before Hidden items.

Hidden Items

Step 2. Access WindowsApps folder. You can Right-click WindowsApps and select Properties option.


Step 3. In the WindowsApps Properties window, click Security and Advanced.

Step 4. In the Advanced Security Settings window, click Change.

Step 5. Enter the administrator username and click Check Names.

Step 6. Tick the checkbox before Replace owner on subcontainers and objects, and then click OK to start the pending operation. If not, you cannot access and use the subfolder in WindowsApps.

  • Rename WindowsApps folder

Step 1. Go to WindowsApps folder, right-click it and select Rename. You can rename it as WindowsApps.old.

Step 2. Restart your computer and run system restore again.

After you restore the computer having problems, all the apps will back. If this does not work, you can rename the WindowsApps.old back to WindowsApps, and then change this folder using command prompt in Windows PE.

Rename WindowsApps folder in Windows PE

Step 1. Boot into Windows PE. You can restart while press Shift key until you see Choose an option window.

Step 2. Click Troubleshoot to summon the Advanced options window.


Step 3. Select Command Prompt.

Step 4. Type the following command and press Enter after each one.

  • cd C:\Program Files

  • takeown /f WindowsApps /r /d Y

  • icacls WindowsApps /grant “%USERDOMAIN%\%USERNAME%”:(F) /t

  • attrib WindowsApps –h

  • rename WindowsApps WindowsApps.old

If this operation fails, you can directly delete this folder using rd /s WindowsApps command. The rd command will deletes the WindowsApps folder with all sub folders

Other ways to fix Windows 10 system restore stuck

1. Uninstall the interferer like Norton.

Norton has a feature called product protection, which can break system restore.

2. Run system restore in Windows PE.

You can click Troubleshoot in the WinPE, then click System Restore in the Advanced options window and run this tool again.

3. Try a different system restore point.

Sometime, certain files will not replace correctly owing to file conflict. Or the previous restore point is unavailable. Thus, you can use a different restore point and run this operation again.

Extra tip to protect your computer

Windows 10 system restore stuck can be fixed in some cases. You need to spend much time in searching solutions. What's more, you cannot promise you can fix all problems in the future.

Thus, recovery is not perfect. It's time-consuming and probabilistic.

You can choose to create a system image backup and save it to external hard drive. It contains an exact copy of all files, preinstalled apps and settings on the system partition. Whatever happens, you can restore your computer.

For backup and restore software, you can use free AOMEI Backupper. This software can help you create a system backup with ease. You just need a few clicks. And it can be applied to various operating system, including Windows 10/8/7.

You can create a schedule system backup, including Daily Backup, Weekly Backup, Monthly Backup, Event-trigger Backup. You can create differential or incremental backup, which only backup the changed part. To save backup disk space, you still can delete old backup and keep the latest version.

To create a backup, you can download AOMEI Backupper and open it. Then, select backup type and operate the rest of steps according to its instructions.


There are many ways to fix system restore not working in Windows 10. But none of ways can satisfy all Windows-based operating system and save your computer all the time.

Only the backup image can fix system restore not working in Windows 10 as well as system restorer not working in Windows 7 and protect your computer. And you can restore image to a different computer if you do not have a backup for the existing computer.