FIX: You must enable system protection on this drive

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • System protection is a feature that allows you to safely perform system restores.
  • This article will show you how to handle System protection issues.
  • If you need more articles covering fundamental system setting errors, visit our System Errors page.
  • Even more information can be uncovered by accessing our Windows 10 Errors page.
You must enable system protection on this drive

System restore is an invaluable utility for fixing Windows issues. Users turn to it when Windows doesn’t boot up. However, some users have posted on support forums about a You must enable system protection on this drive error.

When they try to select a restore point, the listed restore points have a You must enable system protection on this drive status error. Consequently, users can’t utilize System Restore.

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How do I fix the enable system protection error?

1. Enable system protection from the Command Prompt

Try enabling system protection from the Command Prompt.

  1. Users can open the Command Prompt from within Windows by entering cmd in the platform’s search utility and right-clicking Command Prompt to select Run as administrator.
  2. If Windows doesn’t boot up, however, you can still open the Command Prompt from Windows Recovery Environment.
  3. Select Troubleshoot, Advanced options, and Command Prompt from within Windows Recovery Environment.Advanced options you must enable system protection on this drive
  4. Next, enter net start vss in the Command Prompt; and press the Return key.
  5. Then enter rstrui.exe /offline:C:windows=active in the Command Prompt, and remember to press Return.
    enable system protection command you must enable system protection on this drive
  6. Restart your desktop and laptop.

2. Rename registry files

If the above fix doesn’t do the trick, try renaming two registry files, which you can do from Command Prompt.

  1. Open the Command Prompt as outlined for the first resolution.
  2. Type cd %systemroot%system32config in the Prompt’s window and press Enter to open that directory.
    change directory command you must enable system protection on this drive
  3. Input the ren SYSTEM system.001 command, and press the Enter key.
  4. Then enter ren SOFTWARE software.001 in the Command Prompt, and press the Return key.Rename command you must enable system protection on this drive

3. Check the Turn on system protection setting in Windows

  1. To check if System Restore is enabled in Windows, press the Windows key + X hotkey.
  2. Then click Run to open that accessory.
  3. Input sysdm.cpl in Run’s Open box and click OK to open the window shown directly below.
    System Properties window you must enable system protection on this drive
  4. Click the System Protection tab.
    System Protection tab you must enable system protection on this drive
  5. Press the Configure button.
  6. Select the Turn on system protection option if that setting isn’t selected.
    Turn on system protection option you must enable system protection on this drive
  7. Click the Apply option, and press the OK button to exit.

4. Restart the System Protection Service

Restarting the System Protection Service might also fix the enable system protection error.

  1. To do that, open the Command Prompt.
  2. Enter net stop vss in the Prompt’s window, and press the Return button.
  3. Then input net start vss and press Enter to restart the service.net start vss command you must enable system protection on this drive

Those resolutions might fix the enable system protection error so that you can utilize System Restore again. In addition to those, the Reset this PC option, which is available within the Windows Recovery Environment, might be worth a shot.

Let us know which one of the steps helped you most, or if you had to reset your PC. Do so by leaving us a message in the components section below.


FAQ: Learn more about System protection

  • How can I modify System protection settings?

One quick way of handling System protection settings is to use a registry optimizer to clean up your data.

  • When is System protection used?

You’ll likely run into this feature when trying to perform a system restore.

  • What can I do if I cannot fix my System protection settings?

When such a fundamental feature is broken, your only option is to reset your PC.


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