How to Use Restore Points in Windows 365

As I mentioned in my last blog post here, the new Windows 365 point-in-time restore feature lets you revert your Windows 365 Cloud PC to a previously captured state, called a restore point. Maybe you have a corrupt install or possibly a bad patch, there are a number of different reasons why you would use this feature. Instead of spending a lot of your time or your end users time troubleshooting, it might be easier to just pick a previous restore point and revert the Cloud PC to that point.

There are 2 options for reverting a Cloud PC to a previous restore point. The first option is to have an admin perform the restore which would be handled from the Microsoft Intune/Endpoint Manager portal. They would choose the restore point and initiate the actual restore. The second option is to have an end user to perform the restore from the Windows 365 end user portal. This option needs some configuration to allow the end user to initiate this, which we will go over.

Important: Reverting a Cloud PC to a restore point will delete anything local on the Cloud PC between the restore point and when the restore is initiated. Its important to review the risks of restoring a Cloud PC that Microsoft has listed here.

Restore a Windows 365 Cloud PC from Microsoft Intune

Begin by logging into the Microsoft Intune/Endpoint Manager portal (endpoint.microsoft.com) and navigate to your Cloud PC. Inside Intune, I have 2 options for reverting my Cloud PC to a restore point. The first option is to restore my Cloud PC using the highlighted Restore button on the device toolbar.

Windows 365 Restore

The second option is you can select Restore points under the Monitor section. If you select the three dots next to any of the restore points, you will be given the option to Restore this version.

Windows 365 Restore Points

Just for a quick trial, I went ahead and installed a simple piece of software, VLC in this case. As you can see its installed and has a desktop shortcut.

Windows 365 Cloud PC

Now I want to revert back to the other day.  I am going to select the Restore button in the toolbar.

Windows 365 Restore

Then I am going to select a previous days (3/7) restore point. 

Windows 365 Select Restore point

I will see a prompt at the bottom asking me for confirmation. Please note that it says any data saved between the selected restore point and now will be lost. Since I am testing this, I am going to click Restore to confirm my Cloud PC restore.

Restore Cloud PC

Now I can see I have a restore pending.

Windows 365 Cloud PC Restore

After about 10 minutes, my restore is complete.

Windows 365 Cloud PC restore completed

If I go to windows365.microsoft.com, I can also see that my Cloud PC was successfully restore.

Windows 365 Cloud PC Restore Completed

I am going to launch my Cloud PC and I can see VLC is no longer on the system so my restore was successful.

Windows 365 Cloud PC applications

Allow end users to restore a Windows 365 Cloud PC

In order for an end user to initiate a restore, you will need to first configure your Cloud PCs to allow it. Since I don’t have this currently configured, these are the self-service options my end users will see.

Windows 365 Cloud PC

Since we want to enable this option for end users, lets go ahead and configure it. Inside the Microsoft Intune portal, go to Windows 365 and then select User settings.

Windows 365 User settings

You can choose to create a new User settings policy or modify an existing one. For testing purposes, I am going to use my existing one. I am going to click my policy and modify it. We will check the box that says Allow user to initiate restore service.

Windows 365 Restore Points

Lets save our policy and see what this changes from an end users perspective. I am going to go back to my Cloud PC at windows365.microsoft.com. Now I have an additional option under settings that says Restore (preview).

Windows 365 Cloud PC self-service restore

Lets try reverting to a restore point from an end users view. I once again had installed a piece of software, Adobe Reader in this case, on my Cloud PC. I am going to select the new Restore (preview) button from the screenshot above. I will be presented with the following prompt.

Windows 365 Restore Windows 365 Cloud PC

Please note what restoring the Cloud PC will do in the bullet points. I am going to check Yes, I want to restore this Cloud PC and then I will choose a restore point from the dropdown.

Windows 365 Select Restore Point

I am going to select my most recent restore point and then click Restore.

Windows 365 Restore this Cloud PC

I will see that my Cloud PC is now restoring.

Windows 365 Restoring Cloud PC

Once again, after about 10 minutes, I can see my Cloud PC was restored.

Windows 365 Cloud PC was restored

If I login to my Cloud PC, I can see Adobe Reader is no longer there and my Cloud PC restore was successful.

Windows 365 Cloud PC applications

Final Thoughts

As you saw, we have a 2 simple options to use restore points on our Windows 365 Cloud PCs. I was really impressed that the actual restore process took only about 10 minutes. That might vary though depending on how much data is on each restore point. While not all organizations will allow end users to perform Cloud PC restores, it is a really nice self-service option that will definitely have some use cases.

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