How to Fix System Restore Error 0x81000203 on Windows 10?

Issue: When I launch system restore tab where I can switch system restore from on to off or vice versa, I receive an error message saying “There was an unexpected error in the property page” etc. The error code is 0x81000203. I’m running Windows 10 Pro. Could someone specify what the issue might be?

Solved Answer

Various IT forums are full of old posts related to System Restore Error 0x81000203.[1] While initially this bug prevailed in Windows 7 and 8 OS versions, people have recently started reporting it happening on Windows 10 as well.[2] It has been assumed that 0x81000203 error might have been triggered by the incorrect setting of Volume Shadow.

In most cases, this 0x81000203 error occurs when trying to do a system restore and the process is not happening, instead you see the error code on the screen. System Restore feature is the essential part of the Windows operating system that helps users to roll back when applications or files causing malfunctions.

There were many solutions provided and many causes indicated earlier, for example, people were offered to turn off Windows Firewall or antivirus, try to access system protection in a Safe Mode, check for hardware issues and similar. However, the majority of the solution methods did not work, thus enforcing people to tear their hair out. The same applies to the Windows 10 OS users.[3]

System Restore Error 0x81000203 on Windows 10 fixSystem Restore Error 0x81000203 appears when the feature of restoring the system is not working.

However, Microsoft specialists informed that the causes of this failure on Windows 10 are either Cumulative Update KB3176934 or TuneUp Utilities (2009, 2010, 2011). They may be influencing the settings of Volume Shadow or system protection. Our team has initiated a research about System Restore error 0x81000203 and has managed to find a couple of useful tips that could help Windows 10 users to resolve this bug in a comprehensive, nonetheless easy, way.

There was an unexpected error in the property page. System Restore encountered an error. Please try to run System Restore again. (0x81000203) Please close the property page and try again.

Ways to fix System Restore Error 0x81000203 on Windows 10

As we have already pointed out, the reason for 0x81000203 error on Windows 10 might be the Cumulative Update KB3176934. Therefore, open Settings App by clicking Win key + I, go to Update & Security, and click on Update History link below Check for Updates button. Look for the KB3176934 update and its status. If it has successfully installed, then select Uninstall Updates at the top of the page, find this particular update, click on it, and select Uninstall.

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Disable Turbo Mode to fix 0x81000203 error on Windows 10

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  1. Open TuneUp utilities start center
  2. At the bottom find the PC Optimization Mode and select Economy there or Standard.
  3. Try System Restore again.

Check the Volume Shadow Copy Service

  1. Click Win key + S and type Services.
  2. Right-click on the Services search results and select Run as Administrator.
  3. Select Volume Shadow Copy Service and change its status to Start.
  4. Besides, select Automatic as a Startup type.
    System Restore Error 0x81000203 fix via startup type settingsChanging the type of startup.
  5. After that, double-click on Service and select System Protection tab. If the service is turned off, select Start.

Open an Elevated Command Prompt

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If the previous method did not work, then try to perform several commands using an elevated Command Prompt. For this purpose, you have to:

  1. Right-click on Win key and select Command Prompt (Admin).
    Command prompt with admin rightsEntering commands on the cmd window may fox System Restore Error 0x81000203 on Windows.
  2. Type the following commands in the log and press Enter after each:

reg delete “HKLM\\SOFTWARE\\Policies\\Microsoft\\Windows NT\\SystemRestore” /v “DisableSR” /f

reg delete “HKLM\\SOFTWARE\\Policies\\Microsoft\\Windows NT\\SystemRestore” /v “DisableConfig” /f

reg add “HKLM\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows NT\\CurrentVersion\\SPP\\Clients” /v ” {09F7EDC5-294E-4180-AF6A-FB0E6A0E9513}” /t REG_MULTI_SZ /d “1” /f

schtasks /Change /TN “Microsoft\\Windows\\SystemRestore\\SR” /Enable

vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /Maxsize=25GB

sc config wbengine start= demand

sc config swprv start= demand

sc config vds start= demand

sc config VSS start= demand

Enable System Protection

Some specialists claim that error code 0x81000203 may be caused by TuneUp Utilities (2009, 2010, 2011), which might be blocking system protection and restore. It is recommended to check whether Turbo Mode is set up in the TuneUp tool. If it is, turn it off and navigate to the system protection on Control Panel to check whether 0x81000203 error is gone.

Hopefully, some of the tips listed here were helpful for you, and now you don’t see System Restore Error 0x81000203 anymore.

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About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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