How to Use Windows File History to Backup Your User Data

Backing up your data is extremely important as a hardware crash of your disk drive can result in the loss of valuable images and documents. There are many backup solutions available but what some people do not realise is that Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 include a very good backup facility without the need to purchase additional software. This is called File History. Here’s how to set this up for use:

  • In the search bar at the bottom your screen type in File History


  • Click on File History in the results

After a short delay, whilst the tool searches for your disk drives, you will see something like this.


File backups are best done to an external disk drive rather than to the same system disk drive fitted inside your PC. This is because any disk crash could result in the loss of the main data and the backup if they are on the same device. By putting the data backup on a separate drive this can be avoided.

  • Click on Advanced Settings on the left panel
  • Set the various options to match what you would like to do (the default options should be fine for most users)
  • Click Save

The backup is automated and runs in the background without you having to do anything. Note too that this is a version controlled backup in that it will retain multiple versions of the same document. Handy if you want to restore a document that you update regularly to an earlier point in time.


  • Click on the Turn On button to initiate the backup


Windows will now backup your user data on a schedule as defined in the settings (so in this example every hour).

Hope this is of use.

Taff Lovesey (my fantasy novels)

About taffybach

Author of the young adult fantasy novel series, The Portal Chronicles, including The Spider Gem and The Shimmering Gate. When not writing and promoting Taff runs a small IT support company, LITES PC based in Bourne UK.
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