File History is a backup application feature introduced in Windows 8 that offers a new way to protect files for consumers. It supersedes the existing Windows Backup and Restore features of Windows 7. File History periodically scans for changes and copies changed files to another location, usually to a external storage selected by user for e.g. external hard disc. It automatically backs up everything in your Libraries, Desktop, Favorites, and Contacts periodically, default every hour. You can exclude folder locations for being backup from the File History window.
How to setup and configure File History in Windows 8
- From the Control Panel, select System and Security
- Click File History to bring up File History Window
- File History window prompt with message to recommend attaching external drive to Window if it does not find external drive/storage attached to the Window and File History is off until device is ready
- Once external device attached and refresh, the external device name and details will appear on screen and you are ready to turn on File History by clicking on Turn on button
- Once File History is not turned on, you will see green colour indicator with 'File History is on' message on the screen and File History is ready to backup files from your Libraries, Desktop, Favorites, and Contacts every hour.
- On the left side of the File History window, you will find options, Restore personal files, Select drive, Exclude folders & Advanced settings.
- To restore files, click on Restore personal files option and below file explorer with date and time appear for file restore selection
- In this case, I am trying to restore a picture backup earlier to my, you may preview and right click and select Restore to restore the file or by clicking the green Restore icon at the middle bottom window to restore file. Note: you may restore file to original location or a location that you wanted File History to restore to
- Under Advanced settings - you will find the default settings for schedule for backup (Save copies of files), size of offline caches and keep saved versions here and these settings are configurable.
- You may configure File History Cleanup by selecting Clean up version
- To find out the Event logs of File History, open File History event logs to view recent evens or errors