Backup and storage in Windows 8

windows 8.1Fewer than 5% of Windows users use the Windows Backup feature, so for Windows 8 Microsoft has replaced it with File History.

If you upgrade from Windows 7, you will still have Windows Backup installed and if you have it configured it will still carry on running. If not, you can find it under Windows 7 File Recovery in Control Panel but it’s probably better just to turn on File History.

File History insists on using an external or network drive and it doesn’t do full system backups. Instead it takes hourly copies of files in libraries or on the desktop, as well as contacts and favourites.

You can still use System Restore, or create an image that adds your installed applications to the built-in recovery tools so you get them back when you refresh Windows with the new troubleshooting tools. You can also choose to exclude files, change how often File History takes a snapshot or how long it keeps copies for, or you can just turn it on and leave it running.

Restoring an old file is nice and simple; go to the folder where it ought to be, select the file if it’s still there, or the folder if it’s gone completely, click the History button on the ribbon and browse back through files day by day, hour by hour or pick a file and see the different versions of it in Explorer.