Operating System

Beginner’s Guide: How to Back Up and Restore Your Files in Windows 10

Using the File History feature in Windows 10, you can back up your important files and documents to an external location.

File History automatically saves your file folders to a backup device, and you can restore the previous version of a file if it is lost and unusable.

In Windows 10, using and setting up File History is simple.

The major limitation with File History on Windows 10 is that it only backs up files from specific folders, such as Videos, Desktop, Pictures, Music and Documents, as well as any offline OneDrive files stored on your PC.

If your default folders are not saved and you need to make a backup copy of them, here Microsoft suggests you to add such files to one of the additional folders. If this is not feasible, you need a personal backup program.

First, you need to make sure that you have an accessible and executable drive connected to your computer.

It could be a simple flash drive, a network or an external drive location on a network-attached storage drive.

Note: The history file runs automatically and regularly, so any external drive you use must always be available and connected.

Set Up File History in Windows 10

How to Back Up and Restore Your Files in Windows 10

1. Select the Start button.

2. Go to Settings.

3. Click on Update & Security.

4. Select Backup.

5. Under Back up using File History, select Add a drive.

Note: Assuming you’ve connected a workable backup device, Windows displays a list of them.

6. Select the location you wish to use for your backups.

How to Back Up and Restore Your Files in Windows 10

7. File History is now enabled, though it’s not yet backing up any files. Select the More options link to set up a few parameters.

Set Up File History in Windows 10

8. Click the Back up my files drop-down menu and choose how frequently you wish to back up your files, from every 10 minutes to Daily.

9. Select the Keep my backups drop-down menu, and click how long you want to retain your backed up files.

Set Up File History in Windows 10

By default, File History will begin backing up a selection of default folders, including Downloads, Music, Desktop and more.

Also you can also remove some folders you don’t need from the combination.

10. Scroll down the Backup options window and review the list of default folders already included in the backup. Click any folder you don’t wish to back up and select Remove to exclude it.

Set Up File History in Windows 10

11. To exclude any folders not listed on the page, select the Add a folder button under Exclude these folders. From File Explorer, click any folders that you wish to exclude.

Set Up File History in Windows 10

12. Once you’re set, select the Back up now button at the top of the screen, and Windows will start backing up the folders and files included in your backup set.

Note: After the backup process is finished, Windows will display the date and time as well as the total size of the backup.

Restore Files in Windows 10

Restore Files in Windows 10

Now, suppose that your files and documents are corrupted or lost in your system. In this case, you can use your backup file to restore your files and documents.

1. Click on the Start button.

2. Go to Settings.

2. Select Update & Security.

3. Click Backup option then, select the More options link.

4. Scroll down to the bottom of the File History window and select Restore files from a current backup.

Restore Files in Windows 10

Now, Windows displays all the folders that have been backed up by File History.

5. Double-click the folder you want, then double-click the file to view it.

Note: If it’s the file you need, select the green button at the bottom of the window to restore the file.

Restore Files in Windows 10

6. If the file you want is still in its original environment, Windows will allow you to move it.

If the original file is deleted, Windows will automatically restore that file to the previous location where it was saved.

Restore Files in Windows 10

If you need to change your backup destination, you must first stop using your current drive.

7. From the Backup screen under Update & Security in Settings, select More options.

8. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Stop using Drive.

9. Go back to the previous screen and select Add a drive so you can restart the process with a new backup destination.

Restore Files in Windows 10

10. If you wish to stop using File History altogether, just turn off the switch to Automatically back up my files on the Backup settings screen.

Last Words

In general, there are solutions for backing up files and documents, as well as ways to recover lost files in Windows 10.

We have provided some of these solutions.

Do you know any other way to back up and restore your files in Windows 10?

Share your experiences with us.

Sarah Kmz

Sara is a talented author and technology enthusiast with a passion for writing about Windows tips and tricks. She was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and has always had a love for all things related to technology. After completing her degree in Computer Science at the University of Washington, Sara began working as a software developer. She quickly discovered that she had a talent for writing and decided to combine her two passions by starting a blog about Windows tips and tricks. Sara's blog quickly gained popularity and she became known for her clear and concise writing style, as well as her ability to explain complex technical concepts in a way that was easy for anyone to understand. Her blog has become a go-to resource for Windows users looking to optimize their experience and make the most out of their technology. In addition to her work on her blog, Sara is also a prolific writer of technical articles for a number of different publications. Her writing has been featured in numerous technology blogs and websites, and she is widely respected in the industry for her expertise in the field. When she's not writing or working on her blog, Sara enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with her family and friends. She is also an avid traveler and is always looking for new places to explore and new experiences to have. Overall, Sara is a talented writer and technology expert who is dedicated to sharing her knowledge with others. Her passion for both technology and writing has made her a respected figure in the industry, and she continues to inspire and educate others through her work on her blog and beyond.

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