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Windows 10's built in backup tool.



Did you know Windows 10 has a powerful built in tool to backup your data?

Windows 10's File History takes a snapshot of all you personal files and stores them on a second drive connected to your computer.

This fantastic tool will save you hours of work if you lose, delete or badly edit a document as File History takes regualr backups of your documents as they change.

If you suffer from a catastrophic system failure or you just want to switch to a newer computer, File History simplifies the process of restore your important files.


Below we show you how to get to grips with this great tool. If you want to jump right in then click on the relavant link:
* Setup File History.
* Restore a file with File History.
* Restore a Folder with File History.
* Transfer all you files to a new computer with File History.


Firstly click on the start button (1).
Then (2) click on the settings button (a cog like icon).

The Settings window will now open.
If you don't see 'Update and Security' you need to scroll down the window.

Click on 'Update and Security'.


Next click on the 'Backup' option from the menu on the left.


Make sure your backup drive is connected and click the 'Add a drive' button.


From the 'Select a drive' menu that appears, click on your backup drive, in this case its my USB backup drive.


That's it, the backup drive is now setup and will do an inital backup. From now on, as long as the backup drive is connected, you can rest assured that your valuable data is being backed up.
You can make adjustments to the backup settings by clicking on the 'More options' link, but it's not necessary for most users. If you wish to add folders not held within the normal accounts directoty or change the backup frequency you will need to click on the 'More options' link.

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In this example, I have a file called My Document that I have been working on. File History has created 4 backups of the file at different stages of completion. Here we'll show you how to restore it to a previous stage.


This is an example of 'My Document' at different stages.


Lets get started. Firstly using File Explorer navigate to the document in question.


Now we right click on 'My Document' (1) and a dropdown menu will appear.
Next we click on the 'Properties' option (2) in the menu.

A new small window will open, click on the 'Previous Version' tab.


From here you can see there are 4 versions of the file. We want to view the files to make sure we restore the right version, to do this (1) click on the down arrow next to 'Open'.
Then (2) click on 'Open in File History'.

A new window will open allowing you to view the different versions of the file using the arrow keys shown.
Once you have found the right version, hit the center green button.

Windows will now check you want to replace the file, if you are sure, click on 'Replace the file in the destination' and that's it.
The file has now been replaced with the version you require. (It's also worth noting, that all the backups a still kept and the backups will continue as before.)

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In this example, I have a folder containing photos of tigers, the folders labelled 'Tigers'. Some how I have accidently deleted the folder and its not in the recycle bin. Here we'll restore the folder using File History.


OK, first using File Explorer navigate to the location of the folder, in this example it's in the Pictures folder.


Click on the (1) Home tab.
And then click on (2) 'History'.

The 'File History' window will open and now we can see our lost folder. Click on the lost folder (1) 'Tigers'.
Next click on the green button (2) to restore the folder.

The folder is now restored.


Checking inside the folder we can see all our photos are there.
That's it. When it restores a folder, it will restore the folder with the latest versions of the files within. (Again it's also worth noting, that all the backups are still kept and the backups will continue as before.)

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In this example, we are going to restore all the files to a new computer. It could also be a computer that has been reset to factory.


We are assuming that the computer is all setup and ready to use, with the backup drive connected. First click on the start button (1).
(2) type into the search box 'restore your' and then (3) click on the link that appears 'Restore your files with File History'.

In the window that appears click on 'Configure File History settings'.


The next few steps must be done in the correct order for this to work. In the next window that opens click in box next to 'I want to use a previous back-up on this File History drive'.


Another box will appear within the current window, showing the backups its found. If you have used the same user name as the backup, only that relevant backup will be shown. If no backups correspond to your user name, you need to select the relevant backup with a click (1) on the list.
Now (2) click on 'Turn on'.

File History will then do a little sorting, don't click on anything else at this point. Wait until the 'Stop' link changes to 'Run now', but again don't click on anything.


Now its time to restart the computer, click on the 'Start button' (1) and then on 'Restart' (2).


Once the computer has restarted again click on the start button (1).
(2) type into the search box 'restore your' and then (3) click on the link that appears 'Restore your files with File History'.

File History now opens ready to restore all your files.
Click on the green button to start the restore, if there's alot of data this process may take some time.

Click on 'Replace the files in the destination' if it appears.


Once the process has finished, you will be presented with File Explorer showing the folders.


Checking inside the folders we can see my document and all my tiger photos are restored.
That's it. During the process of restoring the files with File History, it was also configured to continue doing the backups.

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