Windows 8.1 File History – A Realtime Backup Tool

One of the cool features of Windows 8.1 is File History. Once activated, it archives older versions of your files automatically. Now it’s not a total system backup, but it does archive your documents, photos, music and videos.

Here’s how to use it. You’ll need to have an external drive of some kind hooked up to your computer to do this. You could also use a flash drive.

Either just start typing control panel on the Metro/Modern Screen or open the Search Charm and type control panel. Select Control Panel  from the results.

Then choose Save backup copies of your files with File History.


Turn File History On.


You can start the backup right then or you wait until later.  Using Select drive, you can choose another drive as the backup destination.

Exclude folders allows you leave out folders you don’t wish to back up.

Advanced settings will let you manage several features, including how often you you want to do the back up. You can select lengths of time ranging from every 10 minutes to daily.

You can also change the size of the offline cache and determine how long you want the saved versions to be stored, ranging from forever to until space is needed.

Should you ever need to restore your files, just type restore your files in the search charm and click or tap Restore your files with File History.  You’ll enter the name of the files you’re looking to restore. You will be offered different versions of the file. Select the once you want and choose restore.

~ Cynthia

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