How to Enable Windows 10 Backup Feature

December 14, 2023

[avatar user="Jamie Poindexter" size="thumbnail" align="left" link="attachment" /]byJamie Poindexter|Aug 9, 2020|Jamie's Tech Corner,Our blogWith the threat of viruses, ransomware and even human error backups are a must to make sure all of your documents and files are safe and sound. Ransomware could leave your files encrypted forcing you to pay the attacker to get them back or risk losing them forever. Accidently delete that file for that important presentation you have been working days on? A backup could let you undo that change or deletion and get back to work.Windows 10 has a built-in solution to protect those files. While not the same as a dedicated backup software such as Shadow Protect or Acronis for example the Windows 10 file history feature saves copies of files to an external drive or another local drive automatically. File history tracks and saves copies of files in the following locations:

  • Libraries – documents, pictures, music
  • Desktop
  • Contacts
  • Favorites

To enable this feature, open the settings from the start menu and browse to the “Update & Security” button

Click on the “Backup” button on the left

Click on “Add a drive” and choose the USB external or the secondary hard drive if you have one. You will not be able to save the backups the local C drive or a partition on the main hard drive in the PC.

Once you choose the drive the slider should show on and you are ready to go. Windows will automatically create copies of the files as you change or add them.

To make advanced settings changes choose the backup options and you can view and change how often its backing them up and how often to keep the backups before deleting the oldest. If you have a large hard drive its recommended to leave it at forever unless you are running out of space.You can also add folders if they are not in the standard locations listed.

If you don’t need to backup a certain location you can also choose to exclude a folder by clicking on “Exclude these folders” and choosing the path.

If you need to restore a file to its previous version click in the search box and type “restore files” and choose the “Restore your files with File History” locate the file you are needing in the list and you can then view all of the backed up versions. You can restore the version to the same spot as before or save it into another space on the PC.This backup while better than nothing won’t replace a dedicated backup software. They allow you to back up the entire hard drive and then restore it from a chosen point in time. This comes in handy if hard drive crashes or you need to restore from a corrupted state where the PC will not boot.