Set up file history

By Ed Bott

Windows 10 has a perfectly good backup program called File History. It can help protect your files from catastrophic loss (such as a hard drive failure) and can also help you recover an old version of a file if you inadvertently deleted or replaced the file.

To get the benefits of File History, you need to configure an external storage location, specify what you want to back up, and then turn the feature on. To get started, go to Settings > Update & Security > Backup. Under the Back Up Using File History heading, click Add a Drive to select an external drive, such as a USB hard drive. (You can’t use the same drive as the one on which your files are stored.)

If you’d prefer to back up to a network location, you’ll need to use the old-style Control Panel: Go to System and Security > File History > Select Drive, and click Add Network Location to enter the full UNC path of the shared folder you want to use.

With that step out of the way, you’re ready to begin backing up. By default, every document folder in your personal profile is included. Click More Options to add or remove folders from this list. By default, backups of changed files happen once per hour. On the More Options page, you can change that interval and adjust how long Windows keeps your backed-up files available.