Windows 8 – System Backup with File History

Regardless of how convenient and well organized your operations can become, with an advanced technology, there is always a certain level of risk involvement. A single technical error can endanger your entire documentary and work assets. Keeping such hazards in view, developers have been trying to come up with several mitigation approaches. The major of these approaches, is the Backup strategy, which has been in practice and appreciated for quite a while now. Windows 8 has brought further advancements in this technology with a new concept, identified as File History. Although, this solution is embedded in each copy of Windows 8, but not turned on, by default. However, it is systematic and easy to activate.

Prior to proceeding this piece for the solution, let be advised to first Scan and Fix your system’s concealed disorders which most probably is eliciting the inconsistencies:

Bear in mind that the File History backup solution requires a removable drive to create a backup on it. This can be an external hard drive or miniature flash memory stick. Any of them can be connected to a machine containing Windows 8, through a USB port.

The methodical guidelines to stimulate Windows 8 are stated underneath.

  • On plugging in the external drive (Hard Drive/Flash Memory), Windows 8 pokes you with a rectangular box pop-up in the upper left corner of your screen, notifying the connection of a drive. Click on this pop-up, and a menu appears asking you to Choose what to do with removable drives. Menu enlists different options like Windows ReadyBoost, File History, and Windows Explorer.
  • Among the choices for Removable Disk, choose the option Configure this drive for backup (File History). A window appears subsequently, with a title File History. This Windows contains different options and settings focused on using this tool, in a customized manner.
  • In the File History window, click Turn On button to get the gizmo in action. It may ask you to recommend the same drive to other fellows of your Homegroup. If you intend to submit with this request, click on the Yes button. Please be advised that the storage capacity of the external drive should be large enough to hem in the entire data.
  • File History will start backing up your files and media, from library to the external drive. It may take a while depending upon the size of data being transferred, and the number of members partied.

What if the Pop-Up does not appear

While you plug in an external storage device to your computer, it is quite possible that you do not receive a notification message by the Windows 8. In such a scenario, you are counseled to access File History options manually, through the Control Panel. The entire workout is described below in detail.

  • Point your cursor in the lower left corner of your Desktop screen, and right click to open Quick User menu. From the options listed, choose to open Control Panel. Alternatively, press Windows key and C at the same time for the Charm bar to appear, and then click the settings icon on it. In the top right corner of settings Charm, choose to access Control Panel
  • In the Control Panel window, choose to open System and Security category for further settings. On the next screen, locate and select File History link to open its concerned Window. Click on Turn On button to get started.

Switch the Drive

  • If you need to alter the Drive to assimilate in the backup files, stay on the File History window and click Select drive in the options list on left. It would display you the available drives, from which you can indicate the one of your desire.
  • If you choose to back up on a networked drive from the list, you would have to provide with the Username and Password from an Administrator account from the other PC.

Selective Backup

  • By default, File History tries to create a tailback of each item from your library. If you are not comfortable with this manner, you can change the preference to the selective files and folders by clicking on Exclude folders option in the left panel.

Backup Frequency

  • By default, Windows 8 chooses to back up the data every hour (only when the backup drive is connected). You have the authority to change this behavior by going to the Advanced settings option on the left, and then deciding the backup frequency. It can be set from 10 minutes to once a day.


  • Windows 8 creates a folder on the backup drive, named as FileHistory. You are notified, not to change the characteristics of this folder or its location, or else, Windows would not be able to find the folder and may fail the backup process.

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