How to Use Windows 10’s File History Feature to Backup Your Data?

By Rimzhim Sharma December 29, 2016 How To, Windows

Despite of what its named as, File history feature is one of the powerful backup tool of Windows 10. File history isn’t just a way of restoring previous Windows versions, but also provides us with easy backup solutions. It periodically (every hour by default) scans the file system for changes and copies changed files to another location. Over time, File History builds a complete history of the changes made to any personal file. Microsoft has designed File History with two objectives in mind- to offer the best possible protection of your personal files and to offer ease of use, simplicity and peace of mind.

Also read: How to Enable & Save Windows 10 Spotlight Lock Screen Images?

How to enable Windows File history

Here are the quick steps to enable Windows file History Feature on your system:

  1. Connect an external hard drive to your system.
  2. Launch the start menu and open the settings app then navigate to Update & Security > Backup.


  1. Click or tap the “Add a drive” option under Back up using File History to add an external drive that File History will back up to. It’ll list all external drives and give you the option to back up to them.


  1. Select a drive, and Windows will use it for File History. The “Automatically back up my files” option will appear and be automatically turned on.


Once you are through with these steps Windows will automatically backup your data to the external hard drive.

Also check: How to Manage Ease of Access Settings in Windows 10

How to Configure File History Settings

You can customize the File History settings as well like which files or data needs to be backed up, for how long the backup copies shall be maintained, set up a backup schedule once every 10 minutes, 15 minutes etc. Simply select the “More” options to configure these settings as per your requirement.


By default, the file history is set to back up your important documents only which are a part of the user account’s folder such as Desktop, My Documents and My Pictures. You can see the entire list folders in this window, and add more folders. Select “Add a folder” and you’ll be able to choose any folder on your computer to back up. You can also select a folder here and use the “Remove” button to prevent Windows from backing it up.

How to Exclude specific folders from being backed up?

Windows also allows you to exclude specific subfolders from being backed up. You’ll find this option on the left-hand side of the File History window.


Clicking on the “Stop using Drive” button allows you to stop backing up to your current drive and start backing up to a new one. The backups won’t be deleted, but Windows can only be configured to back up to one drive at once.

Read more: How to switch back to previous windows version from windows 10?

How to Restore data from Backup

Follow the below mentioned steps to restore your files:

  1. Open the Settings app and select “Update & security”.
  2. Select Backup>More Options and scroll down to the bottom of the window, and select “Restore files from a current backup.”


You can Browse the available files and select one or more files or folders. You can preview them by right-clicking them or select them and click the green button to restore them to your computer.

Windows 10 is full of handy features like this, if you are aware of more such features then please let us know in the comments section below or you can also provide us the feedback which will help us handle your tech queries in a better way.

You can also call us on our toll free number 855-765-6710 (US, Canada) so that our tech experts can guide you through.



Rimzhim Sharma

"Rimzhim Sharma is a blogger at The Phone Support. An engineer by qualification, she discovered her penchant for writing all things tech and cool, quite by chance. She writes about newest technology trends and gadgets. When not writing, Rimzhim is likely to be found reading, traveling, or simply digging into her favorite foods."