Does File History backup Changed/Added Files or All Monitored Files?

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  1. Posts : 20
    Windows 10
       #1

    Does File History backup Changed/Added Files or All Monitored Files?


    Windows 10 Pro v1803

    I'm sure when I first used File History with Windows 8.x or Windows 10 (can't quite remember) it backed up everything then backed up news files plus copies of changed files.

    I noticed the other day loads of files were missing in the File History backup (e.g. many files the Documents folder). I "Turned Off" File History, Deleted the FileHistory folder from my backup drive entirely and also deleted this folder:

    C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory

    I restarted the PC and setup File History again. I'm happy with the Default folders it backs up (I Exclude my Music and Video folders).

    As far as I can see it's working but it never did an initial backup of the all the folders it's monitoring and as I've not changed much in my Documents folder the past few days it's empty in the File History "Restore personal files" window.

    If I change a file this gets backed up and if I add a file this gets backed up.

    But it's a pretty useless backup tool if it doesn't do the initial backup of everything. It's only useful if I need to Revert to an older version of a file that's changed since I enabled File History.

    OneDrive is also backing up the same folders to the cloud too, not sure if this conflicts with File History.

    Thanks
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  2. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 6,563
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #2

    I found File History somewhat unreliable and it only backs up user files. I now use Macrium Reflect scheduled backups to backup my OS and user files to two locations.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 20
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Thanks Steve

    It's certainly and odd application (ironic when it was designed to be simple). I only need it to backup user files, I'd probably reinstall fresh if I ever got to that point.

    The thing is I'm unsure if it's working as intended or no, there are no errors in the Event Log. Is it intended as Full Backup solution?
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  4. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 6,563
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #4

    bradavon said:
    Thanks Steve

    It's certainly and odd application (ironic when it was designed to be simple). I only need it to backup user files, I'd probably reinstall fresh if I ever got to that point.

    The thing is I'm unsure if it's working as intended or no, there are no errors in the Event Log. Is it intended as Full Backup solution?
    File History only backups user files by each account and is useless for OS recovery.

    Macrium Reflect Free will backup partitions you choose and you can recover either selected partitions or selected folders / files. This is what you need to backup your OS including the vital hidden system partitions.
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  5. Posts : 20
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Thanks. I don't need OS Recovery though.

    I'm just curious if File History is working as it's meant to?
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  6. jamis's Avatar
    Posts : 472
    Windows10 Home 64 bit v. 21H1 bld. 19043.1052
       #6

    I had issues with FH working under v.1709. It just quit working and no matter what I did, it would not function. After updating to v1803, I stopped file history, hard reformatted the hard drive I was using for the function, ran a drive wipe with CCleaner, and restarted FileHistory. It backed up all of the default folders properly. Then I added all of the user folders (only one user on this system) and FH backed them up also. It continues to backup changed, or added files, as it is supposed to and is checking every hour as configured. I also backup user folders to a separate USB connected hard drive. Unfortunately, FH doesn't seem to be supported very well by MS and someday, I know I'll have to use a third party tool like Macrium Reflect. For now, it does what I want and I'll continue to use it until it no longer does.
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  7. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 6,563
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #7

    jamis said:
    I had issues with FH working under v.1709. It just quit working and no matter what I did, it would not function. After updating to v1803, I stopped file history, hard reformatted the hard drive I was using for the function, ran a drive wipe with CCleaner, and restarted FileHistory. It backed up all of the default folders properly. Then I added all of the user folders (only one user on this system) and FH backed them up also. It continues to backup changed, or added files, as it is supposed to and is checking every hour as configured. I also backup user folders to a separate USB connected hard drive. Unfortunately, FH doesn't seem to be supported very well by MS and someday, I know I'll have to use a third party tool like Macrium Reflect. For now, it does what I want and I'll continue to use it until it no longer does.
    I do the following to reset File History when it starts misbehaving:

    • Stop FH
    • Delete the FH config files at
    C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration
    • Restart FH and select to use the same backup drive as before
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  8. Posts : 20
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #8

    jamis said:
    I had issues with FH working under v.1709. It just quit working and no matter what I did, it would not function. After updating to v1803, I stopped file history, hard reformatted the hard drive I was using for the function, ran a drive wipe with CCleaner, and restarted FileHistory. It backed up all of the default folders properly.
    Thanks Jamis.

    I've read that as a "solution" elsewhere. I've got other things on the drive too but I maybe able to do this. Thanks

    I strongly expect it'll be removed sooner or later, the world is moving to Cloud Backups. I use this but still like a Local backup too.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 20
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Steve C said:
    I do the following to reset File History when it starts misbehaving:
    • Stop FH
    • Delete the FH config files at
    C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration
    • Restart FH and select to use the same backup drive as before
    I've done almost this. As well as deleting that folder I also deleted the entire FileHistory folder, restarted the PC and Turned it back on.

    I'll try that though just to be sure. Thanks.
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  10. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,386
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #10

    Add or Remove Folders for File History in Windows 10 | Windows 10 Tutorials
    This indicates you can add any folder to be backed up. (The default is user folders).

    However note the interesting post #3 following. Begs the question - akin to issues related to the deprecated Backup and Restore (Win 7) and MS's own recommendation to go 3rd party as to whether one wishes to rely on a solution provided by MS.

    Note the set of related tutorials in the links following the text.

    I think the way to go is
    a. disk imaging (e.g. Macrium R). Disks can fail, OS's can become unbootable, even users can make mistakes.
    b. support that for critical data (however you wish to define that) with a (free) reliable backup program.
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