Turn On or Off File History in Windows 10  

    Turn On or Off File History in Windows 10

    Turn On or Off File History in Windows 10

    How to Turn On or Off File History in Windows 10
    Published by Category: Backup & Restore
    23 May 2020
    Designer Media Ltd


    How to Turn On or Off File History in Windows 10


    File History was first introduced in Windows 8, and has been improved in Windows 10.

    You can use File History to automatically back up versions of your files on a schedule to a location you select to save to. You can select to save backups to an internal hard drive, externally connected drive (ex: USB drive), or you can save to a drive on a network. You can add, remove, and exclude folders to be backed up by File History.

    Over time, you'll have a complete history of your files. If the originals are lost, damaged, or deleted, you can restore them. You can also browse and restore different versions of your files.

    File History takes advantage of a feature built into the NTFS file system called the change journal to keep track of changes to files. Essentially, when any change is made to a file or folder on your hard disk, the change journal is updated with a description of the change and the name of the file or folder. So to determine which files need to be backed up, File History simply consults the NTFS change journal. Using the change journal is fast and efficient and won't use up a lot of system resources like running a conventional backup routine does.

    If the drive selected as the backup location becomes unavailable, such as when a USB cable is disconnected or the network goes down for maintenance, File History will continue to do its job by saving the copies to a cache on the local drive. Once the backup location becomes available again, the cached contents are transferred to that location and removed from the local drive.

    See also:

    This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off using File History to back up your files for your account in Windows 10.


    Contents

    • Option One: To Turn On or Off File History in Settings
    • Option Two: To Turn On or Off File History in Control Panel






    OPTION ONE

    To Turn On or Off File History in Settings


    1 Open Settings, and click/tap on the Update & security icon.

    2 Do step 3 (off) or step 4 (on) for what you want to do.


     3. To Turn Off File History

    This is the default setting.

    A) Click/tap on Backup on the left side, and turn off Automatically back up my files on the right side. (see screenshot below)

    If you see Add a drive instead, then File History is already turned off without having a selected drive.

    Turn On or Off File History in Windows 10-settings_turn_off_file_history.png

    B) You can now close Settings if you like.


     4. To Turn On File History

    A) Click/tap on Backup on the left side, and turn on Automatically back up my files on the right side. (see screenshot below)

    If you see Add a drive instead, then you will need to select a File History drive instead. File History will automatically be turned on afterwards.

    Turn On or Off File History in Windows 10-settings_turn_on_file_history-1.png

    B) File History will now be turned on. If you like, click/tap on More options (see screenshot above) and make any changes to the backup options you want. (see screenshots below)

    Turn On or Off File History in Windows 10-settings_turn_on_file_history-2.png






    OPTION TWO

    To Turn On or Off File History in Control Panel


    1 Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the File History icon.

    2 Do step 3 (off) or step 4 (on) for what you want to do.


     3. To Turn Off File History

    This is the default setting.

    A) Click/tap on the Turn off button. (see screenshot below)

    B) You can now close the Control Panel if you like.

    Turn On or Off File History in Windows 10-turn_off_file_history.png


     4. To Turn On File History

    A) Click/tap on the Turn on button. (see screenshot below)

    If you do not want to use the current drive (ex: E: ) for File History, then you will need to select a File History drive you want instead. File History will automatically be turned on afterwards.

    If you have a previous backup on this File History drive, then you can select to use it.

    Turn On or Off File History in Windows 10-turn_on_file_history-1.png
    Turn On or Off File History in Windows 10-file_history_previous_backup.png

    B) File History will now be turned on. If you like, you can make any changes to the backup options you want. (see screenshots below)

    Turn On or Off File History in Windows 10-turn_on_file_history-2.png
    Turn On or Off File History in Windows 10-turn_on_file_history-3.png
    Turn On or Off File History in Windows 10-turn_on_file_history-4.png


    That's it,
    Shawn



  1. Hemimax's Avatar
    Posts : 1,739
    Windows 10 Pro X64
       #1

    Hi Shawn,
    I am still using Backup and Restore (Windows 7), I like it because it only runs once a week instead of File History running constantly in the background. Aside from that do you see any advantages to using File History over the old Windows 7 backup?
      My Computers

  2. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 48,694
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 19631
    Thread Starter
       #2

    Hello Hemimax, :)

    I always say use whatever works best for your needs.

    File History runs more often, but that will help make sure that changes to your files are kept backed up more often to be able to restore previous versions of these files as needed.

    Personally, I don't use any backup features or programs since I only need to just manually copy and paste what I want backed up to a separate hard drive. This makes it much easier and more compatible to restore.
      My Computers

  3. Hemimax's Avatar
    Posts : 1,739
    Windows 10 Pro X64
       #3

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    It is probably overkill but I to prefer using multiple HDD's for images and copies of folders beyond the weekly backups.

    As always, I certainly enjoy reading your tutorials and finding new ideas.
      My Computers

  4. questorfla's Avatar
    Posts : 220
    Win 10 Ver 1903
       #4

    I would like to think that either this would continue to work as it is or that Timelines would be easy to migrate to.
    Unfortunately, I am not sure I wont get burned. I work at a small company that needs a way to keep ONLY the contents of 3 folders backed up regularly from every employee's system. These need to all be backed-up to a specific folder located on our network storage server, where each user has space allotted just for this reason.
    I HAD been depending on a script i wrote to make this happen but people seemed to "forget" it was there. Every attempt i made at using task manager on the script whether formatted VBS or PS1 or even Bat it seemed unreliable and would fail too often.
    In reading this and the other links below, i saw where someone just mentioned that even the windows backup scheduler doesn't work? I had Just now set up a test for that and am waiting for the first hour to expire to see if one TEST.docx file gets backed-up as it should. Even if it does, I think I will still be paranoid now. The backup script I wrote is basically using the functions of X copy in one format or another to get new and changed files copied to that network folder.
    I completely 100% gave up on One Drive! Ever time MS announces they have it fixed, it is only broken somewhere else. I had high hopes for the built-in backup though if going to a file all employees can see on the network or over a vpn if out of town. Has Anyone got a better suggestion? Or should i stick with my script which has worked perfectly for several years but requires manually clicking to run.
      My Computer

  5. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 48,694
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 19631
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Hello questorfla,

    If you like, you could try "Macrium Reflect Home" to see if it may work for this for you. It has a "backup files and folders" option.

    Macrium Software | Macrium Reflect Free
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 1
    win10
       #6

    Brink, Just a quick question: I'm in the middle doing this for the first time. How do I tell when the operation is complete? There doesn't seem to be any dialog box as when doing copy/paste operations.
    Addendum: OK, see I just have to watch settings / backup options page!!
      My Computer


  7. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 48,694
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 19631
    Thread Starter
       #7

      My Computers


 

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