How to Restore Files or Folders from 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 (if turned on) 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.

The default folders in your "C:\Users\(user name)" profile folder are added by default 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. For example, if you want to restore an older version of a file (even if it wasn't deleted or lost), you can browse through a timeline, select the version you want, and restore it.

This tutorial will show you how to view and restore different versions of files and folders backed up by File History in Windows 10.

File History adds 26 characters to each file name as it backs up. The maximum total full path length of any file that it backs up is 210 characters, including these 26 characters. Thus any original file with a full path length of 185 or more characters is ignored and will not be included in the back up.




Here's How:

1 Do step 2 (File Explorer), step 3 (Control Panel), or step 4 (Settings) below for how you would like to restore a previous version of files and/or folders from File History.


2 To Open File History and Restore Previous File Version from File Explorer

A) While in File Explorer (Win+E), browse to and select a file, folder, or library you want to restore a previous version of. (see screenshot below)

B) Click/tap on the Home tab, click/tap on the History button in the ribbon, and go to step 5 below.

Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-ribbon_file_history.png


3 To Open File History and Restore Previous File Version from Control Panel

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

B) Click/tap on the Restore personal files link on the left side, and go to step 5 below. (see screenshot below)

Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-file_history_control_panel.png


4 To Open File History and Restore Previous File Version from Settings

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

B) Click/tap on Backup on the left side, and click/tap on the More options link on the right side. (see screenshot below)

Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-file_history_settings-1.png

C) Click/tap on the Restore files from a current backup link, and go to step 5 below. (see screenshot below)

Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-file_history_settings-2.png


5 You can now use the left and right blue arrows at the bottom to browse through different versions of your folders and files, and then select what you want to restore. (see screenshots below)

You can enter the name of file you're looking for in the search box.

You can click/tap on the Home Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-home.png button (Alt+H) at the top right corner will take you to the most current version of your files and folders in File History.

You can click/tap on the Options Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-options_icon.jpg button (Alt+O), and click/tap on View to be able to change the folder view of File History to what you like.

Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-restore_version.jpg

6 Do step 7 (Restore), or step 8 (Restore to) below for how you would like to restore it.


7 To Restore Backup Version of File, Folder, or Library to its Original Location

A) Do either action below, and go to step 9 below.

1) Click/tap on the green Restore button at the bottom. (see screenshot below)

Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-button.png

OR

2) Right click or press and hold on the green Restore button at the bottom, and click/tap on Restore. (see screenshot below)

Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-right_click_button.png

OR

3) Click/tap on the Home Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-home.png button (Alt+H) at the top right corner, and click/tap on Restore. (see screenshot below)

Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-options.png


8 To Restore Backup Version of File, Folder, or Library to a Specified Location of Your Choice

A) Do either action below.

1) Right click or press and hold on the green Restore button at the bottom, and click/tap on Restore to. (see screenshot below)

Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-right_click_button.png

OR

2) Click/tap on the Home Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-home.png button (Alt+H) at the top right corner, and click/tap on Restore to. (see screenshot below)

Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-options.png

B) Browse to and select where you want to restore your files at, click/tap on Select Folder, and go to step 9 below. (see screenshot below)

Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-restore_to-2.png


9 If prompted, click/tap on Replace the file in the destination. (see screenshots below)

Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-restore_file_history-xx.png

10 File Explorer will now open directly to the location you selected to restore your files at. (see screenshots below)

Restore Files or Folders from File History in Windows 10-restored.png


That's it,
Shawn