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Windows 8 Tips Part 5 – Turn on File History

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Windows 8 Search Settings File HistoryEvery responsible computer owner has a decent backup plan in place that can be used in an emergency to restore lost files. Yeah, right. How does your backup strategy measure up? Are you backing up your data? When last did you backup your data? Do you do it once a week? On occasion?

Well with Windows 8, backing up is really easy and all you have to do is turn on File History, point Windows 8 to your selected File History location and off you go. It would make sense to select a large external drive or network drive to use for the File History.

From the Search in Windows 8, select Settings and type File History. The Results will appear to the right of your search panel displaying the File History option.

Windows 8 Search Results

When the File History screen opens up, you will see your connected external devices. (For the purposes of this post, I just plugged in a flash drive, but you would want to select a device with much more space available.)

Windows 8 File History Settings

File History will automatically keep copies of all your files located in your libraries, desktop, SkyDrive etc. If you want to include a specific drive location to your File History, just add it to one of your libraries. From here you can obviously also exclude certain folders.

Windows 8 File History Advanced Settings

Clicking on Advanced Settings will allow you to define further settings such as the frequency of saves, size of the offline cache and how long to keep saved versions for. If your PC is part of a homegroup, you can also select to recommend this File History Location to other homegroup users. This makes it very easy for others (such as the wife or kids) to use File History.

For a more complete post on the topic, read Scott Hanselman’s excellent post here. What do you do to backup your data? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Dirk Strauss
Dirk is a Software Developer from South Africa. He loves all things Technology and is slightly addicted to Jimi Hendrix. Apart from writing code, he also enjoys authoring books and articles. "I love sharing knowledge and connecting with people from around the world. It's the diversity that makes life so beautiful." Dirk feels very strongly that pizza is simply not complete without Tabasco, that you can never have too much garlic, and that cooking the perfect steak is an art he has almost mastered.

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