How-To: Configure and Use File History in Windows 8

How-To: Configure and Use File History in Windows 8

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File History is a new feature in Windows 8 that automatically keeps a backup history of your personal data. I previously wrote a detailed article about File History in Windows 8 with a lot of detail about this feature. In this post I’ve created a video to show you how easy File History is to use, and how flexible it is for backing up and restoring your files.

In this video I talked about File History with photos, but File History works just as well for any other kind of file including office documents, videos, and any other files you have in your document libraries.

As a quick recap, most users will need to do the following to get going with File History in Windows 8:

  1. Add non-library folders to document libraries (optional, if non-library folders need File History)
  2. Populate “Exclude Folders” list for File History (optional)
  3. Plug in an external storage device
  4. Launch the File History Control Panel
  5. Click the “Turn On” button

If you already have an external drive plugged in and use default settings, you will only need to perform steps 4-5 above. Now that’s easy!

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  • ASB
    0 Posts

    Gavin, when I try to run File History I get a message that says 'Failed to initiate user data backup. Error 80070005' . I have full admin rights and the drive seems to be fine. Any ideas how to fix?

  • d_AJ
    0 Posts


    After using File History to backup files from computer A to an external HD, how to restore/copy all files to another computer (computer B), without computer B taking ownership of the File History backup files in the external HD.