Recover files in Windows 10 with File History

windows 10

File History saves the files that you have created in Windows 10 backup program. It doesn’t back up your programs and apps. All programs and apps can always be reinstalled. On Concord, many of the moments that inspired so many of your videos, pictures, and documents can never be re-created.

Automatically File History makes a copy of every file in your Photos, Documents, Music, and Videos folders. As well as it copies all the files on your desktop. Automatically makes those copies every hour.

File History makes your backups easy to restore and see. This lets you flip through different versions of your files and folders by comparing them with your current versions. A press of a button brings older version back to life and should you find a better version.

To browse through your backed-up files and folders, restoring the ones you want, follow these steps:

1. Open the folder containing the items you would like to retrieve by clicking the taskbar’s File Explorer icon.

folder icon

For instance, tap this PC in the folder’s left pane to see the most commonly used Desktop, Documents, Folders, Pictures, Videos, Music, and Downloads. Double-tap the folder name to open it.

2. Tap the Home tab on the Ribbon atop your folder. After that, tap the History button and the program looks similar to a plain old folder. For instance, the figure shows what happens if you tap the History button in any folder and then tap File History’s Home button. That button lets you see all of your backed up folders.


This File History program shows you what it has backed up. Those are nothing but main folders, your contacts, your favorite websites, and your desktop.


Feel free to open the folders inside the File History window. You can also peek inside the files you find there to see their contents.

3. Choose what you’d like to restore.

Point and tap your way through the folders, libraries, and files until you spot the item or items you would like to restore.

Files: Open the folder containing files to restore a group of files. So the files icons are onscreen.

One file: Open that file from inside the File History window to restore an earlier version of a file. File History displays that file’s contents.

Folder: Open it so you’re viewing its contents to restore an entire folder.

Once if you found the file or folder you want to restore, move to the next step.

4. Move backward or forward in time to find the version you’d like to restore

Choose the left-pointing arrow along the bottom to browse through different versions of what you are currently viewing as shown here. Choose the right-pointing arrow to see a newer version.


Tap open folders or individual files inside them until you are looking at the version that you want to retrieve, as you move forward and backward through time.

same doc

Type it into the Search box in File History’s top-right corner if you aren’t sure whether a folder contains your sought-after item.

5. Click the Restore button to restore your desired version.

Click on the Restore button places that item back in the place where it used to live whether you are looking at an individual file, a folder, or an entire library’s contents.

However, this brings up a potential problem. What happens if you try to restore an older file named Notes into a place that already contains a file named Notes? Windows warns you of the problem with the window shown.

comparing files

6. Choose how to handle the conflict

File History offers you three ways to handle the situation if Windows notices a naming conflict with the item you are trying to restore.

In Destination Folder, you can replace the File. Tap this option only when you are sure that the older file is better than your current file.

Tap this if you are not interested to restore the file or folder. This option returns you to File History where you can browse other files.

Compare Info for Both Files. This option lets you compare the files sizes and dates before choosing which one to keep often the best choice. The incoming file or the currently existing file. This choice also lets you keep both files. Simply Windows adds a number after the name of the incoming file naming it Notes.

7. Exit File History by closing the window.

Tap the X in its top-right corner by closing the File History window just as you close any other window.

Additionally, to back up everything in your main folders and on your desktop. File History stores a list of your favorite websites, listed earlier in Figure 18-2 as Favorites. This also backs up the OneDrive files you have synced to your PC.

When buying a portable hard drive, flash drive, or memory card to create backups, don’t skimp on size. The larger the hard drive you choose, the more backups you can save. File History comes in very handy.

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