There are no end of backup tools available online. Some are free, some are paid. We all know that we need to protect our data by keeping multiple copies of it, but it can be difficult to know what tools to use to achieve it. But did you know that Windows 10 has its own in-built backup features that you can use for the cost of nothing?
If you’ve used an older version of Windows, you might be familiar with the Backup and Restore tool. This has basically been retired for Windows 10. However, if you have a backup that you created with this tool then you can still restore it, but you just can’t create new ones.
We’re going to focus on the Windows 10 system called File History. This was first introduced in Windows 8. This lets you back up your files to another drive and restore them if the originals are lost, damaged or deleted.
To use it, press Windows key + I to open Settings. Go to Update & Security > Backup. Here you will see a section called ‘Back up using File History’.
Click the ‘Add a drive’ option. You need to select an external location for where you want your backups to be. This could be an external drive attached to your system or a network location. It cannot be somewhere on your existing system, since that isn’t a backup – if your drive gets corrupted, the computer stolen, damaged by a flood, or whatever, then you’ll lose the source data and the backup.
Once done, you then need to choose which folders you want to be automatically backed up. Not only will it regularly back up your files, but it will also retain older versions of them too. This means that you can rollback to an old version of a Word document, for example.
All said, this is a very simple backup solution. It is not taking an entire copy of your system, which is called a ‘system image’. For most people that’s probably overkill – you don’t really need to backup your operating system since it isn’t a unique. It’s your personal files that are more important.
It also doesn’t have much customization to it. You can’t automatically encrypt files, set scheduled backups, or differentiate between full/incremental backups. That said, it’s a good entry point to backup that does a good and reliable job at backing up your personal files.
You could also use this in conjunction with OneDrive. It’s important to note that OneDrive is not a backup solution, it’s a cloud syncing storage solution. But you could use it as a second place to store some of your most important files, with the added benefit of being able to access them from wherever you are across multiple devices.
Windows 10 is an evolving operating system, so the File History backup solution might see some enhancements as the months and years go by. If you don’t have any backup solution, Windows 10 File History is a good place to start.
Does Windows 10's Backup Tool Offer Enough Protection?
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