Backing up your critical files is something we all know we should do. Even with everything in SkyDrive, it is still something we need to do. With Windows 8, we took a new look at the way backup can work and set out to solve the perennial problem of not just restoring all your files but restoring a previous version of a critical file you have been editing through the course of a day. To achieve this, we're introducing a new feature in Windows 8, File History. Bohdan Raciborski, a program manager on the Storage team authored this post. --Steven
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What is File History?
is a backup application that continuously protects your personal files stored in Libraries, Desktop, Favorites, and Contacts folders. It periodically (by default every hour) scans the file system for changes and copies changed files to another location. Every time any of your personal files has changed, its copy will be stored on a dedicated, external storage device selected by you. Over time, File History builds a complete history of changes made to any personal file.
It’s a feature introduced in Windows 8 that offers a new way to protect files for consumers. It supersedes the existing Windows Backup and Restore features of Windows 7.
What is unique about this approach compared to a more traditional backup and restore?
Regretfully, backup is not a very popular application. Our telemetry shows that less than 5% of consumer PCs use Windows Backup and even adding up all the third party tools in use, it is clear nowhere near half of consumer PCs are backed up. This leaves user’s personal data and digital memories quite vulnerable as any accident can lead to data loss. In Windows 8 Microsoft is actively trying to accomplish the following:
- Make data protection so easy that any Windows user can turn it on and feel confident that their personal files are protected.
- Eliminate the complexity of setting up and using backup.
- Turn backup into an automatic, silent service that does the hard work of protecting user files in the background without any user interaction.
- Offer a very simple, engaging restore experience that makes finding, previewing and restoring versions of personal files much easier.