File to file backup software for Windows 10 computers appear to be few and far between as well as expensive when loaded up with features one may never need. Windows 10 File History Backup was not designed as a backup in the sense of restoring data to another computer after a computer failure. However, this Windows 10 File History Backup hack, although unsupported by Microsoft, gives us folks that do not want to use pricy Internet backup or expensive backup software a viable option for emergency file recovery.
Download a PDF of Windows 10 File History File to File Backup Hack for Disaster Recovery
Windows 10 File History Backup is designed to grab earlier versions of files after one realizes they deleted a file or damaged a file in some way. Restoring a file or files is straight forward as shown below.
Select “Restore files from a current backup”
Then, select the folder or file(s) you need and select “Restore to original location”
This hack shows that Windows 10 File History Backup can also be used to recover data to another computer in an emergency. The following series of screen shots detail how this can be done.
Insert a large USB drive for use as a backup drive
Select “Update and Security”
Select “Add a drive”
Select your USB drive
Select “More options”
Select the timing you need under “Back up my files”
Select “Until space is needed” under “Keep my backups.
One can add or remove folders under “Back up these folders.
To start a backup, select “Back up now”
If the backup up application does not auto close, click the “X” in the top right corner
The backup will complete in the background. The more files you have, the longer the back will take to complete. Check status of backup by looking at “Last backup:” date and time under “Overview”
Determine a backup and drive rotation that suits your needs; perhaps alternate two drives every other day, four drives one week per month or any other combination. Your goal is to get a drive into a fireproof safe or out of your office in the glove box of your car or any other scenario that puts distance between your backup and your computer.
Check status of the current backup by looking at “Last backup:” date and time under “Overview” before you pull the plug on a usb drive.
I’ve tested many drive use scenarios with good results. A given drive can stay disconnected from a computer for a long time then once connected, can start up where it left off. Multiple drives can also be rotated for an extra level of protection.
One can manually trigger a backup anytime by selecting “Back up now” on the Back up options screen as well as learning the date and time of the last backup and space available on the drive.
Now, if you lose your computer from some unfortunate circumstance, find the latest backup usb drive and plug it into another computer.
You can easily restore files and their many older versions to another computer by browsing the drive’s “File History” folder for needed files and copying them to your new computer.
However, DO NOT use the “Restore files from a current backup” function on the “Backup Options” screen to restore files to another fresh Windows 10 computer and new user profile. As easy and intuitive as it looks to restore, it does not work. You will get an error message.
Remember, the proper way to restore your files to a another computer in the event of a disaster is by browsing the drive’s “File History” folder for needed files and copying them to your new computer.
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Seems odd that you cannot open a shared file on the network?
Double click a Word or Excel document on a shared drive and you get “Word Experienced An Error Trying To Open The File.” The fix is below the picture.
File –> Options –> Trust Center –> Trust Center Settings… –> Protected View –> Uncheck Enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet and uncheck Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments –> OK –> OK.
Security can be a pain.