A major mishap can happen quickly and essential data can be lost. With Windows 10, you no longer need IT specialists to recover lost files at least not if you have regularly backed up the data on your computer. Then you can easily recover the lost files, programs or even restore your operating system.
With Windows 10, you don’t even need your own program for this Microsoft has integrated such a backup program directly into its latest operating system. You just have to enable it for it to work properly.
windows 10: Backup settings
Under “Settings”, you will find the menu item “Update and Security” with the sub-item “Backup”. Here you can enable the option “Back up with File History” if you have an external drive connected to the computer. Now Windows 10 can save a backup copy of your system on a second drive at regular intervals.
In order for Windows 10 to recognize the external storage space, it must be formatted in NTFS format.
To change your security settings, go to “Backup and Restore (Windows 7)”. In this window, you will find the function “Set up backup”. Here you can select the drive on which the backup should be created. The default backup setting is Quick Backup and is usually sufficient.
You can create a personal backup plan if you want to back up more than just the files on your main drive. To do this, select the “Let me choose” option and specify the appropriate drives in a window that opens. You can also select individual folders by clicking on the small arrow next to the drive name.
You can create your own schedule by clicking on the “Change schedule” field.
windows 10 Backup: The quick backup
The easiest and fastest way to back up your work on the computer is the Windows quick backup. This saves a complete image of the hard drives that are required to start the computer (this is usually only the C: drive). Quick Backup works during pauses, so you should give your PC a break once you’ve enabled this feature. If you disconnect your external drive that you are backing up to, the system will continue working as soon as you connect it again.
Restore files and folders
If you have actually lost data, that’s no longer a problem, after all, you’ve made backup copies at regular intervals. To restore the lost files, first open the “Backup” window and then the “Backup and Restore” window as described above.
Here you will find the “Restore my files” button. Windows 10 will now restore all data from the last saved version. If you want to return to a different save point, you can click on “Choose a different date”.
In the list, you can now select the folders that you want to restore. Once you’ve selected all the folders you want to restore, set a destination folder. Ideally, you should select the option “In the original location”. However, this will also overwrite any later changes in these folders!
Before folders are overwritten, Windows issues a warning about file conflicts. Here you can choose between the options “Copy and Replace”, “Don’t Copy”, or “Copy but keep both files”.
Restore individual files
If you only want to restore a single file, you don’t have to reset entire folders or even drives directly. Windows 10 can save previous versions of files in the background when system protection is activated. To enable this feature, open the system window with Windows + Pause and click on “System Protection” on the left. If it says “On” next to your drive, system protection is activated. Otherwise, click “Configure” and “Turn on system protection”.
To retrieve an old file version now, you can right-click on the relevant file and select “Properties”. In this window, go to the “Previous Versions” tab and you can retrieve an older version of the file with “Restore”.