File History

File History
Component of Microsoft Windows
FileHistory logo.png
File History in Windows 11
TypeFile backup tool
Introduced inWindows 8 build 7878 (as History Vault)
Backup and Restore

File History is a component of Microsoft Windows. It allows to create multiple backups of user files in an external drive.

History[edit | edit source]

File History was first introduced in Windows 8 build 7878 and was known as History Vault. It was a Control Panel applet under the System and Security category that when first opened showed a list of available drives from which one could be selected to be used as a file backup media. After that, the window's content would be changed to simply basic information about the drive and a "Disable" link that simply returned to the previous options. However, backups do were created in the background during this process on the specified drive, and they were stored under a WindowsDataProtection folder on it. By default, backups of the public user account and others in the computer with the content on them were made, with no available settings to change that yet.

In build 8056, History Vault was renamed to File History, which was its final name in the RTM, and over the time it saw many different changes:

  • It gained its own executable, FileHistory.exe, where files and versions available from their backups can be viewed, making the Control Panel applet its setup and advanced management area only.
  • The initial page in the Control Panel applet now only shows one recommended drive if detected to configure File History backups in, while additional ones can be seen under the "Select drive" link.
  • System libraries could now be backed up in addition to user files. In both cases, an option was now available in Control Panel to exclude some of them.
  • When a drive is set up, only the logged in user's files will be backed up for the first time.
  • The user setting up the feature was now prompted if the drive about to use could be recommended to members in the joined HomeGroup.

In Windows 8.1, File History integration with the Settings app was added.

Backup and Restore replacement[edit | edit source]

While early versions of File History just served as an additional file recovery solution, the final version present in Windows 8's RTM had an additional purpose, and it was to replace Backup and Restore, the backup tool present in the previous two versions of Windows. With this plan, Backup and Restore was deprecated and hidden from Control Panel's default view and File History replaced most links that directed to it, making it harder to access the previous tool. The only ways to reach to Backup and Restore were a link in the All Control Panel Items view and another one in File History's applet. However, in Windows 8.1, Backup and Restore was completely removed, only to be reintroduced in Windows 10 for migrating users to still access their backups made on the legacy tool.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Windows 8[edit | edit source]

History Vault[edit | edit source]

File History[edit | edit source]

Windows 8.1[edit | edit source]

Windows 10[edit | edit source]

Windows 11[edit | edit source]