By Delia / Last update September 19, 2017

About File History

File History was first introduced in Windows 8. This utility is designed to create automatic, local backups of user data. Anytime your personal files changed, there will be a copy stored on dedicated storage device you choose. File History periodically (every hour by default) scans the file system for changes and copies changed files to another location. Reasons you need File History alternative will be discussed later, and here is a brief guide to backup Windows 8 with File History feature. Another tutorial about backup Windows 10 is here: create backup Windows 10 boot disk.

Firstly, go Control Panel > System and Security > File History.

Secondly, connect an external drive, refresh the page and then tap or click Turn on (to store copies to the network by clicking Add network location, and you need to type in the address). Moreover, you can set the backup configuration in Advanced Settings.

File History

This feature will only backup the files stored in libraries, desktop, favorites and contacts folders, instead of protecting the entire system (the operating system, applications, settings and user files). Therefore, there are some issues that you need to concern.

  • It can not back up the entire system.
  • No window or no interface shows the backup procedure means no user intervention allowed.
  • It does not support backup long path files.
  • It suggests you to backup to an external drive which may need to buy one for most users.
  • There is no configuration setting that directly allows additional locations to be backed up. For example, you can't tell Windows to backup the D:\YourData folder. However, if a user does have data stored outside the supported locations, that data can be backed up in a roundabout way by creating a new library and adding the data location to the library.
  • Since it is a movable device, maybe you need to consider whether or not you need to leave your external drive plugged in all the time and that seem to have a high mortality rate due to drops, spills, etc. If you separated the external drive, then the backup process will stop work.

There are some other issues you might encounter, for example, File History doesn’t recognize this drive. It is still cannot meet user’s complex needs, that’s why people prefer an alternative to File History.

Free File History Alternative - AOMEI Backupper

If you want to do Windows 8 system backup or partition backup or selective files/folders backup, try comprehensive freeware AOMEI Backupper Standard. The main features of AOMEI Backupper are Backup, Restore, Clone and some helpful utilities. Each feature has several subcategories. For instance, you can do System Backup and Incremental & Differential Backup under Backup feature, and Selective Files Restore, Dissimilar Hardware Restore under Restore tab etc. This software has a user-friendly interface which allows you deploy backup settings easier. In addition, you can backup to multiple locations, such as internal/external hard drive, USB flash drive, NAS etc. Seeing is believing, download freeware AOMEI Backupper and try it by yourself. Here take backup files for example.

Backup Files with AOMEI Backupper

Step1. Install and launch this program. Go Backup > File Backup.

File Backup

Step2. Click Add Folder, and browse to approach folder/folders. Ensure to check the box “Include subfolders”.

Add Folder

Step3. You can set customized configuration in the red frame, for instance, Schedule. Then click Start Backup.

Start Backup

Schedule Backup Settings

Tips: Backup Options: You can configure General, Compression, and Splitting under this option.

In conclusion, File History alternative of Windows 8/8.1/10, AOMEI Backupper, allows you to manage your computer with features that internal utility doesn’t have. Easy moves make your data and system be safeguarded solidly. Apart from Windows 8/10, AOMEI Backupper also provides one needing feature in Windows 7: Windows 7 automatically deletes old backups. For disaster recovery, you can Create Bootable Rescue Media just in case. More features are waiting for you to discover.