Best Free File History Alternative for Windows 8/8.1/10

Are you looking for free alternative to File History in Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10? AOMEI Backupper will be your wise choice to backup and restore not only files but also Windows system.


By Delia / Updated on October 20, 2022

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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 about.

  • It can not back up the entire system.
  • No window or no interface shows the backup procedure, which means no user intervention is allowed.
  • It does not support backup long path files.
  • It suggests you 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 seems 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 still cannot meet users’ complex needs, that’s why people prefer an alternative to File History.

Free Windows 8/8.1/10 File History Alternative - AOMEI Backupper

If you want to do Windows 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 Sync. Each feature has several subcategories.

  • Backup types: you are allowed to create file backup, system backup, disk backup, cloud backup, incremental backup and automatic backups, etc.
  • Backup destination: you can backup to multiple locations, such as internal/external hard drive, USB flash drive, and NAS.
  • Flexible restoration: you can perform selective files restore using a system or disk image, and dissimilar hardware restore is available after you upgrade to higher editions.

This software has a user-friendly interface that allows you to deploy backup settings easier. Seeing is believing, download freeware AOMEI Backupper and try it by yourself. 

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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How to Backup Files with AOMEI Backupper

Step 1. Install and launch this program. Go to Backup > File Backup.

File Backup

Tip: You can also use Cloud Backup to backup files. It comes along with a cloud drive named AOMEI Cloud and 1TB free storage in 15 days after you registry an AOMEI account.

Step 2. Click Add Folder or Add File to select the files/folders you want to backup.

Add Folders or Files

Step 3. Select a destination path to store the image file.

Select Destination

 Step 4. You can set customized configuration as per your need. Then click Start Backup.

>> Options: you can enable email notification, choose the compression level for the backup image file and select intelligent sector backup or sector-by-sector backup, etc.
>> Schedule Backup: you can schedule a backup task to run automatically at fixed intervals, such as daily, weekly, and monthly.
>> Backup Scheme: incremental backup is selected by default. If you want to use differential backup or enable automatic backup cleanup, you need to upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional or higher editions.

Start Backup


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 safeguarded solidly. Apart from Windows 8/10, AOMEI Backupper supports the newest Windows 11 and you can run Windows 11 backup and restore easily. For disaster recovery, you can Create Bootable Rescue Media just in case. More features are waiting for you to discover.

Delia · Editor
Delia owns extensive experience in writing technology-related blog posts, and has been a part of AOMEI since 2020 to provide expertise in data security and disaster recovery. She works with Windows operating systems, SQL databases, and virtualization platforms such as VMware and Hyper-V, specializing in troubleshooting and advising on data protection and migration.