Fix: File History Doesn’t Recognize This Drive

Have you encountered a message saying "File History doesn't recognise this drive" when using it to back up files to an external drive in Windows 11, 10, 8? Here are how to solve it.


by Delia Updated on January 10, 2024

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Scenario: File History doesn't recognise this drive

When trying to backup your files to another hard drive in case the originals are lost, you may find out that File History doesn’t recognize this drive. Sometimes, the error message will be like the system cannot find the file specified. The File History still fails when you try reconnect it or choose another disk.

File History Doesn't Recognize This Drive

Why File History cannot recognize a drive

The reason behind File History drive not recognized or disconnected may be:

  • The File History Service cannot be triggered automatically.
  • You may inadvertently turning off File History
  • You may have selected a drive to save copies of your files, and then made some changes to it.

How to fix File History doesn't recognize this drive.

For troubleshooting, you can try the following solutions or simply use a more robust automatic file backup tool.

Solution 1. Manually start the service

1. Search for "Services" and open it. Or you can press Win + R, type "services.msc" in the box and press Enter to open it.

2. Locate the "File History Service". Start the service and set the Start type to "Automatic".

Restart Service

Solution 2. Reconnect the drive and turn on file history

1. Show hidden files and folders in File Explorer Options, and also uncheck the option "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)".

2. Delete the folder in the following path:


3. Go to File History to connect the drive again, and make sure File History is turned on.

Use File History alternative to auto backup files and folders

If the File History is not working after using the two methods above, you can use free and robust backup software AOMEI Backupper Standard to backup your files and folders. Compared with File History, AOMEI Backupper runs faster and gives you more options, such as incremental backup, automatic system backup, backup to local drive, compress backup image, etc.

Simply put, this freeware can take care of most of your backup needs. In addition, you can also use it for folder synchronization or hard drive cloning.

How to backup files and folders with AOMEI Backupper:

1. Free download, install and launch this freeware.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

2. Under Backup tab, choose File Backup.

File Backup

3. Click Add File or Add Folder to specify files or folders into the backup, In the select folder window, you can also set a filter to exclude files form the backup (premium feature).

Add Folders or Files

File Backup Funnel

4. Specify a location path to receive the file image backup. It supports internal/external drive, USB flash drive, network share, NAS, cloud, etc.

Select Destination

5. Finally, you can click Schedule Backup to set a scheduled automatic backup if needed. For more options, click Options button. Then click Start Backup to start the backup.


  • If you are concerned about regular backups causing backup files to pile up and fill up your disk, you can enable Automatic Backup Cleanup in Backup Scheme to create a rention policy that will automatically delete old backups. This feature is available in Professional edition.
  • If you create an AOMEI account, you can also backup files to AOMEI Cloud. It offers you 1TB free storage for 15 days after you sign up for an AOMEI account.


After the backup completes, you can restore partial files or the entire content of the backup as any time. After fixing the problem that file history doesn't recognize this drive, you may also be interested in File Sync, which is also one of the feature of AOMEI Backupper. Besides that, AOMEI Backupper also allows you to create system image backup, make bootable media, and hard drive clone to SSD.

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.