By Delia / Last update April 11, 2022

The error: File History drive is disconnected

Always keeping your important data backed up and updated is crucial. Thanks to File History, you can easily create backups for your files in Windows 8/8.1/10/11. But sometimes, you may find your File History drive is disconnected. The specific error message may be like:

 

Reconnect your drive. Your File History drive is disconnected. Reconnect it and try again.

Reconnect your drive. Your File History drive was disconnected for too long. Reconnect it and then tap or click to keep saving copies of your files.

Your files will be temporarily copied to your hard drive until you reconnect your File History drive and run a backup.

File History Drive Disconnected

If your backup drive does not connect properly or something goes wrong, it will prompt you with such a message when the scheduled backup task is triggered. By default, File History saves copies of files every hour, so it may be quite annoying if you do not fix it, not to mention that your files are not protected as planned.

Why is File History drive disconnected in Windows 11/10/8?

Following are some possible reasons for the File History drive disconnected error:

  • Your external hard drive is indeed disconnected: You can reconnect the drive. Or if you do not want to backup your files anymore, just turn off File History.

  • The backup drive fails or the file system is corrupted: If you can still open and view the File History target drive in File Explorer, then this may be the case.

  • You have made some changes to your drive: If you've changed something after File History setup, then it is likely that File History doesn’t recognize this drive.

  • You don't have permission to access this drive: If you have also connected this drive to another computer for backup, another user may have restricted your permission to access this drive.

Solutions to File History drive disconnected

Here are 5 solutions to “Your File History drive is disconnected” in Windows 11, 10, 8. Now let's get started:

Solution 1: Reconnect File History drive and restart backup
Solution 2: Change your File History backup drive
Solution 3: Check and fix hard drive errors
Solution 4: Clean up File History configuration files
Solution 5: Create a shared folder to save File History backup

If all these solutions won't work, or you find it troublesome to try them one by one, you can use a free alternative instead to auto backup any folders you want to external/internal drive or even NAS, cloud drive.

Solution 1: Reconnect File History drive and restart backup

If your external hard drive used for File History backup has been disconnected for too long, you will be asked to reconnect your drive. You need to manually reconnect the drive and then start the backup as the following:

1. Navigate to Settings > Update &Security > Backup.

2. Reselect the external hard drive or network drive.

Add a Drive

Solution 2: Change your File History backup drive

changing the File History backup drive is said to be effective for this problem. You can try this method with the following steps.

1. Open File History, under the Back up using File History section, click More options

2. scroll down to the Back up to a different drive section, click the Stop using drive button.

Back up to a different drive

3. Then, go back to File History and click Add a drive. All the available drives and network location will be listed here, select the drive you want to use.

4. Click More options to set File History settings and click Back up now at the top location.

Solution 3: Check and fix hard drive errors

If you doubt there might be some errors on your hard drive, then you can first check your hard drive for bad sectors.

1. In Windows 10, right-click on the Start menu and choose Command Prompt (Admin). In Windows 8/8.1, you can press Windows + R key and type in “CMD” in the Run window and press Enter.

2. In the Command Prompt window, type in chkdsk.exe /f H: and press Enter. You should replace the “H” with the drive letter of your backup disk.

Check Disk

3. It will take some time to finish checking and fixing hard disk errors.

  • If the value of the bad sector is not 0, then the disk is probably damaged or inclines to fail. For your backup data’s security, you should clone the failing hard drive to a new one and use the cloned one as the backup drive.

  • If you see no bad sectors, then the problem is not with the backup disk. It might be the configuration files that cause this error. In this case, please refer to Solution 3.

Solution 4: Clean up File History configuration files

You still can try to delete the configuration files and then reconnect them if the above ways are not working for your situation.

Note: This method will delete all the File History backups, so it is recommended to create another backup of your files before trying this method.

1. Make sure you are able to view hidden files. You can open File Explorer and go to the “View” tab on File Explorer’s ribbon. Then, do following things:

  • Check the Hidden items checkbox in the Show/hide section. 

  • Click the Options button. In the Folder Options window, click the View tab and UNCHECK Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) under Advanced settings.

File Explorer View Options

2. Navigate to the folder below and delete all the files in it:

C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration\

Tip:
You can also type “%localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration” in a Run window to open this folder directly.

3. Go back to File History and connect the drive again.

Solution 5: Create a shared folder to save File History backup

If you only want a specific folder to save File History backup, you can create a shared folder on your external hard drive or internal drive and then use File History to back up files to this folder. Some users struggle to let File History backup to the internal drive, and this workaround definitely works. To do that, just follow these steps:

1. Create a new folder named File History Drive or whatever suits you.

2. Right-click on the newly created folder and select Properties.

3. Click on the “Sharing” tab and select Share... to create a shared folder. You need to add users you want to share with and set the Read/Write permission.

File Sharing

4. Open File History. Click Add a drive > Show all network locations. If the drive you want isn’t listed there, then click/tap on Add a network location and navigate to the shared folder you just created.

Backup files with the best free File History alternative

Besides "Your File History is disconnected" error, you may be troubled by other problems, such as File History drive is full, File History Element not found, etc. To avoid these problems, you'd better use free file backup software as an alternative. Here I’d like to recommend you AOMEI Backupper Standard. Below are some helpful features of it:

  • It supports File Backup, System Backup, Partition Backup and Disk Backup.
  • You can use the Schedule Backup feature to set the backup tasks autorun Daily, Weekly, Monthly.
  • You can choose to create full backup or create incremental backup for only changed data.
  • You can also try splitting, compression (Normal or High), or intelligent sector backup to save storage space.  

How to backup files and folders with AOMEI Backupper:

1. Download, install and run this free backup software.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

2. Click “Backup” tab, and choose “File Backup”.

File Backup

3. In this screen, click “Add File” or “Add Folder” to include specific files and folders in the backup.

Add Folders Files

 4. Choose a target location to save the backup image. Besides external hard drives, this tool allows you to backup to NAS device, network location, and local hard drives as well.

Select Destination

5. Click “Schedule Backup” to set a frequency for this file backup task if needed. To backup only changes, click "Backup Scheme" and select "Incremental Backup" under the Backup Method section. After that, click “Start Backup” to start backing up your files.

Start Backup

Tip:
You can enjoy more advanced features in the Professional edition, such as, backup only changes with Differential Backup, Automatic Backup Cleanup, Dissimilar Hardware Restore.
If you want a duplicate of your files instead of an image file, AOMEI Backupper also provides “Sync” feature. You can even run real-time file sync (supported by AOMEI Backupper Professional) for continuous data protection.

 Learn more from video tutorial:

Conclusion

If you constantly receive the error “Your File History drive is disconnected”, you can try the five solutions mentioned above to fix the error or use AOMEI Backupper as an alternative. You can choose backup solutions (file/system/disk/partition), set backup frequency (daily/weekly/monthly), or enable other useful features (eg: incremental backup).

Apart from the backup and sync functions, AOMEI Backupper is embedded with the clone feature. You may use it to clone Dell laptop hard drive for disk upgrade. Don’t hesitate to give it a try!