Windows File History vs Backup: Which One to Choose?

Don’t know how to choose between Windows File History and Backup? Learn File History vs. Backup and Restore in different aspects to get clear ideas. An all-in-one backup tool for free is also offered in this page.


By Lily Updated on September 26, 2023

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Overview of File History vs. Backup

As the most fundamental data recovery solution, backup is always needed. You can use built-in backup tools or third-party backup software:

  • File History: it automatically creates incremental backups of files stored in Libraries (including those for users participating in a HomeGroup) to a different storage device like an external hard drive or network share. You are allowed to add other folders to be backed up or exclude certain folders. This feature is added on Windows 8 and later versions.

File History

  • Backup and Restore: it enables users to create system image backups as well as file/folder backups. You are able to restore your system and personal data from the backups created earlier. It was first included in Windows Vista as the replacement of NTBackup. Removed on Windows 8.1, it is back on Windows 10.

Backup and Restore

  •  AOMEI Backupper Standard: it helps users backup system, disk, partition or files based on their needs. And you can make use of more backup features like automatic backup, email notification and image compression, etc. Also, you can easily restore the backup to get your computer or data back in the event of a disaster. Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP and Vista are supported. 

AOMEI Backupper

Now you have a basic understanding of backup tools. How to choose between them? You can learn the elaborate differences between File History and Backup from the next part.

Windows File History vs. Backup in different aspects

Here I’ll compare Windows 10 File History, Backup and Restore, and third-party backup software in three aspects, including backup contents, backup destination, recovery. You can check them in the following chart:

  File History Backup and Restore (Windows 7) AOMEI Backupper Standard
Backup Contents Backup desktop, documents, music, photos and videos and other files in the user folder. (hourly by default) Backup the system, entire drives as well as files in the user folder. Creating a system repair disc is also supported. Backup system, HDD/SSD/USB drive, partition or files as per your needs.  
Backup Destination

Support external hard drives, home network, but NOT internal drives and cloud drives.

Support internal/external hard drives, and network location. Cloud drives are not supported as well.  Support internal/external hard drives, USB flash drives, network location, cloud drives, etc.
Recovery  Restore lost, damaged or deleted files, or restore previous versions of your files. Restore system image or restore files to the version backed up on the date you select.  Restore computer to an earlier date. Restore damaged hard drives or lost files, etc.

File History or Windows Backup? That depends on your demands.

>> If you just want to backup files in your user folder, File History is the best choice. Learn a quick guide here: Backup Specific Folders in Windows 10.

>> If you want to protect the system along with your files, Windows Backup will help you make it. Additionally, if you intend to save backups on internal disks, you should choose Windows Backup. Find the detailed steps here:  Create Windows 10 System Image Backup.

>> If you want an all-around backup utility that can meet your needs in different situations, AOMEI Backupper Standard is worth trying. And I'll introduce the detailed steps in the following.

Best way to backup Windows 11/10/8/7 

AOMEI Backupper Standard is the best free backup software, which can meet all users' needs, whether you want to backup the system, disk, partition, or files. And it supports backing up to internal or external hard drives, USB flash drives, cloud drives, network location and NAS devices. In addition, you can enjoy the following advantages in all backup types:

Schedule backup: You can create backups based on different frequencies, such as, daily, weekly, monthly.
Save disk space and improve backup efficiency: By default, this software runs Incremental Backup after first full backup, which backs up only changed files since the last backup. And you can enjoy more space-saving features, including Normal compression, Automatic splitting, Intelligent Sector Backup, etc.
Support all Windows PC operating systems: It runs well on Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP and the latest Windows 11.

Need to protect Windows 10 system and data or the entire disk? Download AOMEI Backupper Standard and install it on your computer. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server

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

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard, click on “Backup” and select “System Backup”.

System Backup

Step 2. The required system partition(s) is (are) selected by default. Choose the destination path to store the backup files.

Select Destination Path

Step 3. Confirm the operation and click “Start Backup”.

Start Backup

For more advanced features to make the backup automatic and hassle-free, you can try the following:

>> 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.


>> Schedule Backup: you can set the backup task to run automatically at fixed intervals. There are five schedule modes available: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers and USB plug in. 

Schedule Backup

>> Backup Scheme: it allows you to change default backup method to differential backup, which only requires one full backup or one full backup plus differential backup during recovery. And you still can delete old image files automatically with different cleanup methods. You need to upgrade to higher editions to enjoy these features.

Backup Scheme

🌟 Bonus tip:

  • To restore from the backup you have created, you can go to Home, find the backup task and click Restore. Or you can click Restore on the left pane > click Select Task/Select Image File and follow the wizard to finish the recovery process.

System Restore

  • If you want to backup files to the cloud drive, AOMEI provides users with its own cloud drive - AOMEI Cloud. After you sign up for an AOMEI account, it will give you 1TB of free storage for 15 days.



File History or Backup? You can learn Windows 10 File History vs. Backup in different aspects from this page. To backup files in the user folder, File History will be a great choice. To backup system, Backup and Restore is worth trying.

But if you want an all-around backup software, the best option is to use AOMEI Backupper Standard. It supports all backup types including system, disk, partition and file backup. And it allows you to backup files to cloud, etc. 

Other than backup functionalities, it is able to clone. You can use it to clone SSD to larger SSD in Windows 10, replace laptop HDD with SSD, etc. Go for it right now!

Lily · Editor
Lily Green joined AOMEI in 2018 and has since become a professional in the areas of data protection and data transfer. She is committed to helping users protect their precious computer data and troubleshoot Windows system errors. She consistently stays vigilant about the latest trends in technology, guaranteeing that the given information aligned with the ongoing advancements in the field.