5 Fixes | File History Doesn’t Recognize This Drive in Windows 10/11

If you face the “File History doesn't recognize this drive” error in Windows. Follow 5 fixes to solve it and make File History work again. If needed, get a quick data recovery way using MyRecover.


By Lori / Updated on April 2, 2024

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File History is a Windows feature that provides an efficient way to protect your important documents, photos, and other files against deletion. However, in the process of using it, you may receive the error message "File History doesn’t recognize this drive" and be unable to back up files or data on your external hard drive. Only by fixing this error, you’re allowed to create backups via File History.

File History Error

Don’t worry if you get this error message, because we provide 5 easy and effective fixes for you. Also, if you, unfortunately, lose your files and fail to make backups via File History, you can also use professional data recovery software like MyRecover to get you deleted or missing data back.

Why File History Doesn’t Recognize the Drive?

There are 4 common reasons for the "File History doesn’t recognize this drive" error.

  • An incorrectly connected drive or a damaged USB port prevents File History from recognizing the drive.
  • File History is unexpectedly closed or disabled.
  • The file History service is disabled.
  • Windows system cannot detect corrupted external drive.

How to Fix File History Doesn't Recognize This Drive Error

The following 5 easy and effective ways could fix the “File History doesn’t recognize this drive” error. You can have a try.

Way 1. Turn on File History in the Control Panel

If File History doesn't work in Windows 10, the first thing is to check the status of File History. If File History is turned off, it won't detect your connected external hard drive, and you won't be able to back up your files.

Step 1. Type Control Panel in the search bar to open Control Panel > click System and Security > File History.

File History

Step 2. If the File History is turned off, click the Turn on button to enable the File History feature. Then quit the window and check whether the File History feature has recognized your external hard drive or not.

Turn on File History

Way 2. Try “Select Another Drive”

Sometimes, if your existing drive is something wrong and you have more than one usable drive to save backups, you may simply fix the issue of Windows 10 File History not recognizing the drive by selecting another drive for File History backup. Here’s how to do this.

Step 1. Type Control Panel in the search box to open Control Panel > System and Security > File History.

File History

Step 2. Click Select another drive.

Select Another Drive

Step 3. Then, click OK to proceed with the changes.

Way 3. Enable the File History Service

The problem of "File History doesn’t recognize this drive" in Windows 11/10 might occur due to the disabled File History Service. To resolve this, you can follow these steps to start the service:

Step 1. Search for Services and open it.

Step 2. Locate and click File History Service > Start the service. Then, set the Start type to Automatic.

Restart Service

Way 4. Delete File History Configuration Folder

Deleting the File History configuration folder can be a solution. Configuration Folders are a designer folder behavior that enables users to create, or adjust additional configurations on the data structure.

You can make File History work again and fix the error by deleting the File History Configuration Folder. Here's how you can do it:

Step 1. Press Win + E to open File Explorer. Then click View tab at the top toolbar and check Hidden items.

Hidden Items

Step 2. Go to the following path and then delete files inside this folder:


Step 3. After that, go to check if File History works properly.

Way 5. Use File History Alternative to Create Backups

If the File History is not working in Windows after using the 4 methods above, we strongly recommend you use this free Windows backup software AOMEI Backupper Standard. It offers many extra features that File History cannot.

For example, users can create system backups, disk backups, cloud backups, incremental backups, automatic backups, etc. It also allows users to back up data to network, NAS, or cloud drives.

Importantly,  AOMEI Backupper won't have problems like not recognizing the hard drive. That's why users prefer alternative to File History.

Step 1. Free download and run it and connect your drive. Under the Backup tab, choose File Backup.

File Backup

Step 2. Click Add Folder/ File> choose a location path > click Schedule Backup > click Start Backup to start the backup.

Tips: Recover Lost Files without File History Backup

Sometimes, you may lose your files and don't have a File History backup, but MyRecover might help you. You can also use it to restore permanently deleted files in Windows 10, even if you don't have a file backup or a file history. Here are some highlighted features of this software:

Professional Data Recovery Software
  • Recover 200+ formats: It is able to recover deleted Microsoft Word, Excel, PPT, PDF, JPG, MP4, MP3, CDA, ZIP, RAR, MSG, and more.
  • Enabling advanced file filtering and preview by File Type, Size, Date, etc. to save your time and effort.
  • Scan the drive deeply and find out all the deleted completely for data recovery.
  • Has a high success rate and keeps the original file format, path, and size for the deleted files.

Step 1. Download, install, and launch it; hover the mouse over the drive used to store the deleted files before and click Scan.


Step 2. Then the scanning process will start automatically. You can use the Search Box or the Filter feature to quickly locate the files you want.


Step 3. You will see a list of data and choose the files that you want to recover. Then, click Recover x files.


Step 4. Please select a new location instead of the original location and click Select Folder to confirm it. Avoid saving recovered files to their original location. If overwritten, it’s hard to recover permanently deleted files.

Select New Location

  • You can use the restore button to see selected files and their size, ensuring recovered data integrity.
  • You can recover data up to 30 MB each time for free. If needed, please upgrade to the advanced editions to enjoy unlimited data recovery.


Why isn’t File History recognizing my external drive?
File History might not recognize a drive if it's formatted in a file system that's not supported, or if there are hardware or connectivity issues.
What if File History stops recognizing my drive suddenly?
Restart your computer and reconnect the drive. Sometimes, a simple reboot resolves the issue.
What if File History recognizes the drive but doesn’t back up?
Check File History settings to ensure the correct folders are selected for backup. Also, make sure the drive has enough space for backups.

You can consider using other backup solutions Windows Backup and Restore, free third-party backup software like AOMEI Backupper, or cloud-based backup services.
Is it possible to use File History with an external SSD?
Yes, File History can be used with external SSDs. Ensure the drive is properly connected and formatted correctly.
Can I use a network drive with File History?
No, File History typically works with local drives. It may not recognize network drives.
How can I check if File History is running on my computer?
Type "File History" in the Windows search bar and open the settings. It will show whether File History is on or off.
How to fix Windows 10 File History not working?
How to fix Windows 10 File History not working?  Go Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Bitlocker Drive Encryption.  Find the drive you want to decrypt, and click Turn off Bitlocker option.  Input your password to unlock this drive or use a smart card to unlock. If needed, get more ways to fix File History Not working in Windows.


With the above efficient 5 ways, you can easily fix the “File History doesn’t recognize this drive” error in Windows 10, 11, 8, 7.

If you are worried about data loss during this process or don't have File History backup. You may also recover lost data simply and quickly by using reliable data recovery software like MyRecover. It can also get data back from an SD card, USB flash disk, computer, etc. with easy steps.

Lori · Editor
Lori receives professional technical training since joining AOMEI, and aims at helping users troubleshoot problems on data recovery and protection. She focuses on simple, efficient and practical methods, and provides professional advice. Being able to help readers and users is her ultimate goal.