By Jessie / Last update December 13, 2021

Windows 11 File History vs Windows 10 File History

File History is a built-in Windows backup tool that will regularly backup your files in Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos and Desktop folders, as well as OneDrive files on your computer that are available offline. Many users report that they cannot find File History after upgrading to Windows 11, or cannot customize the files they want to backup. This is because there are some differences between File History in Windows 11 and Windows 10.

The most obvious difference is that File History is no longer in Windows Settings, so you can't set up your file backup tasks there. In Windows 10, you could set up File History backup tasks both in Settings and Control Panel. While Windows 11 Perform File History backup task with a different path in the settings than before.

Besides, the location of File History in Control Panel has changed. File History in Windows 11 is located in Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > File History. While in Windows 10 it is located in Control Panel > System and Security > File History.

What's more, File History in Windows 10 allows users to backup files on non-system volumes by using the Add Folder option, but Windows 11 doesn't have this option. So, if you want to backup files outside of a specific folder, you need to put them in a specific folder first and then back them up.

Win 11 VS Win 10

Enable or Disable File History using Control Panel

Next, you can learn how to use Control Panel to enable or disable Windows 11 File History by following the illustrated tutorial below.

Step 1. Go to Windows 11 Search box and type File History, then open it.

Search Windows 11 File History

Step 2. It will open the Windows 11 Control Panel and direct you to Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > File History.

Step 3. Click the Select Drive option on the left side menu. Then click the Turn on button to enable Windows 11 File History. And the system will automatically backup your files to the selected drive.

Turn On

Tips:

  1. When you are selecting a drive, it is recommended that you choose an external USB drive or NAS network drive to ensure security.
  2. You can also Exclude folders that you don’t want to backup.

File History Exclude Folders

  1. You can go to Advanced settings to configure the backup frequency and retention policy.

File History Advanced Settings

Note: If you want to disable the file history, you can repeat the previous steps and go to this page then click the Turn off button.

Turn Off

Enable or Disable File History using Edit Group Policy

The second method is to use Edit Group Policy to enable or disable the File History. Please follow the steps below.

Step 1. Click on the Start menu, then search for and open Edit group policy.

Edit Group Policy

Step 2. In the local group policy editor window, navigate to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\File History.

Navigate

Step 3. Double-click the Turn off File History to open the settings. Then tick the Disabled box to enable File History and click Apply.

Disabled File History

Note: If you want to disable it, you can click the Enabled box to disable File History and click Apply.

Enable or Disable File History using Registry Editor

In addition to the 2 mentioned methods above, you can also enable or disable File History by Registry Editor. Here are the specific steps.

Step 1. Press Win+R to open the Run window and type regedit to open the Registry Editor.

Regedit

Step 2. In the Registry Editor window, navigate to Computer/HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows.

Step 3. Right-click the Windows key and select New > Key.

New Key

Step 4. Right-click in the right pane of the registry to select New, then DWORD (32-bit) Value and enter Disabled for the DWORD’s title.

Dword (32-bit) Value

Step 5. Double-click the new Disabled DWORD to open the window below. You can enter 0 in the box and click OK to enable File History.

Enter 0

Note: If you want to disable it, you can enter 1 in the Value data box and click OK to disable File History.

The Best Alternative of Windows 11 File History

It is easy to see from the above, you can continue to use File History in Windows 11, but it works better in Windows 10. Besides, this backup tool has some shortcomings, such as it can only backup files on the system C drive, it requires a large target storage device because it can't compress backup copies, etc. 

Therefore, except for using File History to backup your files, you can also choose a more secure and reliable alternative software to help you. AOMEI Backupper Standard is a good choice that can backup any files and compress them to an image file. As a free and professional backup tool, it also has the following advantages:

  • It supports 4 backup solutions including file backup, partition backup, system backup and disk backup.
  • It supports schedule backup so that you can backup your files with fixed intervals (daily/weekly/monthly) and choose a way to perform the backup, both full backup and incremental backup are available.
  • It not only offers a compression feature but also allows you to choose the different compression levels (high/normal/low).
  • It provides different backup modes, you can select intelligent sector backup or exact backup according to your needs.
  • You can write comments to your backups and set up email notifications.
  • It supports multiple storage devices, such as local drive, external drive, USB, HDD, SSD, etc.
  • It supports various operating systems, such as Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11, XP, Vista, etc.

Then you can follow the steps below to backup your files easily with the best alternative of Windows 11 File History.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Standard, install and launch it. Then click Backup > File Backup.

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

File Backup

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

Add Folders Files

Step 3. Choose the destination for your backup.

Select Destination

Step 4. Confirm all your operations and then click Start Backup.

Start Backup

Notes:

  • Options: You can enable email notification, choose the compression level and splitting ways for your backup file, etc.
  • Schedule: You can set the file backups with fixed intervals such as daily, weekly or monthly.
  • Scheme: When you are doing schedule backup, you can use a backup scheme to delete old backups, which can help you save disk space. And you can upgrade to the professional version to enjoy it.

Summary

This article shows you how to find File History in Windows 11 and how to enable or disable it with 3 methods. Windows 11 File History has reduced backup features compared to Windows 10, so you can't backup files that are not on the system C drive. Besides, it does not support compressing files, thus it requires a large target disk.

You can also choose AOMEI Backupper Standard to help you backup your files. It supports backup all files whether they are on C drive or not, and it will compress the files to ensure the security of your files. It also offers multiple backup modes and schemes to ensure the backup files are safe in all aspects.

In addition, it also provides differential backup functions that are not supported by the built-in tool. You can download this software to explore more useful features.