By AOMEI / Last Updated August 13, 2020

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Is there a similar tool to File History in Windows 7?

Have you ever mistakenly deleted some files or lost files mysteriously? If you have enabled the feature built in Windows 7 that I am about to tell you, you can recover permanently deleted files, and view or restore a previous version of a file.

This feature is called Previous Versions. With a little bit of disk space, you can use this feature to run file backup in Windows 7, thus protecting your valuable files from inadvertent file deletions and data loss of other causes.

How to enable Previous Versions in Windows 7?

By default, the Previous Versions feature is enabled, but it may not include the files that you want to protect. Previous versions of files are saved as a part of a System Restore Point, so when a Windows 7 restore point is created, the file versions will be recorded.

To view and change your current System Restore Points settings:

1. Right click on My Computer and select Properties. From there, click System protection.

System Protection

2. Under the System Protection tab, C: drive protection is on by default. If the files that you want to record are located on another drive, select the drive and click Configure button to enable system protection for it.

Configure System Restore Settings


The program will create a restore point under the below circumstances:

  • New application that may cause system problem installed.

  • Windows auto updates installed.

  • No restore point created in the last 7 days.

If you want to record your file versions more often, you can use Windows Task Scheduler to set up a custom scheduled task to create system restore points. You can type “taskschd.msc” in a Run window. Then, find the System Restore task in the Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > SystemRestore.

Restore previous versions in Windows 7

Once you have system restore point set up, you can restore a file to its previous version or restore deleted files.

To restore a modified file

1. Locate the file, right click on the file and select Restore previous versions. You will see all the available versions with the time specified.

Restore Modified File

2. Then you can open the file to compare the previous version and the current version. Click Restore to restore the previous version that you need.

Tips: If you see no previous versions, that is because the file has not been modified or the restore point has not been created since the date someone modified the file.

To restore a deleted file

If a file is deleted or renamed, you can view the previous version of the file in the parent folder containing the file. Then, right click on the folder and select the Properties option. In the Properties window, click on the Previous Versions tab.

Restore Deleted File

From there, you can open the folder with a previous date to check if it contains the renamed or permanently deleted files. At last, click Restore to retrieve your files.

Previous Versions VS Backup

Previous Versions automatically create snapshots of the files that you want to protect, so it is able to provide several versions of the same file for you to choose.

Previous Versions feature is smart enough to only record the changed files, so it can cover all the files on your hard drive using a little disk space. That is what an image backup can never accomplish.

However, it cannot replace regular image backups. As mentioned, the previous versions are saved in the corresponding volume. If the volume corrupted or the hard drive failed, then you cannot restore to the previous version.

Therefore, if you want to have complete protection of your files, you should create an image file backup besides the previous version.

How to create an image backup of your files?

To make image file backup or system backup, you can use free backup tool AOMEI Backupper Standard. Compared with Windows Backup and Restore, AOMEI Backupper is more secure, runs faster and gives you more backup options.

To backup files and folders with AOMEI Backupper:

1. Free download, install and launch this backup software.

2. Under “Backup” tab, select “File Backup”.

File Backup

3. In this screen, click “Add File” or “Add Folder” to specify files or folders into the backup. If needed, you can also set a filter to exclude files from the backup, which is only available in the Professional and higher versions.

Add Folders to Backup

4. Click the second bar to select a location path to save the image backup. It brings you a File Explorer window, so you can select any folder as the destination location on the local drive, external drive or network drive.

Select Backup Destination

5. In order to have your backup updated automatically, click “Schedule” to set a scheduled backup if needed. After that, click “Start Backup” to start the backup.

Start Backup

Tips: After the backup completes, you can make a bootable disk, so you can restore your files when system cannot boot.

Summary

You can never be more careful about your valuable data. The Previous Versions feature works as an alternative to File History in Windows 7, and it can help to protect your data to some extent. For more comprehensive data protection, you need to create an image backup of your files with AOMEI Backupper. It also allows you to backup Windows 10 to NAS. Why not try it now?