By AOMEI / Last Updated September 21, 2017

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

Have ever mistakenly permanently delete some files or lost files mysteriously? If you have enable the feature built-in Windows that I am about to tell you, you can recover deleted files, 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 protect your valuable files from inadvertent file deletions and data loss of other causes.

How to Enable previous versions windows 7?

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

To view and change your current System Restore Points settings:

1. you can right click on My Computer and select Properties. From there, click System Protection.

System Protection

2. Under the System Protection tab, if it is not enabled already, click Configure button to enable it and select the drive containing the files that you want to record.

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 Update installed.
  • No restore point created in the last 7 days.

If you want to record your file version 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. You can find the System Restore task in the Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft> Windows> System Restore

restore previous version windows 7

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

To restore modified file

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

Restore Modified File

Then you can open the file to compare the previous version and the current version or click Restore to restore the previous version of the file.

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

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 you right click on the folder and selecting the Properties option. In the Properties window, click on the Previous Versions tab.

Restore Deleted File

From there, you can open the folder and restore the file you renamed or permanently deleted.

Previous Version VS Backup

Previous Versions automatically create snapshots of the files that you want to protect, so it is able to provide you 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 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” under “Step 1” to specify files and folders into the backup. If needed, you can also set a filter to exclude files form the backup, which is only available in the Professional version.

Add Folders to Backup

4. Click "Step 2” 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.

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

You can never be more careful about your valuable data. Previous Versions or image backup will only take a little hard drive space, so keep your file history in Windows 7 using a proper way.