By Ivy / Last Updated September 22, 2020

Can you restore individual files from Windows 7 /8/10 backup?

In Windows 7, you can use Windows Backup and Restore to backup files and system. If you have ever created a file backup with Backup and Restore, you may see Restore my files under the Restore tab. That’s to say, you can restore individual files from Windows 7 backup.

However, there are some limitations while using Windows Backup and Restore.

1. It only supports full backup. This type of backup can take up much space if you create a file backup very often.

2. It will be deleted after you do a system restore.

3. It cannot compress and encrypt your files. If you have dozens of files, using Backup and Restore to create a file backup can occupy much space.

4. It cannot delete old backup automatically. If you create many file backups, you may want to delete the older backup to get some space but it cannot help you.

If you just have a system image backup, you cannot restore files from Windows 7 image backup unless you plan to restore the system. If so, you may lose some softwares installed after that backup.

In Windows 8/8.1/10, you can make use of File History. It only allows you to backup files stored in libraries, desktop, favorites and contacts folders. If you want to backup files on addition location, you may feel disappoint.

Thus, I'll firstly introduce you how to restore files from a backup with built-in tools and then tell you the alternative way.

How to restore files from backup on Windows 7?

Step 1. Type backup and restore in the search box and select it.

Step 2. Click Restore my files under the Restore tab.

Restore My Files

Step 3. Search or browse the files or folders you want to restore. Here are 3 ways you can use.

  • Search: You just need to type part of the name of the files you want to restore, then click the found file or select all to restore.

  • Browse for Files: Click the backup name and the folder subsequently, then find the file in the folder and click Add Files.

  • Browse for Folders: Click this button to open a dialog box of folders, and then click the folder containing all the files you want to restore and click Add Folder.

Search Files

Add Files

Step 4. Tick In the original location or In the following location. In most cases, you should tick the first one. If you still have a version of the file prepared to restore, you can tick the second one.

Restore Files From Backup Windows 7

Step 5. Now, you can view the restored files and click Finish to close the dialog box.

If you want to restore files from windows 7 backup to windows 8/8.1/10, you can choose select another backup to restore files from on Windows 8/8.1/10 and follow the instructions to recover your files. To do so, you need to copy your backup to an external storage device, such as, USB flash drive.

How to restore files from backup on Windows 8/8.1/10/?

Here, I will take Windows 10 as an example and show you the detailed steps to restore files.

Step 1. Click Start > Settings > Update & Security and then select Backup option in the following list.


Step 2. Click More options under the tab Back up using File History.

More Options

Step 3. Pull down the page and click Restore files from a current backup under the Related settings.

Restore Files from a Current Backup

Step 4. Type the name of file in the search box and select the found file, then click the Restore button. It will be recovered to its original location.

Select Restore

Alternative way to backup and restore files from backup on Windows 7/8/10

As mentioned above, Windows built-in tool Backup and Restore as well as File History are not a good choice. Want a better way?

Here, I will introduce you a magic software called AOMEI Backupper. This software is very easy to use, even for beginner. With it, you can backup files to external hard drive, network drive, Google drive, OneDrive, USB flash drive, etc.

You can create a schedule backup for files, including Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event trigger. To only backup the changed files, you can use the incremental backup or differential backup. To get more space, you can delete old backups on schedule.

Backup files and folders on Windows 7/8/10

Step 1. Download free backup and restore software AOMEI Backupper Standard, install and launch it.

Step 2. Click File Backup under the Backup tab.

File Backup

Step 3. Set a Task Name if needed. Click Add Files or Add Folders and Browse to find the files or folders you want to backup, and then click OK to continue.

Add File Folder

Note: If you want to backup files with a certain file extension, you can click Filter Settings and then you can select the file extension you want to backup. Unfortunately, this feature is only available on the paid version. If needed, you can upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Pro or Server according to your needs.

Step 4. Click Step 2 and select a destination path for your files. After that, click Start Backup.

Restore files from backup on Windows 7/8/10

With a backup in hand, you can restore files at any time. See below and learn how to restore files from a backup on Windows 7/8/10 with free AOMEI Backupper.

Step 1. Open AOMEI Backupper Standard. Click Restore and Select Task. If the system image backup does not be detected, you can click Select Image File to find it.

Select Task

Step 2. Select a file backup in the list and click Next.

Select Image

Step 4. Select the folders and files from image backup in the list tree and click Next.

Select Folders Files

Step 5. Select a location for your files and click Next to start the pending operation. When it ends, click Start Restore.

Restore to Original Location

If you have a system image backup, you can still try Explore Image in AOMEI Backupper Standard. It allows you to restore the specific files with all kinds of backup image, including file backup, partition backup, disk backup and system image backup.