File History was underused and probably not know by casual users in Windows 7, but Microsoft is making the feature more accessible — to the point where it will work automatically from boot.
Heard of file history? I don’t blame you, and Microsoft doesn’t either, but hopes the feature is more popular in Windows 8
There’s a feature in Windows 7 and Windows 8 called File History, which backs up setting to an external hard drive – or somewhere else set by the user – but it was sadly underused in Windows 7. As a result, much like the philosophy of Windows 8 actually, Microsoft has simplified the feature to the point where it works automatically without user input.
File History can capture and archive multiple files, which is similar to Time Machine in OS X Lion which can show multiple revisions of a file. Microsoft said it designed File History with two objectives in mind: protecting user’s files, along with offer simplicity and peace of mind. Point in time (PiT) files mean users can revert back to a point, which seems useful if you accidentally delete a file.
The only requirement for using Guild Wars 2 is to have an external hard drive – or network location, as Microsoft recommends as an alternative – as backup which is good practice anyway.
Lost Files? Chill
Setting up File History is pretty simple: to the Control panel and open File History, connect an external drive, refresh and then press Turn on. Drives can also be set up in AutoPlay by connect the drive to the PC, and pressing the notification that appears in the top right-hand corner and finally pressing Configure this drive for backup.
Steven Sinofsky on the official blog post said that after setup is complete the system will check every hour for files to backup. File History does a pretty comprehensive check on libraries, desktop, favorite and contacts for changed files. They’re then copied to the File History drive/network location.
When restoring files, Microsoft says File History hits four key points to simplify the process: libraries and folders can be browser in an experience similar to Windows Explorer; keywords, file names and date ranges can find files; files can be previewed; individual or a select group of files can be restored.