Automatically back up your files with Windows 8's File History feature

It's one of the best new features in Windows 8, but you have to turn it on

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Everyone knows backing up files is important, but rarely do we get it done unless we have an automated, easy system doing it for us in the background. Windows 8 comes with such a tool built-in: File History. Like Mac OS X's Time Machine, It saves copies of your files so that even if you accidentally overwrite a file or want to go back to an earlier version of it, you can. The only thing is, File History isn't on by default.

To turn it on, just head to the Control Panel > File History. You can have the file backups saved to an external drive or a network location, such as a NAS, with the "Change Drive" option in the sidebar.

That's it. By default, files will be saved hourly, until 5% of the drive is taken up, and files will be saved forever. You can change these settings under the "Advanced Settings" option in the sidebar, though, and also choose which folders to leave out of the back up.

File History saves files from your Windows Libraries (personal documents, media, and other files), so it's not a complete system backup. For that, you'll need Windows 8's hidden backup tool.

Photo by Pete

Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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