Microsoft: Backup and Restore Breakthrough in Windows 8

Juan Carlos Perez July 11, 2012
Microsoft: Backup and Restore Breakthrough in Windows 8
The company hopes the enhancements will prompt more users to back up their files.

Windows 8 makes the process of file backup and restore the easiest it's ever been for users of Windows OSes, Microsoft said.

Acknowledging that usage of this feature is woefully low even on Windows 7, Microsoft set out to make Windows 8's new File History application much simpler to set up, use and maintain.

In addition to the usability enhancements, File History also innovates in other ways, including its ability to capture and archive multiple versions of each file, thus providing not only a backup copy but also a history of a file's changes.

"We designed File History with two objectives in mind; 1) offer best possible protection of user personal files and 2) offer ease, simplicity and peace of mind," wrote Bohdan Raciborski, a Microsoft program manager, in a blog post.

"If you want to take advantage of File History, you have to make only [a] few, simple decisions," he added. "The rest is taken care of by Windows. The operation of File History is transparent and doesn't affect the user experience, reliability or performance of Windows in any way."

To use File History, Windows 8 users need to turn it on and select where the backed-up files will be stored. This repository can be an external drive or a network location. The application doesn't support backing up files to cloud storage.

If users are fine with using the default settings of File History, they don't need to do anything else. The application will run in the background, waking up every hour to back up files.

Unlike other Windows and non-Windows backup and restore utilities, File History has been designed to only protect personal files, not the entire contents of a PC.