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I have heard that Windows 8 is providing a tool like time machine of Mac. What is it called in Windows and how does it work?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Now Windows 8 supports the Time machine function of Mac OSX and its called File History. You can find it under the settings in the start screen by typing Recovery in search box or Control Panel > System and Security > File History.

How is different from the Restore point

It is completely different form it as in system restore process you can just restore the settings and program but not the files in your profile.

It has scheduled built in function to run it at specific time to backup your folders and data. By default it is turned off you have to turn it on. When you turn it on it need an external storage device as Windows will not perform the backup on the system storage.

What folders File History backed up

In Windows 8, File History will initially only be rolled out to protect files in Libraries, Desktop, Favorites, and Contacts. But you can link any folder to library and it will be count in backup. Also you can exclude the folders you don't want to back up.

File History seems to be good offline complement to cloud-based SkyDrive backups. One thing that will please power users is that Microsoft is offering very fine grain control of File History, with the option to exclude certain folders, control cache, set an expiration date for saved content etc.

How it does work?

By default it is turned off so you have to turn it on. Go to the Control panel>File History or just type at the start screen File History under the settings.

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Click it to turn it on.

Now File History window will appear, if you don't have connect an external storage device for backup then you will have disabled Turn On button, but if you have connected the external storage device then it will be enable and click it to turn it on.

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You can change the drive if you don't want to put the backup file as Windows choose from the external HDD or USB, for this just click on the Select Drive option in left panel at Home-File History window.

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Now if you don't want to backup all the folder then just click on the option Exclude Folder in the left panel at Home-File History window.

If you want to set the the time period for when the copy should be auto backup then go to Advanced settings in the left panel at Home-File History window. You can also set for how many days you want to keep the version of the file in the drive, offline cache.

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Now when you want to restore your files just click on the Restore personal files option in left panel at Home-File History window. You can see the different files of backup by click on next and previous button.

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Select the folder you want to restore and then just click on the green button which will start the process of restoration.

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You probably came across File History.

It is designed to synchronize your documents (in Libraries, Desktop, Favourites, Contacts) hourly. By default it is turned off, and when you turn it on, you should set a proper storage location for the backups.

The configuration can be found at Control Panel > System and Security > File History. You can also select Configure this drive for backup when you connect an external storage device.

If you want backups to be made more frequently, you can change this in Advanced Settings, for example to every 10 minutes or daily, as well as set how long old versions are kept.

More information can be found at:

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