Backing up your data is an important task that most of us neglect to do. Windows has included backup software of some kind for a long time now, but few people actually use it, because they forget, or don’t understand it, or don’t know it’s there, or simply can’t be bothered.
Microsoft’s latest attempt to get Windows users to back up their files is Windows 8′s File History. File History is an automatic point-in-time backup system that periodically saves snapshots of your data to a separate location (either a network file share or a directly attached hard disk).
Every hour, by default, any modified data files get safely archived away, and there’s a reasonably simple user interface to browse all the different versions of a file or folder that the system has stored, and from there they can be opened or restored.
However, Windows 8 is not the first Windows version to include a file history feature. Since Windows Server 2003, Windows has had the ability to automatically store historic file versions, in a feature known as Shadow Copies. Windows Vista (Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions) and Windows 7 (all versions) both include the same capability, calling it Previous Versions. [Read more...]