How to Launch It
- Open the traditional Control Panel through the Start Screen or using the Run Windows command “control”.
- Select “Category” view for Control Panel.
- Select “System and Security” category. This opens a new page containing the subcategories.
- Select “File History”. This will launch the applet on the same control panel page.
Select a DriveThe first thing that the wizard asks is to select a drive to which the older copies of your files will get stored. The wizard lists all the available drives that could be used as data storage for File History. Besides that, you can specify a network drive in which File History can store data.
Exclude undesired dataAs mentioned earlier, you can specify what data you don’t want to include in File History. It makes sense not to include multimedia files as they don’t change frequently and would only consume precious space of the hard drive. Click on “Add” button to add any file/folder to the exclusion list. The caveat here is that you can neither specify a whole library nor can you specify multiple files/folders simultaneously. So this may be a bit of pain if there are way too many folders to exclude.
Advanced SettingsThis step contains the advanced customizations like what time interval the data should be backed up, and how many copies of the data should be kept as a backup. The main 3 customizations are as follows.
- Save copies of file – At what time interval should File History keep saving files? You could keep the time interval as short as 10 minutes, but that would create too many backup copies, which would just unnecessarily devour the disk space.
- Size of offline cache – If the backup drive is a network drive, then Windows doesn’t directly save the files to that drive. It keeps a cache on your local drive for faster and more efficient read/writes. You can specify the size of this cache as a percentage of the local disk space.
- Keep saved versions – For what time should an old version be kept stored? You can keep it forever, but it will just eat more space unnecessarily. Most of the times, you won’t require ancient copies of files. In that case, you should put an expiry date on the older copies, so that the newer ones take their place.