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How to Restore Previous Versions of your Files with File History in Windows 8 and 8.1


information   Information
File History is a new feature introduced in Windows 8 that automatically backs up files that are in your libraries, contacts (C:\Users\(user-name)\Contacts), Internet Explorer favorites (C:\Users\(user-name)\Favorites), and your desktop (C:\Users\(user-name)\Desktop).

If the originals are lost, damaged, or deleted, you can restore all of them. You can also find different versions of your files from a specific point in time. Over time, you'll have a complete history of your files.


This tutorial will show you how to restore previous versions of your files that were saved by File History in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.

Note   Note
File History saves your files in the Data folder in the selected local or network drive at the location below if needed to manually copy and paste them back to restore.

(selected drive)\File History\(user-name)\(computer-name)\Data\C\Users




Here's How:

1. Do step 2 or 3 below for how your would like to restore your files with File History.

2. Open the Control Panel (icons view), click/tap on File History. On the left side in File History, click/tap on Restore personal files, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)

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3. In File Explorer, select a single file or folder in your libraries, contacts (C:\Users\(user-name)\Contacts), favorites (C:\Users\(user-name)\Favorites), OneDrive (C:\Users\(user-name)\SkyDrive), or desktop (C:\Users\(user-name)\Desktop) location, click/tap on the Home tab, click/tap on the History Name:  History_button.jpg
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4. If more than one versions are available, click/tap on the left and right arrows to scroll through the different dated versions of your files until you find a version you want to restore files from. (see screenshot below)

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5. Select one or more files and/or folders in the version you want to restore from, and do step 6 or 7 below for where you want to restore them to. (see screenshot above)


6. To Restore Files to Original Location

A) Do step 6B, 6C, or 6D below.

B) Click/tap on the Restore button, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)

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C) Right click on the selected files/folders, click/tap on Restore, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below step 7B)

D) Click/tap on the Options (Alt+O) Name:  Options_icon.jpg
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Size:  932 Bytes icon, click/tap on Restore, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below step 7C)

7. To Restore Files to a Location of your Choice

A) Do step 7B or 7C below.

B) Right click on the selected files/folders, click/tap on Restore to, and go to step 7D below. (see screenshot below

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C) Click/tap on the Options (Alt+O) Name:  Options_icon.jpg
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Size:  932 Bytes icon, click/tap on Restore to, and go to step 7D below. (see screenshot below)

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D) Navigate to and select a folder or drive to restore to, click/tap on Select Folder, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)

Name:  Restore_File_History-7.jpg
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8. If prompted, click/tap on the option you would like to use. (see screenshot below)

Name:  Restore_File_History-8.jpg
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9. File Explorer will now open directly to the location you restored the selected files to. (see screenshot below)

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That's it,
Shawn