Slideshow: Activate the Windows 8 File History feature

The restore operation is fairly straightforward

At the top of the window, you'll see that this view is showing the most recent version of the File History backup - version 5 of 5 created on August 8 at 6:59. Over to the left you can see the outline of the previous version (4 of 5). You can scroll through all of the available versions by using the Previous version and Next version buttons at the bottom of the screen.

If you wanted to restore all of your files, like you would in the event of a hard disk failure, you would just click the blue Restore button between the Previous version and Next version buttons. If you wanted to restore a particular version of the file, you would drill down to the folder and file and choose the correct version that you are looking for.

Another handy feature of File History is that you can preview the file before you actually restore it. As you can imagine this take a lot out of the guess work out of finding the exact version that you are looking for.

Once you have found the file version that you want to restore, select it and click the Restore button. When you do, you'll be prompted for the next step. In the case of a version you can either Replace the existing file with the copy from File History or Compare both files before deciding what to do. If you select Replace, you'll see the new copy operation progress dialog box complete with the graph. When the operation is complete, the folder containing the new file will open.


Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.