File History is a feature in Windows 8 which can be used for creating a backup of your personal files. You will need an external hard disk drive where the backups of your files will be created. If you have lost or removed a file by mistake then, you can use this feature to recover the lost files.
To enable File History for recovering deleted files in Windows 8, follow the below given steps:
1) Connect an external hard drive. This is the hard drive where the backups of files will be created.
2) Go to: Charms bar –> Search
3) Type: File History under “Settings”
4) Click on “File History” icon on the left side.
5) In the “File History” dialog box you will see the external hard disk drive under “Copy files to” section or you have more than one drive connected then, click on “Select drive” on the left side to select a hard drive where you wish to create the backup. If you want to exclude any folders before creating a backup then, click on “Exclude Folders” and then click on “Add” to add folders which needs to be excluded from the backups.
6) Click on “Turn on”.
7) After that you will see a message “File History is saving copies of your files for the first time”. Wait for some time till the File History creates a backup of you files in the hard drive.
8) When, the backup is created, you will get a message “Files last copied on 08-12-2013 15: 03”
9) For other settings, click on “Advanced settings”:
i) Save copies of files: Here you can select when the copies of your files should be saved automatically. Options are from every 10 minutes to daily. Every hour is the default.
ii) Size of offline cache: Here you can select the size of offline cache. Ideally, you should leave it to 5% of disk space.
iii) Keep saved versions: Using this option, you can select for how long you want to save the versions of files. Options are “Until space is needed”, one month to 2 years, and forever. You can select any option based on your hard disk size.
For recovering deleted files:
In future, if you lost a file, you can click on “Recover personal files” option on the left side of File History window:
or you can open a file explorer window and then, go to “Home” tab, and then click on “History” icon at the top:
Then, browse through the file which you want to recover, then right-click on it and then click on “Restore” or click on “Restore to” to restore it to a specified location as per you choice.