At this point there are few users who do not know how to create a backup of files in Windows, so today we will explain step by step to put it into practice.
We will also tell you how to use the history of files in Windows 8 and files in Windows 7 or XP, to automatically create copies of documents and data and keep safe all your important information.
In addition, you can save your email files, photos, images, music or any other valuable content and thus prevent their loss or deterioration.
With the day to day you can observe how your PC or Laptop is storing information and modifying, according to your affinities and needs either writing documents, receiving and sending emails, transferring images from your camera, scanning files with the photocopier, among other matters.
After a few weeks or months you have an enormous amount of stored documents, many of them of utmost importance while others of lesser relevance.
It’s even likely that there are documents that are in danger of disappearing at any time due to a computer crash, a virus infection, or a conflict with the operating system that forces you to reinstall Windows.
When this inconvenient arises, you will surely ask yourself: Am I prepared if suddenly my computer does not start and it is necessary to solve the problem to format the hard disk? Have I saved a copy of all the important information I have on my computer?
Unfortunately almost all users are neglected and are not really prepared to face a mishap like this, which hopefully will never happen.
However, the best solution to foresee this is to constantly save your data in a methodical way, but most of the time you get careless and sometimes you get cumbersome copying, creating folders, pasting files, etc..
Keep your important data safe in Windows
If you want to keep your important data safe in Windows, you must first take into account that Windows 7 and XP provide different methods to keep safe information such as: backups or the creation of a system image.
In fact, are advanced strategies used by professionals, is also available the tool “restore system”, although that is not exactly its purpose. So you decide to use these operating systems, later in this article you will find simpler alternatives.
Now, if you use Windows 8, this system completely solves this problem, facilitates the creation and saving of file backups to anyone, even without any knowledge.
Windows 8 introduces a new tool to create backups of documents and any file, which works fantastically, is called: “file history”. Even every so often that you can specify, the files you specify are backed up in a hard disk cache.
But when you insert in the PC the external device where you store your backup, the data will be copied to it automatically, without having to perform any action, in addition, the device can be a USB data memory, an external hard drive, even another computer in a network.
All this will depend on your possibilities and the volume of information to be saved. For the vast majority who need to keep text documents safe, a USB memory stick of 4GB or more will suffice.
Here’s how Windows 8 file history works
To know how the history of files works, you should know that to configure the tool is important to have available an external storage unit, this can be a data flash memory, a memory card, an external hard drive by USB, among others.
Logically it does not make sense to keep data inside the same PC as they would be at constant risk.
However, turning the feature on every hour can specify another interval, or make a copy of the contents of the following Windows directories: libraries; documents; pictures; music and videos; desktop; contacts; and favorites.
Then it is necessary to save the created copy to the connected device and every hour it is verified and it copies again the file that has been added or that has been modified. In this case it is not necessary to have the device with the backup constantly connected to the PC.
What you do have to keep in mind is that, the process of copying the files will continue, but they will be saved in a section of the hard disk, until it is detected that the backup device was reconnected.
The files will immediately be copied to him.
All of the above without any intervention, it is only necessary to activate and configure the function the first time, remember that by configuring the tool you can exclude any of the folders mentioned above and add any other that is in any other location on the PC.
On the other hand, to activate and use the file history in Windows 8 you must perform some steps to be executed correctly. If you already have a device to save your data and want to check the operation of this tool just do the following:
- Connect the device where the backup will be saved to the PC or Laptop.
- It now opens in the Control Panel: “File History”.
- Select the device in the window and press the button: “activate”.
- In the left panel choose: “advanced settings” to change the interval in which to make the copy of files.
- Finally in the left panel choose: “exclude folders” to decide which folders will be included in the backup.
Steps to create a new library in Windows
- Open the Libraries folder in your browser or My Computer.
- Then right-click with the mouse and in the menu select: “New -> Library”.
- Now right click on the created library and choose “Properties”.
- Then, just use the “add” button to include a folder anywhere on your computer in the library.
- Now return to the File History settings and use the “Add” button to include that library.
From now on Windows will automatically create a backup of your files and copy them when it detects that you have inserted the necessary device in the computer.
Meanwhile, the main file history pane shows only the date and time of the last backup performed on the external device, not the one saved on your computer. .
When you explore the device you will see a new folder called: “FileHistory”, when you open it you will see that it contains all the specified folders and files.
Remember that when the device where the files are stored is not connected to the computer, Windows stores a copy of the modified files in the following directory, until they can be added to the backup:
C:UsersUserNameAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsFileHistory. The only feature that does not like the file history is that the files are renamed, adding the last update date.
How to create and save copies of documents in Windows 7 and XP
We can say that this is one of the simplest methods to regularly backup any file in Windows, because you only have to use batch files for each specific task.
The best thing is that they work in all versions of Windows, are simple to use, are tiny, free, are not necessary to install and do not give any conflict. But you know what batch files are?
For those who don’t know what barch files are yet, let us tell you that they are small executable applications, not programs.
They are just text files with instructions in MSDOS for the Windows CMD console, besides, it is not necessary to install them, just download them, unzip them and two clicks on them will execute the necessary function.
To unzip a file click on it with the right mouse button and in the menu choose: “extract all”.
It is worth mentioning that batch files use the ROBOCOPY application, as Microsoft says: “Tool for efficient copying of files” and is right, copies files but does not replace them, unless their properties have changed but what does this mean?
If you use the batch backupdocuments file to update the backup of the “My Documents” folder, each time you run it, it will copy only recent files that have been created, that do not exist in the backup folder.
What is the advantage of using batch files?
The advantages offered to users by these commands are diverse, they are not necessary to install, therefore no external file is added to Windows, they do not have a user interface nor is it necessary, so there is no need to configure anything or consume memory.
Only, when you remember you must give two clicks in the file and in an automatic way the copy will begin, even the backup will be done in a folder that the application creates in another drive that is not the one of Windows.
Any unpleasant problem that may occur on the PC you do not have to worry, because the data will be safe and when I finish copying the files, you can see a summary in the command window of the tasks performed and verify if there was any error.
When backing up data in Windows Vista and 7, it allows you with a single click to make a copy of data contained in the following folders:
- My Documents, Favorites, Windows Mail and Thunderbird mail client data, the Contacts folder and a full Registry backup.
- The default location where the data will be saved is D:/Backups.
- Each time the batch is executed, it will copy and overwrite only the data of new or modified files.
To make a backup of data in Windows XP, the procedure is similar to the previous one but in this case, logically, the mail clients to which the backup is made are Outlook Express and MS Outlook, so it uses the XCOPY command that has Windows XP.
And to make a backup of data from the user folder, if you have enough space on drive D, where the backup is stored this batch is the ideal option as it makes a copy of all the data from your user folder.
Each time you run it, it creates a new folder named with the date and time when the backup is made. To edit any of the batch files, for example change the path where the copy will be saved, just drag them and drop them over Windows Notepad, then modify the necessary code and save the changes.
Now if you want to make a backup of a USB flash memory, the method used is a batch file that will make every time you insert the memory in your computer, automatically, without any action, copy its contents to the backup folder.