File History is a convenient and easy-to-use feature of Windows 10. Its automatic backup and ability to keep older versions of files makes it a great set up and forget backup option. If you aren’t familiar with File History, I recommend reading Lee Grant’s article on this very website to understand more about it.
I’m familiar with File History, so what’s the problem?
While I sing its praises, I do have two issues with File History – the first being that Microsoft hid it away in the depths of Windows 10’s settings. It may be set and forget, but it is also a sensible idea to check your backup from time to time to ensure all is working. Having to go through several layers of options to get there is frustrating.
The second niggle I have with File History is in changing the backup drive. It may not be something you often do, but if you have a faulty drive or need to increase your backup storage, you will have to go down that road – and it isn’t as straightforward as you may think.
Okay, so what do I need to do?
To replace the backup drive in File History, you need to do the following:
- Click Start and then Settings.
- In Windows Settings, click Update and Security.
- Click on Backup on the left-hand menu.
- Click on the More options link under the Heading Automatically back up my files.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the Back-up options and click on the button Stop using drive.
- You are now able to select another drive to use with File History. Click the back arrow in the top left of the current Window.
- This takes you to the Backup section. If you haven’t already, attach your new drive. Once connected, under the heading Back up using File History, click on Add a drive.
- Select your drive from the list. If there is more than one showing, make sure you select the correct drive.
One last step?
You can now use your new drive to back up. But be aware, Windows will have reset the backup options to its default settings.
If you changed your previous backup options, you will have to re-select them. These are available in the back-up options section and include:
- How often file history will backup.
- How long it will keep your backup history for.
- And finally, the most important: adding any additional folders that are not already included in the default list.
It’s a wrap
File History is a great backup system. However, if you ever need to change your backup drive, it isn’t simply a case of plug in and go. You will need to tell Windows to stop using your old drive, select the new one, and re-configure any backup options you may have changed.