How to enable or disable file history in Windows 11

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How to enable or disable file history in Windows 11

Although it is not very common for your files to get corrupted in Windows, there is always a risk of losing them in case something happens to your machine. Therefore, it is always a good idea to back up your folders and files. Windows 11 has a built-in feature that helps you back up your files and folders very easily. The feature is called File history and it can be easily enabled or disabled with the click of a button.

The File History feature backs up your files to an external drive. So in case you lose your original files, you can always restore them using the backup you created using File History. Only the files and folders within the home directory, C: Users are backed up by default using File History. However, if you want to backup other files and folders, it is also possible.

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Read on to find out how you can enable or disable this wonderful feature on your Windows 11.

How to turn on file history in Windows 11

To enable the File History feature, you need to connect an external drive to your PC. It can be a USB, a network drive / folder, a hard drive, or any other external drive of your choice. In this article, we have connected a USB to our PC, through which we will enable the File History function. Files will be backed up on this external drive.

Paso 1: Start the To run window pressing keys Win y R together.

When it starts, type control and hit the OK button.

Paso 2: In the Control Panel window, click the drop-down list against View by. Choose Small icons in the drop-down menu.

Paso 3: From the list of control panel settings, click File history.

3 Optimized file history

Paso 4: Windows will automatically detect whether an external drive is connected or not. If so, the Turn on the button will be activated.

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Click on the Turn on button.

4 Enable Optimized

Paso 5: You will now see a message File history is saving copies of your files for the first time. Wait for the process to finish.

5 Optimized copy in progress

If you want to stop the copy process at any time, you can click the Stop button.

6 optimized stop

Paso 6: After the copy is finished, you can see the following message. That is all. Your files have now been backed up successfully.

7 Optimized copied message

Note: The File History feature automatically backs up your files periodically whenever your external drive is connected to your PC. In case your external drive is not permanently connected to your system, you can click on the Run now link to manually start the file backup procedure via File History.

8 Run now optimized

How to turn off file history in Windows 11

As long as the external hard drive is connected to your PC and the File History feature is enabled, your files will be automatically backed up to the external drive periodically. If you want to disable this feature for any reason, you can click the Delete button as shown in the screenshot below.

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9 Disable optimized

How to restore files from file history in Windows 11

First, connect the external hard drive to your PC, on which you have backed up your files. Now to restore the backed up files, follow the steps below.

Paso 1: Press the Win y R keys together to launch the To run window.

to write control and hit Get into to start the Control Panel.

10 Optimized control

Step 2: Click on the drop-down list associated with View by option. Choose Small icons drop-down menu option.

11 small optimized icons

Paso 3: As below, click the File history configuration option.

12 Optimized file history

Paso 4: At left panel in the window, click the Restore personal files Link.

13 Restore optimized personal files

Paso 5: From the restore window, click on the folder or file you want to restore and then click the Restore button at the bottom.

14 Restore to original optimized location

That is all. The selected file or folder will now be restored to its original location.

Note: If you want to enter into a folder, you can double click in that. Once inside, return, click on the until arrow at the top of the window.

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13 Back button

Paso 6: By default, the files would be backed up to their original locations. However, if you want to restore the file to a particular location, then click in the file / folder to select it, then click the Settings icon in the upper right corner of the File History window, and then click the Restore to option.

15 Restore to Optimized

Paso 8: From the Restore to window that opens below, choose the location where you want the selected file or folder to be restored.

16 Choose the optimized location

Hope you found the article useful.