How to restore previous versions of files in Windows 10

In previous versions of Windows, saving via a file was a disaster (at least when it happened unintentionally). Aside from System Restore, Windows doesn’t have a built-in option for rolling back accidental changes to files. The original version of your file has been lost unless you manage to save it with a new filename.

Realizing this was an issue, Microsoft introduced File History, a feature that allows you to roll back changes to your files, but there are alternatives if you want to use a third-party solution. father. To restore previous versions of files in Windows 10, here’s what you need to do.

Restore previous versions of files using file history

If you want to roll back changes to a file and restore a previous version, the best way to do that is to use Windows’ own file versioning features. You’ll need to first enable File History, which typically uses an external drive (or a networked drive in some cases) to store files.

If File History is not enabled, then you cannot restore a previous version in Windows 10 unless you have synced your files with cloud storage.

  1. You can check if File History is enabled in Install Windows menu. Right-click the Start menu and select Setting option to get started.
  1. inside Install Windows menu, select Update & Security > Backup. Under Backup with File History optionally, the drive you are currently using to back up File History will be listed. If one of them isn’t listed, you’ll need to enable File History by selecting Add a drive right to buy.
  1. A list of available external drives will appear in the drop-down menu. Select one of these to enable File History. The Backup The menu will update with a slider allowing you to toggle File History on and off when you’ve done this. You can choose which folders it monitors by selecting Another choice below the slider.
  1. inside Another choice you can add or remove folders to keep track of File History by selecting Add a folder options below Back up these folders Category.
  1. You can also change how often files are backed up and how often backups are stored. To change these settings, change the settings using Back up my files and Keep my backups drop-down menu.
  1. Once File History is enabled and tracks the correct folders, you can restore previous file versions using Windows File Explorer. This will only work for files you edit after File history is enabled. To do this, open File Explorer and find the file or folder containing the file you want to restore. Right-click the file or folder, then select Restore previous versions right to buy.
  1. inside Previous versions tab of Characteristic window, you will see a list of previous versions of your file or folder. To view a file or folder, select the version you want to restore from the list, then select Open at the bottom. If you want to restore it, select Restore instead of.
  1. If you choose Restore, previously saved files will overwrite new files. To save both copies, select down arrow next to the Restore first, then choose Restoration instead of.
  1. Select a new folder to save previous versions of your files, then select Select folder right to buy.

Windows File Explorer will open to show you the recovered files, whether you chose to overwrite new copies or save them elsewhere. This option, as we mentioned, only works if you have File History enabled before you have made changes to the file.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many options to help you restore previous versions in Windows 10 if you haven’t already backup system in place. However, you may have better luck if you delete the file, as Microsoft now offers Windows File Recovery Tool to help recover lost files.

Use third-party file versioning software

Windows File History is a great option for versioning files, but it relies on using an external drive for backups, and backups are limited to every 15 minutes. Although it supports network drives, support for this seems to be more difficult, depending on how your network is configured.

With that in mind, you may prefer to use third-party file versioning software instead. While paid options exist, one of the simplest file versioning apps for Windows is AutoVera free application that will allow you to regularly back up your files to external drives, network-attached storage drives, and FTP servers off-site.

  1. To get started, download and install AutoVer on your Windows PC. Once the software is installed, you can start monitoring certain folders by selecting Add new followers in the AutoVer app.
  1. You will need to specify the folder you want to monitor, as well as the location to save file backups. Provide a name for your monitoring rule in Name box. Below View Folders, provide the location of the folder or drive you want to monitor. Finally, provide a location to save backups in Preventive box. You can choose to use a local backup location such as an external drive or switch to the backup files via FTP, by choosing between Backup type option.
  1. inside Version , you can choose how long you want to save your backup files. If you plan to back up to a remote server, you can set your FTP connection settings in FTP navigation. When you are satisfied with the changes, select ALRIGHT to save your changes.
  1. AutoVer will automatically back up any changes to your files, almost immediately after you make the changes. However, to run the viewer rule immediately and start a new backup, select Sync Selected Viewers (Back Up Now!) button.
  1. If you want to see the backed up files, you can do so by right clicking on the viewer rule and selecting Explore backups right to buy. This will open AutoVer . File Explorer, which allows you to view the files that have been saved. If you want to restore an earlier version of a file, you can select one of the versions of the file, select the dated version in the right column, and then select File Recovery button.

Although AutoVer may seem a bit dated, it is extremely effective at backing up your files regularly and gives you a third-party option to version files in Windows 10. Files are backed up. almost instantaneously, allowing you to quickly roll back changes to a file that may have been changed by mistake.

While cloud storage services like Google Drive are alternative options, you are limited in how often versions of a file can be stored. This allows for unlimited file versioning, like those offered by AutoVer, a superior solution for long-term backups.

Keep your Windows 10 files safe

Your PC won’t last forever, so it’s important that you always have a backup system for Windows in mind. It’s much easier to restore previous versions of files in Windows 10 if you start using offsite cloud storage such as Google Backup and Syncto store copies of your files.

However, if you are only worried about rolling back minor changes, then Windows’ built-in file history should work fine, but you can save file versions more often by using tools like AutoVer. If you mistakenly deleted files, you can retrieve them using third-party software like Shadow Explorer.

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