Windows System Protection feature allows you to protect and back up personal data stored on your personal computer. We strongly recommend you to enable and set up Restore Points and File History features which are disabled by default in Windows 8 & 10 clients.
Part A. Turn on and set up System Protection
You need to turn on and set up Windows system protection, and then create restore points for your system. The detailed guide below will help you to pass through this procedure quickly and easily.
1. Click Windows start button (or press Windows key). Type “create a restore point” without quotes. Go to Create a restore point option.
2. System Properties dialogue window will appear. If there is Off status in the Protection Settings column, click Configure button to continue.
3. System Protection window will appear. Check the “Turn on system protection” checkbox. Next, adjust the maximum disk space that will be used for restore copies. You should base your decision on your overall hard drive volume. Once you adjust maximum disk space usage, click OK button.
The more hard drive space you provide to System Protection, the more Restore Points you’ll have at your disposal in the event of a malware infiltration or other serious system failure. We recommend adjusting at least 12GB disk space for System Protection feature.
Part B. Create a Restore Point
1. Click Create button to create a new restore point.
2. You’ll be asked for a name, and you may give it a useful name that you’ll be able to easily identify later. Click Create button.
3. Wait until creating a restore point is complete.
With enabled Restore Points you can easily undo unwanted system changes made by malware at any time.
Part C. File History Feature
System Protection feature backs up important Windows operating system files, including boot and drive configurations, Windows Registry files, and hardware drivers, but it will not back up and store your personal files such as documents, media files or photos. So, you need to turn on File History feature that allows to back up and restore modified, locked or encrypted files.
Once you set up File History, you can back up your files to a directory on your hard drive, or you can connect an external drive (external HDD, flash drive or cloud storage) and Windows will automatically back up your files to it.
Using any external drive or storage for these purposes is the easiest way to set up and enable File History feature.
Let’s consider a case when a user doesn’t have access to any external drive or cloud storage.
In the case when you don’t enable File History feature and try to restore previous versions of any folder or file using context menu…
Or using Properties…
You will see “There are no previous versions available” message in the Previous versions tab. It means that you don’t have any stored previous versions of this file or folder.
Part D. How to turn on File History feature
Let’s set up and enable File History feature.
1. Click Windows button in the left-bottom corner (or press Windows key). Go to Settings.
2. Select Update & security settings.
3.1. Once you’re there, connect your external hard drive and then go to Backup in the left navigation bar and click the “+” next to Add a drive. Choose your external drive there. File History will start to back up your files. An on/off slider will now appear under a new heading called “Automatically back up my files.”
3.2. If you don’t connect external hard drive to Windows, you will see the message “No usable drives found”.
3.2.1. You need to create a new virtual hard drive to back up your files. Click Windows button, or press Windows key. Type file history and select File History in the list.
3.2.2. The following dialogue window will appear:
Part E. How to create and set up a virtual local hard-drive for File History
Step 1. Creating a virtual hard-drive
1. Right-click Windows button to open context menu. Choose Disk Management settings.
2. Select Disk (C:).
3. Move the cursor to Disk (C:) and right-click on it. Select Shrink Volume… option.
4. Wait until querying shrink space is complete.
5. Enter the amount of space for the new hard-drive partition. Click Shrink button to confirm.
6. A new hard-drive will appear. You will see Unallocated virtual hard-disk highlighted with black color. Right-click that disk and select New Simple Volume…
7. New Simple Volume Wizard window will appear. Click Next button.
8. Specify volume size for the new hard-drive partition. Click Next button.
9. Assign the new drive letter (“H” in our sample). Click Next button.
10. Select file system format and give a name to the new partition (File History in our sample). You may leave File system and Allocation unit size unchanged. Click Next button to continue.
11. Check all the selected settings and click Finish button.
12. New (H:) hard-drive partition named File History successfully created.
13. Go to This PC and check if the new hard-drive partition is already listed there.
14. Next, you need to open access to the new hard-drive partition. Right-click the hard-drive partition icon and go to Properties.
15. Go to Sharing tab and click Advanced Sharing button.
16. Click Permissions button in the Advanced Sharing window.
17. Click Add… button in the Permissions for H window.
18. Click Advanced button in the Select Users or Groups window.
19. Click Find Now button.
20. Scroll down the Search results and select SYSTEM name. Click OK button or double-click SYSTEM. SYSTEM is selected to grant permission to system apps only. This measure is needed to make your data back ups more secure.
21. Click OK button.
22. Choose SYSTEM in the Group or user names. Check all checkboxes in the Allow column. Click OK button.
23. Next, click OK button.
24. Click Close button.
25. You will see Disk (H:) icon with two little people at the bottom. This icon means that you have successfully granted permission to this hard-drive partition.
26. Go to Network settings in the left navigation bar.
27. If you get “Network discovery is turned off” message, right-click this message line and select Turn on network discovery and file sharing option.
28. Choose “No, make the network that I am connected to a private network” in the window.
29. Wait until the process is complete and double-click the computer icon.
30. You fill see the following folder icon
31. Once you have created new virtual hard-drive and granted access to it, you can go back to File History set up.
Step 2. How to set up a local drive for File History
Next, you need to set up the new drive for File History feature. So, let’s keep going.
1. Click Select drive in the left navigation bar of File History window.
2. Click Add network location.
3. Select your new local hard-drive. Click OK button.
4. Click Turn on button to enable File History feature.
Part F. File History Settings
File History feature has a few settings you may find useful. For example, you may choose how often you want to save copies of your files, and how long the saved copies will be stored. You may also exclude the folders and files that you don’t need to back up.
Go to Advanced settings in the left navigation bar.
Choose how often you want to back up copies of your folders and files.
Choose how long to keep saved versions of your files.
Click Save changes button to confirm.
Go to Exclude folders in the left navigation bar if you want to exclude some folders or files.
Click Add button to exclude folders or files.
Choose the folders or files which you want to exclude and click Select Folder.
Click Save changes button.
File History set up is complete!
If you select Restore previous versions option in context menu, you will see saved copies of choses file or folder. You can select any saved copy and click Restore button to start recovery process.