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So, you wanna back up your files in Windows 8 to an external hard drive.  Are you looking for an application that says backup or restore?  You won’t find it (of course…typical Windows 8 😛 ).  

Backing up files in Windows 8 is accomplished via something called File History.  File History is easy to setup and use (and I think you’ll really learn to love it).

Here’s how to setup and use File History.

backup windows 8

Step 1:  Connect an external hard drive via USB to the Windows 8 computer you want to backup.  This will be the backup drive for File History.  You should dedicate this drive to File History (keep it connected to your PC).

Step 2:  Open File History:

  1. Click your Desktop icon if you’re in the Windows 8 tile screen. 
  2. Move your mouse to the bottom right of your screen (by the clock) until the right bar slides out.
  3. Click the Search button (magnifying glass) at the top.
  4. In the search box type – File History, then click File History.  The File History application will open.
  5. You’ll notice that your external hard drive is shown and File History is going to back up your libraries.  Your libraries are essentially, your documents, music, pictures, videos, favorites and desktop files….basically everything you care about.
  6. Click the “Turn On” button.  File History starts the backup process.  This process can take quite awhile depending on how much data you have to initially backup.  Subsequent backups are very fast.

“File History is saving copies of your files for the first time”

After File History has backed up your files they will now be available for restore.  The great thing about File History is that you can restore versions of your backed up files.

Here’s a video I made on File History.  Enjoy!

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