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How to Restore Files from Backup in Windows 10 Step by Step

How to back up and restore files from File History backups in Windows 10? This article shows you the step-by-step guide to restore files from backup on Windows 10.

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Table of Contents

Windows 10 comes with an embedded file backup feature, that is, File History. File History can regularly back up the Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Desktop folders to a local, external, or network drive restore them if the originals are lost, damaged, or deleted. It doesn't back up your apps and programs.

Once you have enabled File History, it will automatically make a copy of every file you choose. And it's easy to restore files from backup on Windows 10. Here, we will show you how to restore files from File History backups on Windows 10 when needed.

File History doesn't work until you turn it on. If you haven't activated File History yet, learn how to turn on Files History to backup data in the following content.

How to Restore Files from File History Backups in Windows 10

The steps below explain how to restore files from backup on Windows 10 with the File History backup in two ways.

1. Restore Files from Backup in File History Window

Step 1. Click the Search box and type file history. Click "Restore your files from File history" from the search results.

type file history

Step 2. Then, the File History window will open. All the backed-up files and folders will show up. You can preview the files to find the right version to restore.

If there are multiple backup versions, you can switch to a different backup version by clicking the left and right arrows at the bottom of the window. Or you can directly search in the search box to look for files quickly.

preview files in File History backup

Step 3. Select the files you want to restore, and then click the green arrow to restore the files.  Or, You can click the gear icon near the upper right corner of the window and select "Restore to" from the menu to restore the file to the location you want.

restore files from file history

Step 4. There might be a naming conflict when you restore files. You need to choose "Replace the File in the Destination Folder", "Skip This File", or "Compare Info for Both Files" according to your needs.

replace or skip files

2. Restore Files from Previous Versions Option

You can also restore files from backup via the "Restore previous version" feature

Step 1. Navigate to the File History folder and find the folder that contains the lost files. Right-click it, then select "Restore previous versions".

select restore previous versions

Step 2. The folder's Properties window will pop up. All the backup versions will be listed under folder versions. Select a proper backup file and click the "Restore" button to restore from backups.

restore files from previous versions

Bonus Tips: How to Recover Deleted/Lost Files Without Backup

Windows File History provides us a simple way to back up and restore files. However, the actual situation is that many people did not use this function and did not create a backup so that there is no way to retrieve files when they are lost.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a professional and user-friendly data recovery software that enables you to restore files even permanently deleted files without backup.

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You can free download this deleted file recovery software to recover lost photos, videos, audio, documents, emails, as well as other hundreds of file types with ease.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard in Windows 11/10/8/7 and choose the place where you lost data. Then, click "Scan".

select a location to scan

Step 2. After the scan, use the file format filter on the left or upper right corner to find the files you need. Then, you can click the "Preview" button or double-click a file to preview its content.

Choose files to recover

Step 3. Click the checkbox next to the file and click "Recover" to get back the lost data to a secure place.

Recover lost data

In addition to a reliable data recovery tool, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is also capable of repairing corrupted files, such as repair corrupted videos, fix damaged JPEG photos, and more.  

How to Back Up Files with File History in Windows 10

File History on Windows 10 is turned off by default, you can follow these steps to enable this function. If you want to back up your files to an external hard drive, prepare and connect your external hard drive to your computer at first.

Step 1. Go to "Settings > Update & Security > Backup". Then click "Add a drive" under the "Back up using File History" section. Choose the target local or external hard drive. You can even use a network location as the File History backup drive.

turn on file history - 1

Step 2. Click the "More options" to configure File History settings.

Step 3. File History automatically backs up your files every hour in default. You can set the backup frequency to every xx minutes. You can also set how long to save the backup versions.

configure backup settings

Step 4. After backup frequency, you can choose which folders and files you want to back up flexibly. Click Add a folder to back up more folders except for Desktop, Pictures, Documents, Downloads, Videos, etc.

choose a folder to back up

Step 5. You can also remove the folders you don't need to back up by clicking Add a folder under the Exclude these folders.

exclusive a folder to back up


Regular backup is the best way to prevent data loss. You can use the File History backup tool that comes with Windows 10 or use a third-party file backup tool, like EaseUS Todo Backup to back up your important data.

Once you have created a backup, you can easily restore files from backup when you encounter data loss or corruption. You can restore backup files from external hard drive, local hard drive, and network location on Windows 10 depends on where you back up files.

But when you lose your data without a backup, don't despair, because you can also use EaseUS data recovery software to retrieve lost files effectively.

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Written by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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