Windows 7 comes with a very useful automatic backup tool for individual files and folders. The backup is called “Previous Versions“. This Windows 7 automatic backup works very similar to the concept of shadow copies. All the files and folders are monitored for changes and when any file or folder is changed, two versions of it are created. One, the original version before it was changed and the new version after the file was changed. This gives use the liberty to restore the original file if it was mistakenly changed or it was changed by a malware.
These individual file and folder backups are also maintained by the Windows Backup tool which handles the system restore and scheduled backups. In Windows 7 you have the option to turn this feature of Windows 7 automatic backups of individual files and folders and creating their “previous versions” shadow copies on and off. By default it is on for every drive in the system. If you are running out of space in Windows 7, you should turn this the previous versions feature off to save space as this takes a lot of space when even only one shadow copy of each file and folder is maintained.
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To turn the previous versions feature on or off, follow the instructions below:
- Go to Control Panel –> System And Security –> System
- In the left hand pane, click on System protection
- Click on Configure button
Here you can configure the previous versions settings for each drive separately. Just select the drive and click on configure button. On the next screen, you will have three options:
- Restore system settings and previous versions of files
- Only restore previous versions of files
- Turn off system protection
All three options are self explanatory. I recommend option 1 for the system drive (C drive usually) and you can choose option 2 or option 3 for other drives as the drives other than the Windows drive will not contain system file to be backed up and restored.
On the same screen you can setup how much space this feature should be using. The default is 2% which should be enough most of the time. You can increase or decrease it according to your own needs. You can also delete all the restore points that were taken previously resulting in a lot of free space in that particular drive. By using this Windows 7 automatic backup of individual files and folders, you will be able to have peace of mind because if anything goes wrong, you won’t have to run after the system restore tool and restore each and every file just for recovering a single file.
I hope this article shown you clearly how to use this Windows 7 automatic backup tool effectively for single files and folders. If you still have confusions or problems, you can let me know through comments and I will try my best to sort out the problems. As always, suggestions about this topic are always welcome.