File History is a built-in tool in Windows 8 which can be used for backup of your personal data. The File History backups your Desktop, Libraries, Contacts and Favorites folders. The File History works if you have two or more hard disk drives or external USB drivers or network drives but it can be configured for a local drive. With previous Windows versions you could have used third party apps to backup these folders. The File History is not like the Restore Previous Version option in the Windows 7, which does not have the capability to backup your personal data. The File History runs silently in the background and keeps track of file versions/revisions in your personal folders.
The File History may be turned off with default windows installation. To turn it on open the old control panel (You can open the control panel with the WinKEY+R and type control).
Click on the System and Security, You will see File History option click on that. Click Turn On if it has been turned off. You will see any drive name in the Copy files to, this is the drive where your backup will be stored. You can change this drive by clicking on the Change drive available on the left sidebar. Now you will see a list of drives available for backup. If you change the drive the File History will start copying files into the new backup drive. The backup is stored on your computer within the Folder named File History.
By default, File History will backup your files after every hour, use 5% of disk drive space for storing backup data and will never delete those saved versions. These three options can be changed with the Advanced settings available in the left sidebar. In the Advanced settings you can also see the File History Event log which shows the events and errors.
You can also add any specific library folder to be excluded from the backup with the Exclude Folder.
To restore any file or all files click on the Restore Personal files, available in the left sidebar. You will see a new window.
You can select which folder/file to restore. You will see the Contacts, Desktop, Favorites folders and Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos Libraries are added in it. You can browse them to see files which have been backed up. To restore any folder you can select any folder and then click on the Restore button available in the bottom center of the new window. If you want to restore the specific folder to any other location you can restore it by selecting it and then click on the settings button available on the top right corner and click Restore to and select the new location.
Windows File History will prove to be a great option for backing up your personal data.