Microsoft shows off the File History feature in Windows 8

By Swapnil Mathur | Updated 11 Jul 2012
Microsoft shows off the File History feature in Windows 8

Microsoft is being quite a tease with their new flagship operating system, Windows 8, expected to launch sometime in October. Ever since the announcement, the Redmond outfit has been showcasing the features of their upcoming OS, building up the excitement, which is something quite new for the company.


The newest feature to be shown off is called “File History” and it has definitely got our attention. According to Microsoft’s study, the Backup feature that ships with Windows 7 is used by under 5% of their user base. This they attribute to its seemingly complex interface, along with the fact that most people don’t care about recovering their operating system as much as they care about making sure their personal data is intact.

Windows 8's File History essentially creates a backup of your personal files (contacts, desktop files, my documents, pictures, etc.) by scanning them every hour and saving them to a location of your choice, preferably an external hard drive. There is no need to configure this option, no need to go through prompts in order to get it going as Microsoft has enabled it by default, something that an average user might appreciate.

Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about the power user though. The File History feature is fully customizable. You can choose how often you want the feature to scan your files for changes (from as soon as every 10 minutes to once a day), and you can even define the duration for which these “history states” are stored.


The File History feature seems to be an amazing addition to the Windows OS, as it adds a new layer of simplicity for data safety. It is also interesting that Microsoft has included this feature to augment the idea of data backup, meaning, the classic Backup function is still a part of the OS. Windows 8, the operating system, is expected to release this coming October, hopefully alongside Microsoft’s recently demoed Surface Tablet.

Swapnil Mathur
Digit's resident camera nerd, (un)official product photographer and the Reviews Editor

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