Restoring files from a backup


You can restore backed-up versions of files that are lost, damaged, or changed accidentally. You also restore individual files, groups of files, or all of the files that you've backed up.

  1. Open Backup and Restore by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Backup and Restore.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To restore your files, click Restore my files.

    • To restore the files of all users, click Restore all users' files. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To browse the contents of the backup, click Browse for files or Browse for folders.

      When you're browsing for folders, you won't be able to see the individual files in a folder. To view individual files, use the Browse for files option.

    • To search the contents of the backup, click Search, type all or part of a file name, and then click Search.

Tips

  • If you're searching for files or folders associated with a specific user account, you can improve search results by typing the location of the file or folder in the Search for box. For example, to search for all JPG files that were backed up, type JPG in the Search for box. To only search for JPG files associated with the user Bill, type C:\Users\Bill\JPG in the Search for box.

  • You can use wildcard characters such as *.jpg to search for all JPG files that were backed up.

To restore a backup made on another computer

You can restore files from a backup that was created on another computer running Windows Vista or Windows 7.

  1. Open Backup and Restore by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Backup and Restore.

  2. Click Select another backup to restore files from, and then follow the steps in the wizard. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

To find files that were restored from a backup made on another computer

If you're restoring files from a backup that was made on another computer, the files will be restored in a folder under the user name that was used to create the backup. If the user names are different, you'll need to navigate to the folder where the files are restored. For example, if your user name was Molly on the computer that the backup was made on but your user name is MollyC on the computer that the backup is being restored on, the restored files will be saved in a folder labelled Molly. You can find the restored files by following these steps:

  1. Open Computer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Computer.

  2. Double-click the icon of the drive that the files are saved on, for example C:\.

  3. Double-click the Users folder.

    You will see a folder for each user account.

  4. Double-click the folder for the user name that was used to create the backup.

    The restored files will be in the various folders based on where they were located originally.

To restore files from a file backup after restoring your computer from a system image backup

After you restore your computer from a system image backup, there might be newer versions of some of your files in a file backup that you want to restore. Because you've reverted your computer to the state that it was in at the time the system image backup was created, Windows Backup won't show any file backups in the Restore Files wizard that were created after the system image backup was created. To restore files from a file backup that was created after the system image backup was created, follow these steps:

  1. Open Backup and Restore by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Backup and Restore.

  2. Click Select another backup to restore files from. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. In the Backup Period, select the date range of the backup that contains the files that you want to restore, and then follow the steps in the wizard.