Set up a drive for File History

Before you start using File History to back up your files, you need to first select where your backups are saved. You can select an externally connected drive, such as a USB drive, or you can save to a drive on a network. There are other choices, but these two provide the best options to help protect your files against a crash or other PC problems. For more info about using File History, see Restore files or folders using File History.

File History only backs up copies of files that are in the Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Desktop folders and the OneDrive files available offline on your PC. If you have files or folders elsewhere that you want backed up, you can add them to one of these folders.

To set up a drive for File History

If you're going to use a new external drive, connect it to your PC. If you see a notification asking if you want to configure the drive for File History, tap or click it, and then turn on File History on the screen the appears.

Otherwise, follow these steps to choose either a network drive or an external drive that’s already connected to your PC.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)

  2. Enter File History settings in the search box, and then tap or click File History settings.

  3. Tap or click Select a drive, and choose the network or external drive you want to use.

  4. Turn on File History.


  • If the network drive you want isn’t in the list of available drives, tap or click Show all network locations. If the drive you want isn’t listed there either, open File History in Control Panel, tap or click Add a network location, and follow the instructions on the screen.

Need more help?