How to Set Up Windows Backup in Windows 8 to Save Your Files and Folders

Windows 8 takes some of the recovery options in Windows 7 to the next level. Windows File Recovery is one of those options. It allows you to create a system image and back up your files, folders and programs to an external drive or even to a new partition on your computer. If you set up Windows backup properly, it can be a powerful way to keep a backup handy in the event you need to restore not just your computer but also your files.

Setting up Windows Backup

1. From the Start screen, search for “file recovery” and open it.

2. Click “Set up backup.”


This will take a couple of minutes to start up as Windows File Recovery runs for the first time. Windows never updated the title window in File Recovery, so it may seem odd to see Windows 7 File Recovery at first.


3. Choose your location.


You cannot choose the primary drive of your computer. However, you can choose a partition, a flash drive or an external drive if it is plugged in. You will see these options displayed for you to choose. You can also save your recovery image over your network if you have a HomeGroup setup in Windows 8.

Once you choose where to save your recovery, click “Next.”

4. Then, you want to choose what to save.


Windows 8 gives you two options: Windows automatically picks for you or you pick what to save in your recovery image. The latter allows you to be nitpicky about what gets saved and what does not. Choosing the Windows option allows for the maximum amount of recovery protection for your system.

Keep in mind, when you choose to create a system image in addition to backing up your files, you may need a system repair disc in order to properly restore your system.

When you have made your choice, click “Next” to continue.

5. Click “Change schedule.”


You can choose how often, what day and what time your backup will be created. Windows 8 will create backup after backup for you, each time backing up the most recent files and folders for your computer. As long as your computer is on during that time, Windows File Recovery will run.


Click “OK” when finished making changes to the schedule, then click “Save settings and run backup.”


6. Depending on the size of your system image, files and folder backup, this process can take anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour. Sit back and let Windows File Recovery run.


7. When finished, click “Close” to head back to File Recovery.


Now that you have run File Recovery, you’ll see all the details of the current backup. This includes file size, location, when it was run, when it will run again and what it contains. You can change the settings for file and folders, and it will only update the system image if major changes are made to it.

8. Click “Manage space.”


You will be given a breakdown of the space utilized by your current backup.

9. Click “View backups….”


You can manage the file and folder information stored in the backup and delete it at any time. Simply click the backup, then click “Delete.” This will free up space for new file and folder backups using File Recovery.

10. Click “Change settings…” to allow you to do the same thing with your system images.

Restoring a backup created in File Recovery

When you need to recover a backup you created in File Recovery, you want to head back to the File Recovery window.

1. Click “Restore my files.”

Starting recovery

The most amazing feature of File Recovery is that you can restore an entire system image, a folder or an individual file as needed.

You can also search for a specific file or browse for files or folders.

2. Click “Browse for files” to see how this works.

You can navigate to the folder that the file you want is in, then click on it.

3. From there, you can choose to restore the file to the original location or choose a new location to restore it to.


4. Click “Restore” when ready to recover the file.


Now, you can click “View restored files” to head directly to that file location.

The same steps can be repeated for a folder, as well as a system image or entire backup.


We have shown you how to use the File History Tool, and now coupled with the File Recovery utility, you can utilize multiple methods to set up Windows backup in Windows 8 to keep your files, folders and system image available should you need to restore them. What other utilities do you use in Windows 8 for data recovery? Comment below and let us know.

Melissa Popp
Melissa Popp

Melissa Popp has been a freelance writer for over a decade. While she primarily has focused on writing about technology, she's also written about everything from custom mailboxes to health care to just about anything in between. Melissa is the Content Strategist for, the nation's leading marketplace for trailers for sale, the Social Media Manager for the best roofing Denver company as well as a Writer here at MakeTechEasier. She's a proud support of the Denver SEO community and a big fan of online radio.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox