How to Make the Best Use of Windows 10 Previous Versions

Posted by @Cody

October 13, 2017

Windows 10 Previous Versions allows you to restore files like word documents easily to earlier versions. Learn to configure and restore previous versions.

What is Windows 10 Previous Versions?

Previous Versions is a very useful feature in Windows 10/8 7 that allows you to restore files to view and restore files to an earlier version. Deleted files can also be restored. This article will you all you need to know about Windows Previous Versions including why sometimes no previous versions are available.

How to configure Windows 10 previous versions?

Previous versions can come from File History or System Restore Points in Windows 10. Once you have either of them set up, you can use Previous Versions to restore your files.

Previous versions via File History

In general, File History only allows you to backup files to removable drives or network drive.

To File History in Windows 10,

1.       you can click Start and select Settings.

2.       Then navigate to Update & Security > Backup.

3.       From there Click the “Add a drive” option under Back up.

Then you can use File History to connect a backup drive to save all the backups. If you want to backup to internal hard drive, you can create a shared folder and then use the shared folder as a network drive to trick File History to backup to an internal drive.

As you know, Windows 10 also has OneDrive built-in. If you map OneDrive as a network drive, you can also let File History backup to OneDrive.

Previous version via Restore Points

System Restore Points record important system files on protected volume (s), so you can restore computer to an earlier date (including files, installed applications, Windows Registry, and system settings).

To configure System Restore Points settings:

1. Right click on This PC and select Properties. From there, click System Protection.

System Protection

2. Under the System Protection tab, click Configure button to enable restore points and select one or more drives containing the files that you want to protect.

Configure Restore Points

You can click Create… to create a restore point in Windows 10 now or wait for it to create restore points automatically. Windows will create a restore point when new Windows update installed, new program installed, or not any restore points created in 7 days.

If you are not content with the restore points creation frequency, you can use Windows Task Scheduler to change or add more triggers to create restore point. You can type “taskschd.msc” in a Run window to open Task Scheduler. Navigate to Library > Microsoft> Windows> System Restore in Task Scheduler. From there, you will find the restore point task.

How to restore previous versions

To restore a file to previous version, you can just locate the file, right-click on the file and choose Properties. Under the Previous Versions tab, it will list all the available versions from File History or restore points. From there, you can choose one to view or restore.

Restore Previous Version

Why is Windows 10 previous versions not working

As mentioned, Previous Versions come from File History and restore points. If neither restore points nor File History backup have been created, then Windows 10 Previous Versions does not appear. You can check File History and System Protection settings to see if they are well configured.

Unlike pervious version of Windows system, Windows 10 System Restore Point is disabled by default. A major Windows 10 update may also disable System Restore Points. To avoid that, you can custom system restore points frequency via Task Scheduler.

Previous Versions cannot replace file backup

File History only protects personal files including user libraries, desktop, favorites, and contacts. Other files like system files will not be protected. Restore points will record system files, but the previous versions are stored in the corresponding volume, that is to say, if the volume fails, the saved previous versions are gone.

Therefore, if you want to be more flexible to choose what files to backup, you can create image backups. You can either perform file image backup or system image backup.

For the backup tool, here AOMEI Backupper Standard free is recommended. Compared with Windows Backup and Restore, AOMEI Backupper is faster, more secure and gives you more backup that you can custom.

Let’s take file image backup as an example:

1. Free download this free backup software, install and launch it.

2. Under “Backup” tab, choose “File Backup”.

File Backup

3. In this screen, click “Add File” or “Add Folder” to specify what you want to backup. Like File History, you can also create a filter to exclude files form the backup, which is available in AOMEI Backupper Professional version.

Select Files

4. Click "Step 2” to specify a location to receive the image backup. It allows you to backup Windows 10 to external drive, network drive, cloud drive or internal drive.

Start Backup

5. If you want to the backup to run automatically, click “Schedule” to set a scheduled backup. After that, click “Start Backup” to run the backup.

When the backup finishes, you can make a bootable media on a USB flash drive or CD/DVD. In the event of system unable to boot, you can boot from this bootable media to restore your data.

In conclusion, your files and system are vulnerable when facing the threats like virus, hard drive failure, system crash, etc. even if you have Windows 10 Previous Versions well configured, you should also create an image backup to protect your system and files.