Windows Server 2012 File History Backups

Posted by @Ada

December 8, 2017

Since you cannot enable File History on Windows Server 2012, this article will offer a similar function with File History and introduce an amazing centralized backup software.


In Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, there is a nice feature like centralized File History backup from desktops. I would like to have similar functionality on my Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Server – Is it possible? If not, is any third party solution which will provide files backup with central management for a reasonable price?

Can you enable File History on Windows Server 2012?

For business/enterprise owners who manage several computers on the same network, it’s important that all the devices can be configured and managed centrally rather than locally. However, someone may have this problem: why can’t I enable Windows Server 2012 File History backups since this feature is available on Windows Server 2012 Essentials.

With Windows Server 2012 Essentials, this becomes simple and worry-free. For all the Windows 8 clients connected to Windows Server 2012 Essentials, File History is automatically turned on.

However, this is not the case in Windows Server 2012 Standard or higher version. Do not get frustrated, there is still a similar function in Windows Server 2012 that allows you to create a centralized backup, that is Client Computer Backup.

How to create Client Computer Backup on Windows Server 2012?

To create Client Computer Backup in Windows Server 2012, you have few things to Configure. You have to install Windows Server Essentials functionality through Server Manager's Add Roles and Features Wizard. Then configure Windows Server Essentials and connect computers to the server.

Install and configure Windows Server Essential

Launch Server Manager and click Add Roles and Features and follow the wizard to complete the installation.

Windows Server Essentials Experience

After installing Windows Server Essentials Experience, go back to the main interface of Server Manager. Click Alert message next to Notification and choose Configure Windows Server Essentials.

Then follow the wizard to type the company name and Administrator account and password.

Create Account

Connect computers to the server

Make sure that your client computer has a valid connection to the Internet.

Step 1: Log on to the computer that you want to connect to the server.

Step 2: Open an Internet browser, such as Internet Explorer.

Step 3: Type http://<servername>/Connect or http://<domainname>/connect in the address bar and then press Enter.

Step 4: Click Download software for Windows in the Connect your computer to the server page.

Step 5: Run the Connector and follow its prompts to join the client to the domain

Create Windows Server 2012/2016 client backup

Step 1: Launch Windows Server Essential Dashboard.

Step 2: Click DEVICES.

Step 3: Click Client computer backup tasks under Computers tasks tab.

Step 4: Set up your own client computer backup schedule and client computer backup retention policy. After that, click Apply.

This method is kind of complicated and time-consuming, if you are looking for an easy solution, go ahead and see the following.

An easy way to create centralized backup

AOMEI Backupper Network (abNetwork) is a powerful centralized backup software. It enables you to create and manage backup tasks for all workstations, servers and virtual machines within LAN from a single central management computer. And it supports almost all editions of Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016 and Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP, Vista.

It is free and easy to use. With it, you can significantly cut down backup administration costs and save much time. It allows you to create centralized system backup, disk backup and partition backup.

Let’s see how to create a centralized backup with ABNetwork.

Step 1: Download AOMEI Backupper ABNetwork and open the software. It will automatically detect all the networked computers with AOMEI Backupper client installed. Tick the computer IP that you need to control and then click Request Control to connect client computers.

Request Control

Step 2: Take partition backup as an example. Click Task and the Create Task. Select Partition backup.

In Step 1, add the computer you need to backup.

In Step 2, select the partition you need to backup.

In Step 3, select another location as the destination path.

Partition Backup

Step 3: Click OK, here will show two options: only create a task and create and execute tasks. Choose one based on your needs.

Even there is no File History on Windows Server 2012, you can still create a centralized backup with AOMEI ABNetwork.

Also, ABNetwork is compatible with the standalone version of AOMEI Backupper. If you need to backup files and folders, AOMEI Backupper is always at hand.