Windows 8 backup: How data backup works in Windows 8
To ensure that your data is preserved even after a system crash, it is advisable to create regular backups. In Windows 8, you do not have to install any additional software for this, because the operating system offers all the necessary backup functions by default. While Windows 7 offered the option of automatically creating backups at certain intervals for this purpose, Windows 8 relies on the so-called file version history. This option is a kind of mini-backup, so to speak, which only backs up the files in your libraries (documents, music, pictures, videos and desktop).
Another option in Windows 8 is manual system imaging. Here, the entire system is backed up – so the backup does not only refer to the personal files in specific folders. We show you how to use both options to create a Windows 8 backup.
Windows 8 backup: How to set up the file version history
The easiest way to perform a Windows 8 backup is to use the automatic file version history. This only saves data from the personal folders of the partition on which Windows is also located. However, Windows then automatically saves the data in the background without you having to do anything. Below we have summarised the most important steps for setting up the backup procedure:
Open the Control Panel by typing “Control Panel” into the search mask in the Start menu.
Windows 8 search for “Control Panel
Click on the category “System and Security” (requires category view).
System and Security” category in the Windows 8 Control Panel
In the Control Panel, you must select the menu item “System and Security” to get to Windows 8 Backup.
Select the menu item “File version history” there.
System and Security: File Version History
Under the menu item “File version history” you can make settings for data backup in Windows 8.
Now you must select a drive for your regular Windows 8 backup (“Select drive”). Also make sure that the hard drive you use is sufficiently large. As a rule, you should choose a model with at least 32 gigabytes of storage space.
Drive selection for the Windows 8 backup
Click on “Select drive” and select the backup drive.
If you want to exclude certain folders from the backup, click on “Exclude folders” in the left menu bar. Then you have the option of excluding individual folders, such as “Pictures” or “Music”, from the Windows 8 backup.
Click on “Switch on”. All files in the personal folders are now automatically saved in the background on the drive you selected. You can also deactivate the file version history at this point by clicking on the “Switch off” button.
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Windows 8: Create a backup of the entire system
As an alternative to the file backup history, you also have the option of creating a full Windows 8 backup, which offers several advantages: On the one hand, you are able to restore the backup to a second device after a system crash and thus quickly continue your work. Secondly, not only the libraries are backed up, but all data on the system partition as well as any system settings. This type of backup therefore represents an exact image of your system and all stored data. However, this image must be created manually under Windows 8, which works as follows:
Open the “Control Panel” and call up the category “System and Security”.
Also in this case, first click on “File version history”.
Click on “System Image Backup” at the bottom left (requires administrator rights).