Use Windows 7 Like Backup Tools in Windows 8


The file History setup in windows 8 replaced the backup tools used in Windows 7. Although Windows 8 retained Windows 7 backup tools that come in handy when making full system image backups.

Microsoft is planning to remove these heavily criticized tools from the upcoming Windows versions leaving you to use File History and Refresh options instead.

Windows 7 File Recovery

Tutorial to Use Windows 7’s Backup Tools in Windows 8

Windows 7 Backup Tools

In Windows 8, the backup tools from Windows 7 are hidden files and won’t be displayed in the search results for ‘backups’ or related keywords.

To locate these tools, go for a backup search with the Windows key pressed. Click the Settings option and go for Save backup copies of your files with File History.


While on the File History window, locate the Windows 7 File Recovery option in the lower left corner of the window.

File History

A “Windows 7 File Recovery” window will show in the recognized Windows 7 backup interface. It functions in the same way as it used to in Windows 7, however, it is recommended by Microsoft to not use both features simultaneously. If your Windows 7 backup schedule is already enabled then you cannot enable File History along with it.

To get to this window in a quicker way, just run a search for recovery and click Windows 7 File Recovery.

File Recovery

Create a Full System Backup

One thing not found in Windows 8 backup tools is you can make a complete system-image backup with Windows 7 File Recovery tools. What is system image backup? Something that will restore all your files, programs and current settings that were present at the time when you made the system image. A complete copy of your computer’s current position is made in this image.

To make this system image backup, hit the option in the sidebar saying Create system image.

Create a system image

You can put this image backup on any external device such as a hard disk, DVD or any other network. Keep the backup size in mind since it contains a copy of all the files present on your hard disk.

Windows has a limitation on restoring files as it doesn’t let users to restore multiple files directly from the image backup, but there is still a way to extract all files from this system image.

Save backup

Restoring a Full System Backup

To restore the backup, launch PC settings, use Windows Key with C key combination, go to Settings and click Change PC settings.

Go to the General category and look for the Advanced startup option by scrolling downwards. Switch to the advanced startup options menu by restarting your computer through Restart now option.

PC Settings

From the Advanced options window, go to Troubleshoot, then hit Advanced Options and click System Image Recovery. You will have the option to go for a system image and later restore your files on the computer from it.

Advanced options

If you can’t boot into Windows, your computer should automatically boot to the Advanced startup options screen after several attempts at booting normally. You can also hold down the Shift key while booting, boot from a Windows 8 installation disc, or use a Windows 8 system repair disc.

Creating a Backup Schedule

If you want your Windows to follow Windows 7 style backup instead of Windows 8 File History backup system, then click Set up backup option from Windows 7 File Recovery and enable Windows 7’s way of creating backup schedule.

The method is similar to creating a backup and restore in Windows 7.

Set up backup

File History option in Windows 8 has some restrictions but they can be controlled. File History backs up only those files that are included in libraries hence, you can get any file backed up by adding it to libraries folder. Windows 7 File Recovery is preferred instead only because it makes a complete system backup image.