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Windows 10's smart backups may be going away

File History could be gone... but what's the replacement?
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
June 4, 2017
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When Microsoft introduced File History with Windows 8, cautious PC users were happy: it gave you a Time Machine-style backup that let you recover older files if you made a mistake. You might not get to take that feature for granted, though. Users trying a leaked Windows 10 Insider Preview build have discovered that creating new File History backups is "no longer supported." Provided this change sticks, you might lose the feature by the time the Fall Creators Update hits your PC. We've reached out to Microsoft to see if it can comment, but the find is already raising a question: if File History is going, what (if anything) is replacing it?

Windows news guru Paul Thurrott suspects that it's a matter of establishing a consistent, cloud-linked backup system. File History can save previous versions of files in the cloud through OneDrive, but they're always tied to a specific PC. If you need to get that old report on your new computer, you may be hosed. That's not exactly comforting if a PC dies and you can't go back.

OneDrive, meanwhile, already has a version history feature on the web. While we wouldn't count on this happening, it wouldn't be a stretch for Microsoft to bake that OneDrive versioning into Windows and ensure that you can restore files regardless of the system you're on. The catch would simply be the cost -- you'd need to spring for one of Microsoft's Office 365/OneDrive subscriptions (starting at $70 per year) to get that reassurance where you already have something like it for free.

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