Windows Backup on Windows 7 and Windows 10 is a tool that helps you retrieve lost files. The backups can be created manually or set up to be created automatically.
When you lose files you can launch the Backup and Restore tool, select a period from which to retrieve the files and get them back. However, backup feature has to be enabled. Otherwise you will not have any backups to get your data back.
It is different from System Restore function as it recovers your files while System Restore recovers just the system settings.
Viruses try to delete your backups so you might not be able to see them in the backup list. In such case you might need to try recovering shadow copies or even using a professional file recovery system.
Is this tool right for me?
This tool is useful if you get hit by a virus, ransomware or simply lose your files and want to recover them. You can also restore your backups on another computer. However, more sophisticated viruses target the backups as well. Also, this tool does not restore your system settings so it does not help if your Windows become faulty and the operating system does not work as it should.
TIP: You can also restore Windows 7 backups on Windows 8 and Windows 10 by going to Control Panel section called File History and clicking a link called Windows 7 File Recovery. This is useful if you have created the backup on Windows 7 and updated to a newer operating system version later.
IMPORTANT: Even though Windows 8 can restore Windows 7 or Windows 10 backups, it does not have the Backup and Restore option itself. Instead, it uses File History method for its own backups. Backup and Restore was reintroduced in Windows 10.
► Step 1:
Launch the file backup control panel.
Start by going to Start Menu and entering the following in the Search field:
Backup and Restore
Click the following result:
► Step 2:
You will be able to see if your last backup finished successfully, when was it, how much space does it take up and what is the schedule for backups.
Click Select another backup to restore files from.
► Step 3:
A list of all possible backups will open. We recommend choosing the most recent one. You could also try the older versions if the newest backup is faulty or if you have been infected by a virus quite some time ago and the recent backup might contain files with the virus present.
Select the backup by clicking on its name.
► Step 4:
Choose where to restore the files.
If you choose In the original location it will restore the files where they used to be and will overwrite if the files already exist.
If you choose In the following location it will allow you to save the files in a new location, for example another disk volume or an external drive.
► Step 5:
After the process finishes your files will be available at the location you chose to restore them to.