Set a Network Location for Windows 8 File History

Windows 8 File History detects file changes and backs them up regularly. You can set it to back up files to a server or Network Attached Storage device.

Windows 8 includes File History that detects file changes and backs them up regularly. If your network includes a server or Network Attached Storage (NAS) device, it’s easy to back up to it. This is handy if you don’t want to have an extra internal or external drive attached to each of your Windows 8 systems.

Set Windows 8 File History to Network Location

File History is turned off by default and you need to enable it first. You don’t need an extra drive the first time you set it up though. Open Control Panel and click File History.

File History control panel

Alternately, use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + W to bring up Settings search and type: file history and click the File History icon under the search results.

File History Settings Search Windows 8

Next click the Select Drive hyperlink on the left side.

Select Drive

Then click the Add Network Location button under Select File History Drive.

Add Network Drive

If this is the first time setting it up, click Turn on Network Discovery and File Sharing. You need to do this first otherwise Windows won’t see the network location.

Enable Sharing

A dialog box will come up asking where to enable network discover and file sharing. If you’re on a laptop, I recommend selecting the first option to make your network private. You don’t want your files to be freely available when you’re on a public WiFi network at the coffee shop.

Network Discovery and File Sharing

Now simply browse to the location on your server or NAS where you want File History backed up to.

Browse to Server Location

After that you’re brought back to the File History screen in Control Panel. You’ll see it’s now turned on and it should be saving copies of your files right away.

File History is On

Under Advanced Settings you can select how often you want Windows 8 to scan for file changes and back up your File History. It’s set to check every hour by default.

Advanced Settings

Here’s a look at some of the other features included in Windows 8 that allow you to back up your data and recover your system.

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