In a previous article, you learned how to set up File History in Windows 8 either using an external or networked drive. Now you’ll learn how restore a deleted file or folder with this new feature in Windows 8. For this example, in the desktop I have a file named “history-file.txt”, that has really important information, and now for some reason the file got deleted. What a better time to test File History, right?

Now the example file has been deleted from the desktop and from the Recycle Bin, and I have also created a new file named “no-important.txt”, so now the desktop has the following files and folders in the Desktop.

Hours later, a customer calls and he wants the “history-file.txt” document, because it contains important information that is required to complete a task. The issue now is that the file is gone! Well, with File History configured in your system, it is just the matter of restoring the file without destroying any newly created files in the process (e.g., “no-important.txt”) and sending it over to the person who needs it. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Windows Explorer, from the Ribbon, click the File History button. Make sure that you are not selecting anything on the folder!

  2. The File History browser will open with different versions of the Desktop folder. In this case we have 3 versions. You can use the back and forward button at the bottom to navigate through the different versions.

  3. Navigate to a previous version until you find the file you are looking for.

  4. Depending on how often you have configured File History to make copies, the file in question may have multiple versions. What you would do here is to navigate through previous versions, and you can double-click the file preview its content before restoring.

  5. Then just click the center blue button between the back and forward navigation buttons and that is it. The file now will be restored and none of the other files will be affected. In the case you want to restore a previous version of a file that it was NOT deleted, you’ll be asked to replace, skip or choose the file to keep.

You are all done and File History saved your day! All content on this site is provided with no warranties, express or implied. Use any information at your own risk. Always backup of your device and files before making any changes. Privacy policy info.