Protecting your data in Windows 10 Creators Update
Windows 10 Creators Update has been in “the wild” for a few weeks now, bringing with it a host of tweaks and features intended to help PC users become more productive. But despite all this “newness”, some things remain unchangeable – like the importance of protecting your data.
Windows 10 Creators Update ships with a raft of nifty tools to help reduce the chances of experiencing a data loss event. And if you use them all, your files and photos should be almost completely invulnerable to loss.
Windows 10 backup – when nothing new is helpful
The now-familiar Windows 10 backup tool has not changed – so anyone carrying out an upgrade will find that existing backup jobs continue to function as expected. Which should make the upgrade process less painful.
If you’ve not yet set up your backup provisions, you should do so now. Do it now before you encounter a serious system problem – it will be too late afterwards.
You can find instruction on how to use Windows Backup (and restore) in the Microsoft Knowledgebase here.
Ever had that problem where you save overwrite an important file? You have to correct the mistakes, or start all over again.
If you’ve got Windows Backup set up, you can restore an older version of the file from the most recent backup. But there is a slightly quicker method – Previous Versions.
If you open up your Documents folder, right-click on the problematic file and select Restore previous versions. You should then see a list of previous versions that you can roll back to. Not only is the Previous Versions trick quicker than restoring from backup, the file you recover may also be more recent – which means less manual effort trying to get back to where you started.
Very similar to Previous Versions, File History creates copies of important files once every hour, and moves them onto a physically separate drive automatically. The tool copies your Libraries, Desktop, Contacts and Favourites by default, but you can add other folders too.
Microsoft recommend using a USB attached pen drive or similar, although you can also use another computer connected to the same network if you like. You can find out more about configuring and using File History in the Microsoft Knowledge Base here.
The File History feature was available in Windows 8 too – so your existing settings will have been copied across automatically when upgrading to Windows 10 Creators Update.
Set up Microsoft One Drive
Microsoft’s Cloud services are built into the core of Windows 10 Creators Update – including the One Drive storage service. By linking your Microsoft account with your Windows account, your documents and files will be synchronised to the Cloud automatically.
In the event of a local system failure, you should have a copy of your files available at OneDrive.com (log in with your Microsoft account).
One thing to bear in mind – One Drive is designed to make your files available any place, any time. Because One Drive synchronises every change you make to your files as you make them, it is not a true backup service. If you delete or corrupt a file on your PC, those same changes are mirrored in the Cloud.
When disaster strikes – file recovery software
The four features described here should help to dramatically reduce the chance of losing data – but accidents do happen. If you haven’t configured a regular backup and you do run into problems, you’ll need a backup option.
Although you can try reinstalling Windows there is a very real risk that your files are lost in the process. If all else fails, you will need a specialist tool to scan for, and recover, lost file fragments. You can try our free data recovery self-assessment tool (don't worry, no personal data is collected unless you want a quote), as well as our Ontrack EasyRecovery data recovery software to get you out of a hole.