Access to File History Files


proglearn

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Windows 11 Pro
I have Windows 11. Unfortunately it is no longer possible to add files/folders to back up on File History. One can only remove those preset by the program.

I have read these is some way to modify some FH setup files so the desired additional folders can be added in them. Can someone please indicate how these files may be found and how to make the modifications?

All help greatly appreciated.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell
    CPU
    11th Gen Intel Core i9-11950H, 24MB Cache, 8 Core
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    32 GB, 2x16 GB, DDR4, 3200MHz
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    Intel UHD Graphics

kgarrett67

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Joanna, SC, USA
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Windows 11 Pro
I have Windows 11. Unfortunately it is no longer possible to add files/folders to back up on File History. One can only remove those preset by the program.

I have read these is some way to modify some FH setup files so the desired additional folders can be added in them. Can someone please indicate how these files may be found and how to make the modifications?

All help greatly appreciated.
Tap the Windows Key do a search for file history. You should see find it, but it is turned off. You can also go to Control Panel >Systems and Security > File History. I think there you can turn on file history. Hope this helps.
 

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Bree

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I have Windows 11. Unfortunately it is no longer possible to add files/folders to back up on File History. One can only remove those preset by the program.

I have both Windows 10 and Windows 11 on my PCs, so I can compare the two. Annoyingly, yes, you can add any folder you like in 10, but there's no way to do so in 11.

I have read these is some way to modify some FH setup files so the desired additional folders can be added in them. Can someone please indicate how these files may be found and how to make the modifications?
The configuration files are in %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration

There are two identical copies, Config1.xml and Config2.xml

1650324087385.png

A .xml file can be edited in Notepad. You only need to edit Config1.xml, the changes will be propagated to the 2nd one when File History next runs. To include a folder you need to add a line for it to the list of UserFolder items, as I have done here for <UserFolder>D:\tools</UserFolder>

1650324435846.png

After the next run of File History your added folder(s) will have been included, as my D:\Tools folder has here.

1650324654232.png

Not that I myself would do it, though, good luck!
The same sentiment could be equally applicable here. You really need to be careful not to make a typo when editing these .xml files. But I have checked in Windows 10 what changes it made when you add a folder in Settings. I have then tested using Notepad to do the same in Windows 11 - my File History seems to still be working normally.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
    CPU
    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
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    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
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    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
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    i5 M 520
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    4GB
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    Firefox, Edge
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    Defender
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    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

Haydon

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I think the GUI-based method in the reddit link is simpler to accomplish (although I have not tested the method myself)

"To get around this simple right-click the folder you want to backup, select Show More Options, then select Include in Library. Add your folder to the Documents library. It will now get included in the File History backup."

The reddit thread also mentioned the xml method of adding a folder but @Bree provided more details.

The reason for me to say 'not that I would do it myself' is twofold. First, the 'add folder' option has always been hidden from the GUI of the W11 File History control panel. I have always avoided using something that MS hides from the GUI, File History or otherwise.

Moreover, the 'add folder' option was available but has disappeared from the W10 File History control panel, at least on my W10 machine.

I myself am not impacted at all, I don't use the 'add folder' option on my W10 machine, and I don't use File History at all on my W11 machine.

However, I am a bit worried about what is happening with FH, an important tool for me. Apart from the 'disappearance' act in the above :eek1: I mentioned in a parallel thread that FH 'disobeys' certain things :eek1: then there is the continuing lack of reasonable in-depth MS documentation since W8 when FH was first introduced :eek1: then there is still no good way to induce a full backup except for the brute force deletion of the FH folder altogether :eek1: I should say, though, if FH were not such an important tool for me, these issues would not bother me at all.
 

My Computer

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  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro

proglearn

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Thread Starter
Local time
5:19 AM
Posts
17
OS
Windows 11 Pro
I greatly appreciate everyone's response, especially Bree and Haydon
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell
    CPU
    11th Gen Intel Core i9-11950H, 24MB Cache, 8 Core
    Memory
    32 GB, 2x16 GB, DDR4, 3200MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel UHD Graphics
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