In the past we've shown how to use Windows Backup to backup your system and your files. Now it is time to show how to use the same tool to restore files or folders from a previously created backup.
How to Restore Files and Folders from a Backup
Windows Backup allows you to restore files or folders from a previously created backup. This tool will also enable you to restore groups of files or all of the files that you've backed up.
First of all, open the Backup and Restore window. There you can find a region designed for recovery that has three options:
- 'Restore my files' - allows you to restore files and folder;
- 'Restore all users' files' - enables you to restore the files of all users defined on the computer;
- 'Select another backup to restore files from' - allows you to restore files from a backup that was created on another computer running Windows Vista or Windows 7.
NOTE: You must be logged in as Administrator to start the restore process using the last two options.
All three options have the same principles: select or search the backup and begin the restore process. The difference is that for the first one you will be able to select only your files, the second option allows you to see and select backups for all users and the last one enables the selection of the backup files that were created on another computer or operating system.
In this tutorial I will show how to use the 'Restore my files' option. Click on the 'Restore my files' to begin.
In the next window you have to choose what items to restore. To select the files you have three options:
- Search - allows you to search the contents of the backup;
- 'Browse for files' - allows you to add backed up files to be restored;
- 'Browse for folders' - allows you to add a backed up folder to be restored. You browse for folders, thus you won't be able to see the individual files in a folder.
Check out the pictures below to notice the difference between all three options.
- Search - search the files or folders you want to restore, select them and, when you're done, click on OK.
- 'Browse for files' - select the files that will be restored and click the 'Add files button'. You can use the Shift key for multiple selections.
- 'Browse for folders' - browse for folders, select the desired ones and press the 'Add folder' button.
In this tutorial I will show you how to restore two folders using the 'Browse for folders' option. Just click on the desired folder and press the 'Add folder' button, as you can see in image below.
I repeated the folder adding operation with another folder and the result can be seen below. You can notice a list that contains those two folders being displayed. When done, press the Next button.
The next window allows you to select the location of the restored files. As you can see there are two options:
- 'In the original location' - restores selected files and folders into their original location;
- 'In the following location' - restores selected files and folders into a different location.
For this tutorial I chose the second option and set a new location for restoring files to
Select the option you desire and click on Restore.
You will see a window that displays the progress of the restore process through a progress bar.
If there are existing copies of the files and folders in the location you selected, then a pop-up window will appear were you have three options:
- 'Copy and Replace' - replaces the existing files with the new ones;
- 'Don' t copy' - allows you to keep the existing file;
- 'Copy, but keep both files' - both sets files will be saved on disk, with different names.
I recommend to click on the 'Copy and Replace' option. Also don't forget to check the box 'Do this for all conflicts' so that you won't have to see this message again and this selection is applied to all similar conflicts.
After the restore is done, press the Finish button. The 'View restored files' link will open the location chosen before, so that you can see its 'new' content.
As you can see from this tutorial, it's very easy to use Windows Backup to restore your files and folders. If you have any questions about the tool, don't hesitate to leave a comment. Also, do read the articles recommended below for more info on system recovery tools.