How to Enable or Disable File History on Windows 11

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This post shows students and new users steps to enable or disable File History when using Windows 11. File History is a built-in Windows backup tool to back up all folders in a user’s home directory and file within them, including, Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Desktop.

In cases where the original files are lost or damaged, users can then use the backup versions created by File History to restore them. File History also allows you to browse through a backup timeline, select the version you want, and restore it.

By default, File History backs up all the files and folders in a user home directory (C:\Users\Username). You can also include additional folders and location to backup.

File History is automatically not enabled when there are no suitable locations to backup to. You can only back up to externally connected drive, such as a USB drive, or you can save to a drive on a network. If none of these locations are available, File History will not be used.

Read our previous post on How to Backup Windows 11.

The new Windows 11 comes with many new features and a new user desktop, including centered Start menu and taskbar, rounded corners windows, themes and colors that will make any computer look and feel modern.

If you’re exited about Windows 11, keep reading our posts on it.

To get started with enabling or disabling File History on Windows 11, follow the steps below.

How to turn off File History on Windows 11

If you want disable File History on Windows 11, use the steps below.

Go to the Start menu, then search for Control Panel app and open it.

windows 11 control panel search

When the Control Panel opens, go to System and Security category group.

system and security windows 11

Next, click on File History as highlighted below.

file history on windows 11

On the File History settings pane, click the button to Turn off File History.

turn off file history on windows 11

How to turn off File History via local group policy

Users can also turn off File History via the local group policy editor. To get there, click on the Start menu, then search for and open Edit group policy.

windows 11 edit group policy

When the local group policy editor opens, navigate to the folder paths below:

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\File History
file history off via group policy

Double-click the Turn off File History settings on the right to open. When the settings open, check the box next to Enable to disable File History.

turn off file history enabled windows 11

How to enable File History on Windows 11

If you change your mind about File History and you want to re-enable File History, simply reverse the steps above. If disabled in group policy, navigate to the File History settings and check the box next to Not Configured.

file history not configured windows 11

Next, go to the Control Panel, System and Security category ==> File History and click the button to Turn on File History.

windows 11 turn on file history

That should do it!

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to enable or disable File History on Windows 11. If you find any error above have something to add, please use the comment form below.

3 Comments

  1. Hi,
    you can find the exact same document here no sure who copies who.

    You wrote at the beginning “You can also include additional folders and location to backup.”. However, this option is not there. Could you explain how to do it? Is there any way other than modifying the configuration files under %localappdata%?

    thank you

    1. During the setup, you’ll have options to add additional folders to backup.

      1. Sorry, i tried to make a setup in a virtual machine and i did not see any option to add additional folders to backup. Could you kindly show how?

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