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Avoiding Data Loss in Windows 10 Creators Update

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Windows 10 Creators Update has been live for a few weeks now, bringing with it a host of tweaks and features intended to help PC users become more productive. Despite all this “newness”, some things remain unchanged, like the importance of protecting your data.

Windows 10 Creators Update brings a set of nifty tools to help reduce the chances of data loss.  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 who is upgrading will find that existing backup jobs continue to function as expected, which should make the upgrade process less painful.

If you have not yet set up your backup provisions, you should do so now. Do it now before you encounter a serious system problem.

You can find instructions on how to use Windows Backup (and restore) in the Microsoft Knowledgebase here.

Previous Versions

Ever had that problem where you save overwrite an important file? You have to either correct the mistakes or start all over again.

If Windows Backup is set up, it can be restored to an older version of the file from the most recent backup, but there is a slightly quicker method known as 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.

File History

Very similar to Previous Versions, File History creates copies of important files once every hour and automatically moves them onto a physically separate drive. The tool copies your Libraries, Desktop, Contacts and Favorites by default, but you can add other folders too.

Microsoft recommends using a USB attached pen drive or similar.  Although you can also use another computer connected to the same network if you’d like. You can find out more about configuring and using File History in the Microsoft Knowledgebase here.

The File History feature was available in Windows 8 too, so the existing settings will have been copied over 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 automatically synchronized to the Cloud.

In the event of a local system failure, you should have a copy of your files available at OneDrive.com.  You can log in using your Microsoft account.

One thing to keep in mind is that the design of One Drive is make your files available in any place at any time. Because One Drive synchronizes 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 will mirror in the Cloud.

When disaster strikes – file recovery software

The four features described here should help to drastically 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 you will lose your files in the process. Instead, you will need a specialist tool to scan for and recover lost file fragments. Kroll Ontrack provides a free trial of their EasyRecovery application that should get you out of a bind. You can get your copy by completing the form here.

If you’ve worked your way through this guide – congratulations.  Your PC and data are probably have more protection than ever before. Should you run into data loss problems with Windows 10 Creators Update, you can give our technical support experts a call for further advice.

Picture copyright: Microsoft screenshot

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