Add or Remove Folders from File History in Windows 10

File History is a very useful feature of Windows 10. It allows you to create a backup of the important data stored in your Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos and Desktop folders. You can specify the drive where you plan to store your backup. It will prevent data loss in case something goes wrong. In this article, we will see how to make custom folders to be maintained by File History.


Windows 10 comes with a built-in backup system called "File History". It allows the user to create a backup copy of files stored on your PC. There are a number of use cases for this feature. For example, it can help you to transfer your files from an old PC to a new one. Or you can use it to backup your files to an external removable drive. The File History feature was first introduced in Windows 8, and has been improved in Windows 10. It allows browsing and restoring different versions of files.

File History requires using the NTFS file system. File History relies on the journal feature of NTFS to track file changes. If the journal contains records about changes, File History includes the updated files in the archive automatically. This operation is very fast.

It is possible to add or remove folders to File History in Windows 10. Follow the detailed instructions below.

Note: I assume that you have File History enabled in Windows 10.

Add Folders to File History in Windows 10

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Navigate to Update & security - Backup.
  3. On the right, click on the link More options.Settings Backup More Options Link
  4. Under "Backup these folders, click on the button Add a folder.Settings Backup Add A Folder Button
  5. In the next dialog, you can browse for a folder, drive, or library and select it by clicking on the Choose this folder button.Settings Backup Folder Browser Dialog

You are done. The folder of your choice will appear under the Backup these folders.Add Folders To File History In Windows 10

Now, let's see how to remove folders from File History in Windows 10.

Remove Folders from File History in Windows 10

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Navigate to Update & security - Backup.
  3. On the right, click on the link More options.Settings Backup More Options Link
  4. Under "Backup these folders, click on a folder to select it.
  5. The Remove button will appear. Click on it to remove the selected folder from File History in Windows 10.Remove Folders From File History In Windows 10

Repeat the steps above for all folders you want to remove and you are done.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

5 thoughts on “Add or Remove Folders from File History in Windows 10”

  1. Whoever came up with this F#$&% BRILLIANT idea of having to click EVERY SINGLE FOLDER and than click REMOVE every F*#$%^ SINGLE TIME should never do any software development every again.

    There are those little things called CHECKBOXES so you can select the items you want and then remove them ALL AT ONCE.

        1. Ok that’s brilliant. Now I can’t backup any single folder inside my user folder. That tool is utterly broken !

    1. Fear not. For where there is a will there is a way. Since MS has their head buried in the sand it is up to us to get the results we want. This works but requires some comfort on your part working with xml files.
      File History uses Config files located in %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration
      Inside there are two files named Config1.xml and Config2.xml. On my machine they are identical to each other. I modified Config1.xml and got the desired results. Obviously before you go modifying the files I would recommend making a backup.
      Open Config1.xml in a text editor (I like using Notepad++). Find and delete all , , and/or tags (plus the information contained between the tags) that you don’t want. You can also manually add folders if you are feeling so inclined.
      Close File History Settings (if you have it opened) and reopen. You should see your modifications in the list.
      I was so upset with my File History setup that I deleted all of the above mentioned tags and started with a clean slate adding exactly what I wanted.

      You shouldn’t have to do this because MS could have just provided a better end user experience. However, it is a solution that is easy enough to do on your own even with minimal experience working with an xml file. Especially if all you want to do is remove stuff from the list.

      Hope this helps someone :)

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