Hidden Image-based Backup Feature In Windows 8.1

I briefly expressed my displeasure at Microsoft’s decision to remove the ability to make backup images from within Windows 8.1 in my last post. As it turns out, however, I was mistaken and the feature is indeed available to users, though it’s not where you would expect to find it.

It’s interesting that the image-based backups feature was not available in previous Windows 8.1 builds but has returned in the RTM build. Even more interesting is where it’s located.

In the screenshot below you can see that image-based backup is missing in the Recovery options in Windows 8.1 RTM.

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Instead, it’s hidden in the File History setting in the Control Panel.

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To access it, right-click on the Start button and launch Control Panel. In the search box on the top right hand corner type “File History” and click on the File History setting. Notice the “System Image Backup” link in the lower left hand corner. It works just as it did in Windows 8 with the option to making a backup image and storing it onto an external drive, DVD, or network location.

What I have below is a screenshot of the File History window taken from a previous Windows 8.1 build (a Windows 8.1 Enterprise evaluation downloaded from the Microsoft website) which shows the feature to be missing in the build. Looks like Microsoft had a change of heart at the last minute and decided to add the feature after all.

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