The official home of It's Geek to Me on the web!

Issue #754: January 2-8, 2022

Q: Dear Geek, Like so many others, we love your Christmas light show every year and look forward to seeing it this year. It’s become a family tradition to visit.

 Help! I just upgraded to windows 11 and so far, I am able to navigate around it just fine. All my old programs seem to work without any problems, but I have a major issue. On Windows 10 I used the backup feature in the settings window in the Update & Security folder. I use the “Backup using file History” and I had selected specific folders to back up regularly to an external hard drive. It had worked great. But now with Windows 11, I cannot up find that feature, furthermore it appears if I want to back up my files using Windows 11, I have to do so to the MS OneDrive in the cloud. Without going into detail, I’m a little paranoid about putting my personal backup in the cloud and I want my backup in my hands that I can access even if the Internet is down or unavailable.

 Help! I do not know how I can use my existing backup files on my external hard drive now. I can plug in my external hard drive and see the files but there is no restore program to use them. What can I do, will I need to resort to a third-party backup program and start over?  What am I missing?

– Doug F.
Valparaiso, Florida

A:  First off, let me thank you for the kind words about our light show.  I would hope nearly everyone who lives in my local area has already heard of the show.  For the rest of you, Doug is talking about the Geek Lights on the Corner.  Now in its 14th season, the Geek Lights is a full-on computer animated lights and music experience. It takes place in my front yard from the Monday after Thanksgiving and runs all the way through at least January 6th (the actual end of the Christmas season, as, contrary to contemporary belief, the 12 Days of Christmas don’t end on Dec 25th, they start on it, and run until January 5th.  No fooling – look it up if you don’t believe me).  For full information about the show, visit the show’s page at  By the time this publishes, we will be nearing the end of our show season, but the show will be every bit as beautiful as the day we opened.  Whether you’re ready to let go of Christmas or not, don’t miss the experience.  If you want to be a part of our team, watch our Facebook page for the announcement of our take-down day.  Believe it or not, everything that took 6 weeks to set-up in the yard will be disassembled and boxed in about 4-5 hours.  It never fails to amaze me.

Now then, on to your actual question, Doug.  As I alluded to in last week’s column, I’m not yet an active Windows 11 user, but I’ve been doing a lot of reading about it, and consulting with a few friends and colleagues who are early adopters, or who have already taken the plunge.  Between Google, and a few quick phone calls, it was easy to get the information you’re looking for, and many thanks to my Geeky friends who were willing to lend a hand.

First of all, the File History feature you’re looking for is not gone – it has simply been relocated to the Control Panel.  Run the Control Panel applet, and make sure you’re not viewing by category.  You’ll find File History right there among the other Control Panel items, and it should work for you exactly as it always has.

Having said that, I’m going to suggest that you switch to another Windows function to do your backups.  The function you’re using is not a true back-up – it merely saves the history of files.  At best, it saves files that have changed.  But let’s say for example you import a bunch of pictures or music from some external source.  Are those considered “changed” in the sense they will be included in the backup?  I don’t really know, and I bet you don’t either.

I recommend you use the actual backup tool that’s been built-in to Windows for the past several versions.  You’ll find it on the same Control Panel screen as File History, but this one will say “Backup and Restore (Windows 7)”.  This is a comprehensive tool that will allow you to pick files, folders or even entire drives, and back them up to any destination you choose (not just OneDrive). That OneDrive feature that you mentioned, by the way, is for syncing settings across multiple devices.  It’s not what you want, or what you’re trying to do.

Leave a Reply

June 2024

Search the site


Copyright Notice

All content on this site is Copyright © 2007-2024 by Jeff Werner – All rights reserved.