Chapter 10: Backing up and restoring a Windows 8 computer

Backup and Restore, which was a feature in the Windows 7 Control Panel, is no longer available in Windows 8. To back up your files, you can use the new feature called File History, which we discussed in the previous chapter.

When it comes to system protection, the System Restore feature is still present and can be used to set back up points, which can then be accessed to restore your computer if you ever make any system changes that cause you problems.

There are a couple of new features in Windows 8 that can help with the repair, restoration and re-installation of the operating system itself. The Refresh feature is present in the General section of the PC Settings, which can be accessed from the Settings charm. This feature allows you to re-install Windows 8 very easily, without making any changes to your data. It can be used in the event that your computer starts to run slowly or has become problematic due to any new drivers or apps that you have installed.

Using this feature removes all the third-party applications that you installed, but a list of what was uninstalled will be saved to the Desktop so that you know what you have to re-install once the Windows 8 reinstall is complete. To use this feature, you will have to have a copy of your Windows 8 installation media available, as you might be asked for it.

If you ever want to sell your computer or give it to another family member, there is an option to not only re-install Windows 8, but to also remove everything from the computer and restore it to its factory settings. This can also be accessed from the General tab in 'PC Settings'. Before you do this, you should make sure that you have backed up all of your data because everything on the hard drive will be wiped and replaced with a fresh installation of Windows 8.

Proudly sponsored by Trend Micro

Previous chapter: Security and parental features

Next chapter: SkyDrive cloud storage

Go back to the index

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Elias Plastiras
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?