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How to back up your PC's files for free

Regular backups are typically the only way to save your important files and documents should your hard drive fail or your PC meltdown.

If your files disappear, then you will have lost them forever unless you have copies safely stashed somewhere else. Below are 3 free, automated tools to use in backing up your personal files.

File History

File History is a tool which comes built-in to the Windows 8 and 8.1 OS. This tool is quite similar to Time Machine for the Mac, although it’s devoid of all the space traveler graphics.

It saves the chronological versions of Windows libraries (music, videos, pictures and documents), while allowing users to go back in time and retrieve particular file versions. It is therefore a useful function for those who wish to retrieve a document’s long-deleted section.


SyncBack is a solid third-party desktop app that allows users to create new backups, give it a profile name, decide on the back-up type desired, as well as choose the destination and source folders.

This option allows users to schedule times for running backups using the built-in Task Scheduler in Windows.


Rsync is a Linux-style command line for Windows. This DIY option enables you to decide on which commands to use. What makes this tool appealing is the fact that it has been in the market for years, is very solid and not subject to radical change. What this means is that it gets the job done – which is what you should be looking for in your backup utility.

If there are any other programs that we have missed out or that you think should be included, let us know in the comments section below.