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How to Restore Files from a Backup in Windows 7

If you're lucky, you'll never need your backup. However, if you lose a file (or more), you can restore files from your backup in Windows 7. Take a few minutes to learn how to restore a file from backup before you have an actual emergency on your hands. Besides, you’ll find that having some experience can help to ease the process if you need to restore one of your crucial files in the future.

  1. Open the Start menu and type backup in the Search text box and choose Backup and Restore from the resulting list.

    The Backup and Restore window opens.

  2. Click the Restore My Files button.

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  3. In the Restore Files dialog box, locate the files or folders you intend to restore. Click Next.

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    There are three ways to find your files.

    • Search: Type part of the name of the file you intend to restore. Click the found file or Select All to restore all of the found files. Click OK.

    • Browse for Files: Click the backup name and then the folder that contained the original file. Click the found file and then click Add Files.

    • Browse for Folders: Click this button to open a dialog box of folders. Click a folder to restore all of the files in that folder. Click Add Folder.

    The files you select with the preceding methods appear in the dialog box. Repeat as needed until you’ve selected all the files you need.

    If you’re not finding the file, click the Choose a Different Date link. Choose All from the Show Backups From drop-down list. Pick another backup. You may have to repeat this process for more than one backup.

  4. Choose the location to which you want the files restored.

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    You can either put the files back in their original location or in a new location. Select In the Following Location if you want to review the restored file before erasing your new version.

  5. Choose what to do with any preexisting copy of the file.

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    If you restore a file to a location that already contains a file of the same name, you’ll be asked to choose one of the following:

    • Copy and Replace: The file currently in the original location will be replaced by the file restored from backup.

    • Don't Copy: The backed up version isn’t restored. Nothing changes.

    • Copy, But Keep Both Files: The original file will stay as is, and the restored file will include (2) in the filename.

    • Do This for All Conflicts: Select this check box if you’re restoring multiple files and want to apply the same choice to each duplicate filename.

  6. Click the link to View Restored Files.

    Your files have been restored and the folder containing the restored files opens.

  7. Click Finish to close the dialog box.

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