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What Happened to the Windows 7 Backup in Windows 8.1?

If you’re an experienced Windows 7 user, you may be looking for specific features in Windows 8.1 that have been renamed, morphed, or axed. Here’s a little pocket dictionary to help you figure out the landmarks:

  • Shadow Copies (or Previous Versions) of files are now called File History. It’s functionally very similar to the Apple Time Machine — just not as cool, visually.

  • Image Backup (or System Image or Ghosting) is gone. In the not-so-good old days, you could make a very precise copy of your C: drive if you felt so consumed. In Windows 8, you could do an image backup, but it was hard to find the command center. In Windows 8.1, Microsoft has excoriated it entirely. Only option is to use a third-party utility, such as Acronis True Image.

  • Windows Backup and the Backup and Restore Center are also gone. They were in Windows 8, but they’re out of Windows 8.1. It’s much smarter to use File History anyway.

  • You can boot into safe mode if you really want to, but Microsoft makes it very difficult to get there.

Microsoft is deprecating (killing, zapping) all the old backup, restore, system restore, and safe mode options, in favor of completely new (and much easier-to-use) backup and restore options.

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