A Word of Warning: Check Your Windows 7 Backup Settings

Backups in Windows 7 have been greatly improved, what with the fact you can restore from them (without needing to take a separate backup) and that they backup to networks better.

However, there has been one change which caught me out, thanks to a subtle and ambiguous rewording of the backups dialog.

When backups are taken, as default only user folders that were created by Windows are backed up.  For reference that’s Appdata, Contacts, Desktop, Downloads, Favorites, Links, Music, Pictures, Saved Games, Searches and Videos.

This is different from the default behaviour of backups in Windows Vista, which backed up everything in C:\Users<Your Username>

If you make any folders of your own at the root of your user folder, they will NOT be backed up.  If you want to back those up, I recommend you go through the backup wizard again and say that you want to configure what gets backed up yourself.  Select more locations, and navigate through the filesystem until you check C:\Users<Your Username>.

I lost a few files when I reinstalled 7 for unrelated reasons, and lost the contents of my Code and Programs folders.  I’m lucky that I had only been using the OS for a couple of weeks–had I been using it longer I could have lost a lot more.  At least it’s given me an excuse to code!

Just a friendly warning for fellow Windows 7 users who are as fussy about file organisation as I am.