SOLVED FileHistory - a problem solved


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Jan 30, 2017
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I had been using FileHistory successfully since upgrading to Windows 10. Then last week my external backup drive died. Slight panic, but as I had not lost any data I decided the best thing was to get a new external drive and backup again.

I started by creating a system backup image. That worked well, so I went on the start a new filehistory and that is when the problems started.

I clicked on the button in Settings to stop using the existing filehistory and tried to set up a new one, but when I tried to select a hard drive nothing happened. So I tried via Control Panel> File History. This told me that "File History is off". So I selected a hard drive and clicked on the "Turn on" button - after a short while I got the error message
"Could not enable File History

The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it."​
Followed all sorts of suggestions I found via web search - but nothing worked. A phone call to Microsoft support in Australia was also no help.Then I noticed a brief mention of file indexing - I checked and found that (I do not know how or when) Windows Search had been turned off. This is what worked for me:

1. Delete the existing FileHistory folder on my external hard drive
2. Delete the folder users/%username%/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/FileHistory
3. Using Computer Management>Services and Applications> Services
Scroll down to Windows Search
Double click on the name
Set Startup type to Automatic (Delayed Start)
Then in Control Panel>File History
It should now say "File History on"
Select you desired drive
Click on Start
A new file history started (for me) and took a long time.
 
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Joined
Nov 1, 2021
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I had been using FileHistory successfully since upgrading to Windows 10. Then last week my external backup drive died. Slight panic, but as I had not lost any data I decided the best thing was to get a new external drive and backup again.

I started by creating a system backup image. That worked well, so I went on the start a new filehistory and that is when the problems started.

I clicked on the button in Settings to stop using the existing filehistory and tried to set up a new one, but when I tried to select a hard drive nothing happened. So I tried via Control Panel> File History. This told me that "File History is off". So I selected a hard drive and clicked on the "Turn on" button - after a short while I got the error message
"Could not enable File History​
The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it."​






Followed all sorts of suggestions I found via web search - but nothing worked. A phone call to Microsoft support in Australia was also no help.Then I noticed a brief mention of file indexing - I checked and found that (I do not know how or when) Windows Search had been turned off. This is what worked for me:

1. Delete the existing FileHistory folder on my external hard drive
2. Delete the folder users/%username%/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/FileHistory
3. Using Computer Management>Services and Applications> Services
Scroll down to Windows Search
Double click on the name​
Set Startup type to Automatic (Delayed Start)
Then in Control Panel>File History
It should now say "File History on"​
Select you desired drive​
Click on Start

A new file history started (for me) and took a long time.

I know I'm 4 or 5 years late to the party.. just wanted to say thanks. On Windows 11 now, whenever I use it I can't help but be reminded of how I'm using a Microsoft system. It's sort of like the feeling you'd get if you knew all along that you're only with your partner because neither of you want to be alone but are too afraid to admit it. That's Windows in a nutshell.
 
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