How to restore Windows 7 backup on Windows 8.1 or 10

Windows 8 comes with a feature that supports restoring Windows 7 backups, but Microsoft has removed this feature in Windows 8.1 and latest Windows 10 Technical Preview for unknown reasons. But there is still a way is there to restore your files from Windows 7 backups on to Windows 8.1 or 10, but there are few things you need to do. Windows 8.1 supports restoring system image backups feature, but this too doesn’t help if you have used Windows backup on Windows 7 to create the backup of your files. Let us see here how to restore Windows 7 backup.

How to restore Windows 7 backup on Windows 8.1 or 10

Locate backup

First you need to connect the drive with your Windows 7 backup to your PC running on Windows 8.1 or 10. In the drive locate the file with name of PC backups are from alongside MediaID.bin file. Double click on the file folder with the name of your Windows PC. Inside the folder you will find few other folders named Backup Set YYYY-MM-DD and every Backup set folder is a separate backup. Here locate any backup file with date and time which you want to restore your files from. If you would like to restore the last backup then select recent folder.

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You will also find one or more folder with Backup Files YYYY-MM-DD name next to the catalogs folder. Every backup file in the folder is the incremental backup of same overall backup, so choose the most recent backup file.

Extract backup

Inside every Backup Files folder, you will find multiple Backup files#.zip which are the archives of your backup files. Open every zip file one by one and examine the file to see whether it contains the file you required and extract it. There is no better way of telling which zip file contains the file which you required and you probably want more than one file.

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To extract the zip file, we recommend you to use some third party programs like 7-Zip. In 7-Zip select all the zip files, right-click on them and select 7-zip>extract files and this extracts all the files from the archives. Extract those files to the specific folder on your desktop. Do same for every individual Backup files folder. As every backup is the incremental backup, so when you extract files from recent folder then you will get all the files from your backup. When you extract the files from second backup file folder, then you will get all the new files.

Even after extracting the file, you still need to dig through the backups, deleting the files that are unnecessary because deleted files will be present still and you can extract the important files from the backups. For this, you need to navigate to the folder where you have extracted the backups. The folder structure of your backup will be obvious, so there will be a C folder that represents your C drive, User folder representing Users and folders of every account on your PC. If you have backed up from the other folders on Windows PC, you will see the folders representing them as well.

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