We’re talking about the Windows Backup app which Microsoft pushed out to test versions of Windows 11 earlier this year (in May).
What this does is to back up pretty much everything for you – not just your files and folders, but apps, system settings, login details, the lot, so you can be up and running with a new PC in no time. These details are tied to your Microsoft account and backed up online to the cloud (OneDrive, or one of the other best cloud storage services).
So, this application is coming to Windows 10, and as PhantomOfEarth on X (formerly Twitter) noticed, it’s present in the new Release Preview build for the OS (version 19045.3391, KB5029331).
The new Windows Backup app from the Dev/Canary channels is included in the latest Windows 10 Release Preview update (19045.3391, KB5029331) pic.twitter.com/T8GDHTdMb1August 11, 2023
However, the mentioned catch here is that while this works to facilitate a full (and seamless) Windows 10 cloud backup, it doesn’t actually let you restore the system to a Windows 10 PC.
Analysis: What’s this all about, then? Migration, in a word
Huh, you might now be thinking – so, what’s the point? Well, while you can’t restore to a new Windows 10 installation as part of setting up a fresh OS, you can restore your backup to a Windows 11 installation.
In other words, this is designed to be used to help those upgrading to Windows 11 bring across all their bits and pieces with a minimum of effort.
This makes sense, as you may recall that earlier this year, Microsoft told us that it would no longer be adding any new features to Windows 10 – outside of very minor tweaking (and security fixes, of course). This does indeed count as a pretty big feature, but as it’s just to aid in migration to the newer OS, it’s not technically of much use to those sticking with Windows 10.
This, then, is essentially a Windows 11 feature, or one to bridge the gap between the two operating systems in a seamless manner when upgrading – which is still a welcome ability. It’s just that it’d have been nice to see it introduced fully for Windows 10, too. Ahh well.