Are you wondering how to fix the annoying error ‘Your file history drive is disconnected’? You’ve come to the right page. You’ll find the most effective solutions here.
The ‘Your File History drive is disconnected’ error may pop up every hour or even more frequently if you’ve configured your system to run frequent backups. The error message may vary from one system to another, and you may see one of the following notifications:
- “Reconnect your drive. Your File History drive is disconnected. Reconnect and try again.”
- “Reconnect your drive. Your File History drive was disconnected for too long. Reconnect it and tap or click to keep saving copies of your files.”
- “Your files will be temporarily copied to your hard drive until you reconnect your File History drive and run a backup.”
Regardless of the error notification you receive, it can be quite agitating. Not to worry. We have prepared this post to help you stop the “Reconnect your drive. Your File History drive was disconnected for too long” error in Windows 10.
The File History feature is a data backup method that was introduced in Windows 8 and Windows 10 to automate backups in addition to the System Restore option, which had been available in older Windows versions.
The File History functionality allows you to save versions of your system and personal files and store them on an external storage device. It scans your system periodically, saving any changes made to your files to the external drive. This minimizes the chances of losing data when you encounter a system crash or hard drive failure.
Why Am I Getting the ‘Reconnect Your Drive’ Notification?
As explained above, File History creates backups and saves them to an external drive. When a backup is scheduled and Windows fails to find the File History drive, you will run into the ‘Reconnect your drive. Your File History was disconnected for too long’ error.
If you follow the prompt and click on the notification, you will instruct Windows to run the backup again. This action triggers the same notification error to appear again and again, and it can be quite confusing and frustrating.
The most common causes of the File History error are as follows:
- File History is turned off.
- The drive is disconnected, and Windows can’t find it.
- The backup drive or file system is corrupt. The disk can be corrupted if you disconnect it while a backup is in progress, if it is old, or if you connect it to a computer that is infected or having issues.
How to Fix the ‘Your File History Drive Was Disconnected for Too Long’ Error in Windows 10
Fix 1: Enable File History
The first solution is to verify if File History is indeed turned off and turn it on. To proceed, follow the instructions below:
- Connect the external drive you were using to back up files on your PC.
- Go to the “Settings” app using the Win + I shortcut and open Update & Security > Backup.
- Click on the “+” (Plus) sign next to “Add a drive” and choose the external drive you connected to your machine.
- You’ll see the “Automatically back up my files” option, which is turned on by default. If you have disconnected the hard drive, reconnect it, click on “More options”, and select “Back up now”. On this screen, you can configure the frequency of backups and how long you want the system to keep them. By default, the system is set to back up data every hour, but you can change it to your preferred period.
Apart from manually starting the backup process, you can reconnect the drive and wait for the next scheduled backup to occur automatically. If you don’t plan to use File History again, you can disable it by going back to the Update & Security > Backup screen and toggling the “Automatically back up my files” setting to Off.
Fix 2: Choose a Different File History Drive to Back Up Files
If you are still getting the “Reconnect your drive. Your file history was disconnected for too long” notification error after reconnecting the File History drive, it could be corrupted. To check if that’s true, follow these steps:
- Open the Command Prompt with admin privileges. To do so, launch the “Run” dialog box using the Win + R keyboard shortcut, type in cmd, and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter combination.
- In the “Command Prompt (Admin)” window, type “chkdsk.exe /F D:” (without quotes), where D is the drive letter assigned to your backup drive – you can check for the drive letter under “This PC” in File Explorer.
- Hit the “Enter” key to execute the command. The system will scan your drive and try repairing any issues found.
The process might take some time to complete, depending on the size of the backup disk, among other things. Once it’s complete, look through the text on the screen and check if you see “bad sectors”. If you do, the value should be 0 (zero). If you see a bad sector with a value higher than 0, it indicates possible physical damage to the disk. It could also be due to disk deterioration because of old age. In that case, you may need to replace your hard disk drive.
But before you do, it’s worth trying to check for errors using a dedicated system optimization tool such as Auslogics BoostSpeed. It is an all-in-one PC optimizer that helps to boost your system’s performance. The program comes with many tools aimed at helping your system operate at optimal levels. One such tool that may come in handy in your current situation is Disk Doctor, which helps you detect hard drive errors and fix them, preventing data loss.
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You can also take advantage of Disk Defrag, which offers the option to defragment your hard disk drive to ensure maximum efficiency. Other tools that you’ll find useful include Tweak Manager, Registry Defrag, Driver Updater, and Deep Disk Cleaner.
Choosing a Different Drive
If you have another drive, it’s advisable to use it to back up your files. To do so, follow the guidelines below:
- First, you need to stop using the current hard drive as your File History drive. To do that, launch the “Settings” app (Win + I), select Update & Security > Backup, and click on “More options”.
- Scroll down to the “Back up to a different drive” section and click on the “Stop using drive” button. This operation turns off the File History backup feature, and the “Add a drive” option reappears under “Back up using File History”.
- The next step is to choose a new drive to back up your files. To do that, open the Control Panel and select System and Security > File History.
- On the screen that appears, click on “Select drive” on the left side and choose the drive you prefer.
- Click “OK” and then “Yes” when asked whether you want to use this drive for File History.
Fix 3: Reset the File History Configuration Settings
You can also run into the ‘Reconnect your drive’ notification error if some of the File History configurations have been corrupted. Deleting the configuration files will reset them, and this may help to get rid of the error.
Before you proceed, you must be able to view all hidden system files, so make sure to do the following:
- Launch File Explorer via the “Start” menu or using the Win + E shortcut.
- Open the “View” tab, and on the right side, check the “Hidden items” and “File name extensions” boxes.
- Now click on “Options”. It should be in the top right corner next to the “Hidden items” option.
- On the “Folder options” screen that appears next, select the “View” tab and click on the radio button next to “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” to enable it.
- Click “Apply” and then “OK”.
Once you’ve managed to do this, it’s time to reset the configuration files in File History:
- Launch File Explorer again and navigate this path: Users\\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration\, replacing with your user profile.
- Select all the files in this folder (Ctrl + A) and hit the “Delete” key.
- Reconnect the drive and run a backup. File History will use the default configuration files, and hopefully, you won’t get the error again.
Fix 4: Format the Backup Disk
If you run out of options and you don’t have another hard drive to use to back up files using File History, you can format the hard disk drive and check if it works this time. Formatting a USB flash drive or hard disk drive erases everything on it. So, you may want to save the files somewhere else first before you format your external drive.
Formatting the backup disk on a Windows 10 PC is a simple and straightforward process:
- Run File Explorer using the Win + E keyboard shortcut and click on “This PC”.
- Locate the problematic hard drive, right-click on it and choose the “Format” option from the drop-down menu.
- Click on “Start” and let the process run uninterrupted.
- Once it’s complete, go to File History and run it. Windows Backup should run without further issues.
Fix 5: Back Up Files Using OneDrive
OneDrive comes preloaded on Windows 10 computers. Microsoft introduced the OneDrive cloud storage service to back up files to the cloud instead of relying on physical drives, which are prone to errors and physical damage. All you have to do is sign up using your Microsoft account, and you’re good to go.
The app automatically uploads files to your OneDrive account and saves any changes you make in real time. Plus, you can access, edit, or share these files from any location, on any device, and at any time.
Here is how to back up files to OneDrive:
- Start OneDrive. Go to your “Start” menu, type “OneDrive” (without quotes), and hit the “Enter” key.
- If you don’t have an account, the OneDrive setup will open. Follow the on-screen prompts to create an account. Once you finish setting up your OneDrive account, you can start using the OneDrive app on your PC.
- To do that, click on “Start”, search for OneDrive, and press “Enter” to launch it. You can also click on the OneDrive icon (cloud icon) in the notification area.
- Confirm your Microsoft account and sign in.
- You can now start uploading files to OneDrive. Since OneDrive is integrated with File Explorer, you can simply drag and drop the files you want to upload to the OneDrive folder. The service automatically syncs files between your computer and the cloud for ease of access.
However, keep in mind that using the free version of OneDrive gives you only 5GB of file storage space. If you need more space, you may have to subscribe to one of the paid Microsoft 365 plans, which come with more storage space and additional perks.
We hope one of these methods helps you to get rid of the ‘Reconnect your drive. Your File History was disconnected for too long’ error message. If you have queries or suggestions, feel free to share them with our community and experts by commenting below.