Windows 10 file structure

Trying to understand the file structure in Windows 10. Have no problem with using a cloud as long as I know where my files are. Know microsoft has made big changes. Have seen a different desktop with history. Also task view has history. Does someone have a concise description for a normal user that will help me understand? Also see Idrive backs up cloud. I do not understand how this can happen. Also have a external hard drive. Have used Carbonite and they back up the external hard drive. I do not understand how this works. Where are my files and how do I have 3 copies of that data?

More detail. Have always used Windows File Explorer. That structure of files is changing. Reset my desktop computer to try to keep a copy of my files on my computer. I want to know where my files are. Have attached external hard drive and decided to use the external to keep my files. Now according to file explorer my files are under my user name -data- file history. The are so difficult to locate that I saved a shortcut on my desktop to know where it is. So frustrated just bought new hardware and I am ready to ditch Windows completely. If they were clear about what they are doing maybe I might believe them. The file explorer is not your computer, it includes cloud data. But then if it is in your documents it may be in a cloud, on one of your devices. You do not know where a document is until you open it. That is not acceptable. Please help me understand why this is acceptable to any user.

I’ve never heard of “history” in File Explorer.

The files are stored where you put them. By default in your Documents/Photos/Films etc. folders under your user folder. E.g. C:\Users\MyUser\Documents. If you use OneDrive, the files are, by default stored locally under OneDrive (C:\Users\MyUser\OneDrive…), which is then synced with your cloud copy. Office 365 will try and store everything in OneDrive by default, but you can always override it and store in a non-OneDrive folder.

If the local drive becomes too full, you can tell OneDrive to store certain folder only in the cloud (E.g. films or archive stuff that doesn’t need quick and/or constant access).

I’m sorry, but your description seems a bit all over the place and I’m not exactly sure what the problem is exactly. Could you try re-organizing your question with a bit more structure. E.g. what 3 copies, where?


Sounds like you are using the external disk for the built in Windows back up solution, which is named File History. The storage path for accessing files in File History is not very easy as it is not really for your use as it is a back up for Windows to rescue files from.

I believe the File History path is:

The disk you chose for File History --> FileHistory -->Computer name --> User name --> Data --> then the folders you chose to back up.
D:\FileHistory\MyLaptop\Dave\Data --> Then the folders you chose to back up

Also you have a setting in One Drive to keep files locally too:

How to force OneDrive to Store Files both on PC and online on Windows 10

  1. Cap: Click on OneDrive icon.
  2. Cap: Click on More and then Settings.
  3. Cap: Uncheck the box that says Save space and download files as you use them.
  4. Cap: Click on OK to disable Files On-Demand.
  5. Cap: Select Always keep on this device or Free up space.

Thanks again You a a life saver. SMILE

Rah, you understand what I am looking for. Been a difficult year. And you helped thru the bumps and rough spots. Just unchecked On Demand and immediately files were streaming back to my computer. Awesome Thanks

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Hi treeclimber,

I’m pleased I’ve been able to help :slight_smile: