3 of 6Image
Move your OneDrive cache
Windows 8.1 has its own built-in file sync service, OneDrive (previously SkyDrive).
By default, it allows you to sync files from the cloud to a system folder in your user profile. But if you're using a device with relatively limited storage, like a 32 GB tablet, that can be a problem.
The solution is to right-click the OneDrive icon in the navigation bar on the left of File Explorer and choose Properties. On the Location tab, shown here, you can move the OneDrive files to another location, such as a MicroSD card in an expansion slot. Note that this option will fail unless the target drive is formatted with NTFS.
Turn on File History, the auto-backup feature
Over the past decade, Windows has had no fewer than four different backup tools. Which no one ever used.
File History, which is the implementation in Windows 8.x, is the latest incarnation, and it probably comes closer than any of its predecessors to delivering on the promise of being able to undelete files and folders, roll back to previous versions, and even restore or transfer all your data to a new PC.
You need a separate storage device to use this feature: an external hard disk, a USB flash drive (which you should encrypt), or a network share, which you have to set up using the File History settings in the desktop Control Panel. (Although it's possible to point File History to a separate partition on your system drive, I don't recommend that setting, which leaves you completely unprotected in the event of a disk crash.)
Oh, and the Windows 8.1 Update fixes a design flaw in previous versions of File History. Now, those backups also include OneDrive files you've synced to the local PC or device. So if you want to recover that brilliant paragraph from the first draft of the document you've been working on since last week, you can. Even if it's stored inthe cloud.
Lock down your flash drives
Flash drives are wonderful ways to save important data.
Flash drives are also terrible ways to lose important data.
This is why I encrypt every flash drive that holds any of my personal data. I do the same to the MicroSD cards that are in some of my phones and tablets.
In Windows 8.1, the feature is called BitLocker To Go. You can only encrypt a flash disk or MicroSD card using a PC running Windows 8.1 Pro or Enterprise. But after the disk is created you can unlock it and use it on any Windows version, including Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 8 Standard, and Windows RT.
Right-click the drive icon in File Explorer and then click Turn On BitLocker. Enter a password, choose the encryption options, and wait till Windows finishes encrypting the current contents of the drive. You can then safely remove the drive or card and move it to a different machine. If you want the drive to unlock automatically on a PC after you sign in, choose that option when you enter the password to open it.