Huge Windows 10 update could save your data — here's how

Windows 10
(Image credit: ymgerman / Shutterstock)

One of the worst things that can happen to a PC is a failed SSD; if it goes down, you could lose vast amounts of information. But Windows 10 is looking to save you from such woe. 

The latest preview build of Windows 10, Build 20266, has a new storage health monitoring feature that will warn users when a SSD might be on the verge of failure. It’s been specifically configured to work with NVMe SSDs, which are growing in popularity and can be found in many modern laptops. 

“Attempting to recover data after drive failure is both frustrating and expensive,” Microsoft’s Windows blog said. “This feature is designed to detect hardware abnormalities for NVMe SSDs and notify users with enough time to act. It is strongly recommended that users immediately back up their data after receiving a notification.” 

If you have access to the new Windows 10 Insider Preview build, you can access the new monitoring feature by going into the system setting on your Windows 10 machine and navigating to the "Storage" section. From there you need to click on "Manage disks and volumes" then click the "Properties" section. It’s there that a warning will alert you to whether your SSD's “reliability is degraded.” 

If that’s the case then Windows 10 recommends you backup the data on that SSD in case it fails. In fact, we’d recommend backing up your most precious data to a cloud service as well as an external hard drive, just to be on the safe side.

Windows 10 SSD health alert

(Image credit: Microsoft)

A standard Windows 10 notification will also immediately alert users to a potential SSD failure. And clicking on it will lead people to the options to manage and backup their files. 

While the feature is just for members of the Windows Insider program, it’s rather likely it’ll get pushed out to standard Windows 10 users. Perhaps with the feature being more readily accessed in the settings rather than buried beneath a series of menus. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.