In this article, we will understand easy ways to configure Windows 10 backup and restore features.
A personal computer is an important and efficient device in our everyday lives. Every day we’re working with loads of different types of digital files.
We can’t even imagine the loss of any one of these, including old images of our kids, or other significant official records that can’t be replicated.
Yet should we think about it, and make these data backups properly?
Importance of Computer Backup
Unfortunately, to say, most of us don’t take the time to back up our computers. Keeping a duplicate copy of important files is one of the important and necessary things any computer user needs to do.
This will prevent our regrets if any unexpected trouble like hardware failures, Windows 10 system file damage, corruption of our data file, etc., might happen. In reality, as with all other electronic devices, the PC is also a man-made machine and we can not predict its reliability.
We can perform and configure various ways to back up a Windows 10 PC. We are free to use any third-party tool or use the built-in Windows 10 backup feature.
Here we walk through the steps involved to configure backup and restore in Windows 10. The backup process itself can be performed manually and configured at regular intervals to allow an automated backup.
Through the methods explained below, you will learn how to back up laptop data or PC files in systematic ways.
Configure Backup Settings on Windows 10 PC
1. Select and Back Up the Required Files Manually
Do you know how to back up files in Windows?
We can easily pick the individual files that are to be backed up and store them on an external drive.
So even if anything happens with the original files, we would be able to recover and use those files.
This approach is very helpful if you want to make a fresh installation of Windows 10 on the existing or any other PC.
2. Back-Up Using File History
In this process, using the file history backup function of Windows 10 we will be able to save the important files in an external drive or network storage.
Whether the originals are corrupted, deleted, or destroyed you can use the restore function to recover the backed-up files.
3. Back-Up Using the System Image Tool
The next approach is to use the Windows 10 system image backup tool.
This image backup method replicates the exact image of both operating system files and user files. Here, your computer’s full picture is backed up, and it can also be conveniently backed up on a separate drive or a network drive.
However, the disadvantage of this Windows image backup is that the system image can only be restored or retrieved on the original PC. We should have a system recovery disk or a Windows bootable USB drive in this method.
To ensure the latest version of all the files including Windows updates, we should perform the image backup periodically.
How to Create a Backup on a Windows 10 PC Using the System Image Tool?
Using the Windows image tool, you will be asked to follow the steps below to perform a full backup of your Windows 10 PC.
- Go to Windows 10 Settings by clicking on the start menu.
- Select Update & Security
- Click on Backup
- In ‘Looking for an older backup?‘ go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7)
5. In the newly opened window click on the ‘create a system image’ link seen on the left pane.
- You will get the option here to choose the location of the Windows backup where you want to save the system file. Please try finding an external drive for backup here other than the system disk. Otherwise, you’ll also lose the backup if the primary hard drive fails.
- Click the ‘Next’ button.
- Then you will get an option to add additional drives to save the backup.
- Again click ‘Next’ and press the ‘Start Back up’ button.
Soon after this backup is complete, you’ll get an option to create a recovery disk. When you have an optical disk drive within your device you can build a recovery disk.
Creating a recovery disk or a bootable USB drive is important if you don’t have a separate Windows 10 installation media(either a CD or USB drive). We suggest creating a bootable USB drive for this purpose.
By performing these steps your system image will be saved as a backup at the location you have desired.
How to Restore the Backup in Windows 10 Using the System Image Tool?
We can use the backed-up system image file when the PC fails to boot or when you are planning to replace your hard drive.
The Windows backup and restore feature is a highly advanced and efficient one.
For restoring the system image please follow the below steps.
- Keep your PC in the off condition and connect the drive in which you have saved your system image.
- Attach the bootable USB drive to your device.
- Power on the system and allow it to boot from the USB drive.
- You will get a Windows setup window and click ‘Next”
- Click ’ Repair your computer’ seen on the bottom side of the setup window.
- Select the ‘Troubleshoot’ option
- Then click ‘System Image Recovery ‘
- Select the target OS as Windows 10 in the system image recovery tool.
- From the next page of ‘Re-image your computer’ select use the latest available system image. Here you have to select the latest copy of the system image if there is more than one copy.
- Click Next and you will get another optional screen.
- Here you can restore the system to a new hard drive by selecting the option Format and repartition disks. (Note: This step is optional and performed only when you have a new hard disk drive). If you want to restore the system image to the present hard disk without formatting, it is also possible.
- Click the Next and Finish buttons.
After performing the above steps, the system restores the image backed up. Nonetheless, care should be taken not to interrupt the operation, and this can cause the machine to be unusable.
The time you need to restore depends on the size of the image file and the hardware configuration of your PC.
Hope you understand the process of system image restoration. Here we have discussed the manual configuration of the Windows 10 backup and restore.
In the next section, we are going to learn how to back up Windows 10 through the automatic configuration of the same, by which we can schedule the backup.
4. Configure Your PC for Automatic Backup in Windows 10
Let us proceed to the configuration process of automatic backup in Windows 10
1. Open Settings
2. Select Update & security
3. Go to Backup in the left navigation window.
4. Click on Backup and Restore (Windows 7)
5. Click on Set up backup in the next window
6. Select the drive in which you want to save the backup
7 Click Next and in the ‘What do you want to backup?’ Opt ‘Let me choose”
8. Click Next and select the items you want to back up.
9. In this step, you can review the backup settings and schedule the backup.
After the backup is completed you can view the details of the backup including size, location, next and previous backup time, etc.
10. Save the settings to proceed with the backup. The backup process will start at this instant and automatic incremental backup will be performed as per our schedule.
How to Restore the Backup in Windows 10?
We already learned how to restore the backup from a system image file. This recovery method is very useful when the system completely fails to boot from the system drive.
But if you have file history or individual files back up and the PC can boot from the hard disk, the Backup and Restore feature in Windows 10 helps to recover the files or the entire data depending upon the backup data we have.
Restoring the backup files follows the steps undermentioned.
1. Open Settings
2. Select Update & security
3. In ‘Looking for an older backup?’ go to ‘Back up and restore (Windows 7)‘
4. Here you can see all your backup details and click the Restore my files button.
5. Click Browse for files you want to restore.
6. Select the files you want and click Add files.
7. Decide the location where the restored files are to be saved.
8. Click Next and select In the following location.
9. Click Restore and then the Finish button.
Once you complete the setup process to recover, you can access all the files from the destination.
System Image Backup vs Backup and Restore
We already learned how to back up and restore a Windows 10 PC using System Image Backup and Backup and Restore functions. Both functions have benefits and drawbacks of their own.
System Image Backup – Advantages and Disadvantages
System Image Backup is very useful when we back up the full system.
Your system can be restored to an earlier stage of operation (as at the time of backup) in an easy way. It’s very helpful when the PC fails to boot from the hard disk.
In the system image backup, we can’t schedule the backup process. We need to back up manually when needed. Also, the file versions are saved at the time of backup, and we can’t retrieve updates after the backup period.
It is therefore a good practice to back up the System Image at regular intervals at least once every three months.
As we back up the system image to an external location, there’s no need to attach it to our PC. This eliminates the chance of malware infection if anything happens on the PC.
Backup and Restore – Advantages and Disadvantages
The Backup and Restore feature allows you to perform a full or individual backup and restore process. We can also schedule an automatic backup at our convenience.
We can’t restore backup files if the system doesn’t boot. In this case, we need to re-install Windows 10 and then restore the required files.
We need to connect the backup drive to your system always. So there’s a chance that malware or virus infection will damage your drive if there’s an infectious attack on your PC.
So it’s advised to use good antivirus software on your system.
Let us conclude that we have covered almost all the basic steps to be followed in Windows 10 backup and restore features in Windows 10. We welcome hearing your thoughts on the subject.
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