By Delia / Last update April 24, 2022

Why backup PC to external hard drive?

Backing up your computer files, games, or photos is crucial yet few people take it seriously. They either in denial, under the illusion that their PC will never break down or hold the wrong impression that backup is too difficult to finish. However, they would kick themselves when computer failure or data loss actually happens to them. One small accident, a virus, or hard drive failure can destroy all the important stuff you care most about on your computer.

Therefore, it is strongly recommended to backup computer to external hard drive instead of internal disk because once the system meltdown, you may lose everything in it. In addition, using backup software for external hard drive to back it up for better protection is also available. Some Windows users only backup system drive once in a while; nevertheless, backing up entire PC to external hard drive helps you retrieve much more personal data while doing restoration.

Backup PC to External Hard Drive

Backup PC to external hard drive software (built-in tools)

The first thought in your mind might be using Windows backup tools. Definitely, you can use Backup and Restore in Windows 7 and File History in Windows 10 and Windows 8 to backup your computer. Type in "backup" or "file history" into the Start menu search box to open its relative window.

However, the File History feature will only backup the files stored in libraries, desktop, favorites and contacts folders, instead of protecting the entire system (the operating system, applications, settings and user files).

As for Backup and Restore utility in Windows 7, well, people talk about its problems a lot. Backup and Restore utility fails to encrypt and compress backup images, and it cannot do differential backup. What's worse, you may encounter backup does not work when you try to backup Windows 10 to external hard drive. As a result, it is better to use free backup software to backup PC to external hard drive in Windows 10/8/7 or Windows XP/Vista.

Auto backup PC to external hard drive via freeware

AOMEI Backupper Standard is such a tiny and reliable free backup program that will assist you in PC backup.

  • It allows you to backup PC files, photos, games to external hard disk like WD external drive and Seagate portable hard drive.
  • This software provides backup schedule. In another word, you can backup PC to external disk in Daily, Weekly, or Monthly mode automatically. So even if your memory fails you, backup task would continue all the same.
  • It offers incremental backup to help you backup changed data only.
  • When you need one or two files back only, you can do Selective File Restore to get inside a backup image and recover specific files.

Besides, AOMEI Backupper Standard offers File Sync feature which allows you to sync PC files to external hard drive without imaging them. In that case, a restoring before you can use the files would be saved. Wanna have a try? Download AOMEI Backupper and install it on your PC now!

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

How to backup PC to external hard drive in Windows 10

Step 1. Connect an external hard drive to your computer and make sure it can be recognized. It needs to be formatted before you can use it. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard. Select Backup, and then click Disk Backup.

Disk Backup

Step 2. Select the computer disk you need to back up.

Add Disk

Step 3. Select the external hard drive as the destination path, and click Start Backup.

Select Backup Destination

  • Options: this is the place where you are able to encrypt, compress as well as split backup image during the backup process. You may upgrade to higher editions to enable backup image encryption, thus preventing your files on external drive from unauthorized access.

Backup Options

  • Schedule Backup: click Schedule Backup, and you can set regular backup based on your need.

Schedule Settings General

  • Backup Scheme: “Incremental Backup” is selected by default as the backup method, and “Differential Backup” is available in AOMEI Backupper Professional or higher.

Incremental/Differential Backup

It is easier to backup PC to external hard drive in Windows 10/8/7 with the help of AOMEI Backupper Standard. In fact, apart from backing up computer to external drive, you also can clone PC to external drive, backup external hard drive to another external hard drive, etc. AOMEI Backupper Professional, the advanced version of Standard, offers more helpful features to satisfy your backup requirements, such as dissimilar hardware restore, and system clone, etc.