Create a Schedule to Backup User Files (2 Ways)

This article will show you how to create a schedule to backup User files in Windows 7/8/10/11 and provides you with 2 helpful ways.


by Delia Updated on October 24, 2022

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Why should you schedule backup user files?

The main reason for schedule backup Users files is to ensure data security. Why do I say this? By default, there are many installed or built-in applications that will save files to the Windows Users folder. And any wrong operation will result in data loss

Besides, Users folder is located in system partition, which can be easily affected by computer failure. If your computer has some problems because of virus attack or malware and needs to reinstall Windows, the Users folder and installed Apps on the system drive will be deleted.

All in all, it's important to backup user files if you don't want to lose them due to any reason. If change it from time to time or very frequently, you need to create a schedule to backup User files to keep changes between this period.

Does Windows 10 have automatic backup?

In fact, Microsoft provides you with two built-in backup software to automatic backup user files, including Backup and Restore, File History. The first is only available on Windows 7 or Windows 10/11. The second one is supported by Windows 8 and later version. However, there are some differences between them, you can check details in the following chart:

  Backup and Restore  File History
Backup     Items Backup user files, as well as partition, system or entire disk. Backup user files only. And it allows you to add any files you want in Windows 10 and 11.
Schedule Settings Support daily, weekly, monthly backup, every Sunday at 7:00 PM by default. From every 10 minutes to daily, and the default option is hourly. 
Backup Methods Backup files and changes since last backup.  Backup only changes at the specified time point.
Backup Retention Retain only the most recent backups at a time point or delete all of them.  Keep from 1 month to 2 years, or use Untill space is needed or forever by default. 
Backup Destination support internal/external hard drives, and network location. cloud drives are not supported as well.  Support external hard drive, home network, NOT internal drives and cloud drives.

Well then, which one should you choose? It depends on items you want to backup, backup and retetion frequency, or the backup drive you have. You may still find it difficult to choose due to one of the factors in it, whether there is an all-in-one backup software that can compensate for the drawbacks involved.

The answer is Yes, you could consider using third-party backup software - AOMEI Backupper to create a schedule to backup user files in Windows 7, 8, 10, 11 or previous systems. And all the operations are based on intuitive interface, so users can easily understand it and use as a professional.

How to create a schedule to backup user files in Windows 10 

Here I'll introduce you to two ways to schedule backup user files in Windows 10 and the complete way takes precedence. As for built-in tools, I'll only show you how to use schedule automatic backup software - Backup and Restore (Windows 7), since its backup frequencies are more reasonable. 

Method 1: Automatic backup user files with AOMEI Backupper Standard

Before you start to automatically backup user files in Windows 10, you need to download AOMEI Backupper Standard and install it on your computer. 

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

(PS: This software applies to Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server.)

1. Run this free backup software, click “Backup” and select “File Backup”.

File Backup

Note: You can also backup user files to AOMEI Cloud with its Cloud Backup feature. And it still offers AOMEI users 1TB of free cloud storage in 15 days after registration. 

2. Click “Add File” or “Add Folder ”to include the user files or folders into the backup.

Add Folders Files

3. Select a location path to save the image backup. You can backup files to USB, external hard drive, network drive, etc.

Select Destination

4. To schedule backup user files, enable Schedule Backup and set a specific time of a day, a week, a month. Then, click “Start Backup” to run the backup task.

Schedule Settings General

Also, you can use Event trigger and USB Plug in on the professional version.

By default, this software will perform scheduled task with incremental backup. It backs up only changed files and saves much backup time and disk space. However, in the long run, your backup task will be fulfilled sooner or later unless you delete backup files manually or automatically.

If you delete it manually, you may encounter another issue - system restore failed due to missing one or more incremental backups. Thus, it's suggested to enable Backup Scheme and delete backup file automatically. You have 3 options, By quantity,  By time, By daily/weekly/monthly. You need to upgrade now (5% off for one computer) before using it. 

Enable Automatic Backup Cleanup

Also, you can choose to use a safer backup method - Differential Backup. It is relatively easy for recovery. For differences between them, learn my previous article: Incremental or Differential Backup.

Besides, you still can enable email notification after the task finished. Comment, split, compress the backup image, or select a backup mode, etc. 

AOMEI Email SMS Notification Settings

Method 2: Schedule backup user files with Backup and Restore 

Here you will use Backup and Restore to schedule backup user files in Windows 10. And the steps are applicable to other systems, such as, Windows 7 and Windows 11. 

1. Open Backup and Restore, you have two ways in the following. Then, click “Set up backup” on the right panel.

# 1: Use backup settings:

In Windows 10, type backup settings and select it, scroll down to Looking for an older backup and click Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

In Windows 7, you can directly search Backup and Restore in the search box.

In Windows 11, go to Settings -> System -> Storage -> Advanced Storage options > Backup options, then scroll down to Looking for an older backup and select Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

# 2: Through Control Panel: Go to Control Panel and select Backup and Restore (Windows 7 ) under System and Security tab. 

Set up Backup

2. Select the drive where you want to save the Windows backup files and click “Next” to continue.

Where to Save

3. It will bring you the What do you want to back up screen. Select “Let me choose” and click “Next”.

Let Me Choose

4. Select the Users folder under the Dta Files and click “Next”. By default, the option "Include a system image of drives ..." will be checked. If you don't want to backup system, uncheck it.

Check Users

5. Review the backup settings and click “Save settings and run backup” to run the backup. The schedule setting is Every Sunday at 7:00 PM by default and you click Change schedule to switch to another time.


Important: Backup and Restore is not maintaining in Windows and it will be removed completely in the future. So, if you are using Windows 7 or Windows 10/11, you’d better use free backup software like AOMEI Backupper Standard.

For Windows 8/8.1 users, you could backup files to external hard drive with File History. And you can backup specific folders. For more flexible way to create automatic backup for user files, free backup software is a greater choice.

Wrapping things up

You can easily create a schedule to backup user files with the help of schedule automatic backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard and built-in tools. The previous is recommended due to its more compatible and flexible. It not only schedule backup users files, but also system, disk and partitions. Its Incremental Backup only backup changed files.

In the advanced edition, you can enjoy advanced backup method - Differential Backup and flexible automatic backup cleanup methods to delete backup files regularly to store new backups. To deploy image to multiple computers, try image deploy tool in the AOMEI Backupper Technician or TechPlus edtion. For differences, check the edition comparison page.

Delia · Editor
Delia owns extensive experience in writing technology-related blog posts, and has been a part of AOMEI since 2020 to provide expertise in data security and disaster recovery. She works with Windows operating systems, SQL databases, and virtualization platforms such as VMware and Hyper-V, specializing in troubleshooting and advising on data protection and migration.