Why need incremental backup?

An incremental backup of an external hard drive includes only changed files since the last backup, which is so different from a full backup that copying all sector data of your hard drive. Full backups should only be done weekly or monthly to back up major changes such as OS upgrade or software install, however, incremental backup should be done daily to make a image of daily changed information (those small files will be accumulated as a big one sooner or later) in order to avoid data loss during long intervals between full backups. And this is a wise backup solution:

The most files on your external hard drive never or rarely change, so an incremental backup will make a much small image file with backing up only changed data while a full backup makes a big image of whole drive again, which makes an incremental occupies smaller disk space and takes less time to finish backup job. For instance, a full backup is about 50gigabytes, while the incremental backups vary from 2.5 gigabytes to around 10 and backup time is less accordingly which depends on the changes of your drive that day.

But, you should be skillful for using incremental backups, because all the incremental backups must be available to perform a restore of an point in time due to its feature. For example, you make an automatic PC backup setting to do a monthly full backup and a daily incremental. When you want to restore your computer to a point in time 7days into that month, you need the initial full backup and the 6 incremental backups to reach that day. Each incremental backup should be restored “on top of” the backup prior to it, until the last has been processed. Luckily, a hard drive incremental backup software, AOMEI Backupper, can make all the things easy and there is no worry of that.

How to incremental backup external hard drive?

Now we will show you how to incremental backup external hard drive with AOMEI Backupper. AOMEI Backupper is running well with all editions of Windows including Windows XP\Vista\7\8\8.1\10 and allows you to do full backup, differential backup and incremental backup. It’s easy to operate and completely free of charge.

Step 1: Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition. Select “Disk Backup” under “Backup” tab.

Disk Backup

Step 2: Name the task, select the external hard drive you want to do incremental backup at “Step 1” and select the destination path at “Step 2”. In addition, “Schedule” an incremental backup.


Step 3: In the “Schedule Settings” window, you should choose “Incremental Backup” under “Advanced” (this option is chose by default). Besides, you can set to backup only new files automatically under “General” tab. Click “OK” to finish setting, and then “Start Backup”.


Note 1: Once the process of backup is completed, interface will turn to "Home". Here, you can preview all the backups, and you can directly start a incremental backup through "Backup" > “Incremental Backup”.

Incremental Backup

Note 2: On the “Home” interface, you can preview all the versions of this backup task through Home> Advanced> Properties.

Check Backup

Then, all the image files of this backup will be listed under the "Versions" tab.


As for restore, AOMEI Backupper can help restore to a date with the point-in-time incremental backup so as to avoid the complexity for you.