By Delia / Last update December 1, 2022

Something wrong? Restore your PC from backup

Regardless of the configuration of a computer, you can hardly use it without any worry. System crashes, hardware failures, virus attacks, improper operation, all these problems can make you suffer a heavy blow. Luckily, you can always restore PC from a previously created backup.

Compared to reset or clean installation, this method both maximizes the retention of your personal data and brings the system back to a previous state (instead of factory settings), which greatly reduces the impact on your usage.

In the following article, I will introduce how to use Windows 10 backup to restore your PC, or even another PC. The steps in Windows 11 are largely the same.

restore pc from backup

Different recovery needs and corresponding solutions

There's one more question you need to clarify before actually operating it - what do you want to recover?

☛ If you just want to restore the system settings and status to an earlier state, you can use Windows 10 System Restore. It shall not affect your personal data, and by the same token, will not retrieve your lost files. For more information, please see: system restore Windows 10 from boot.

☛ If there’s nothing wrong with the OS - you just want to restore specific files & folders, then you can use File History or Backup and Restore. Check how to restore files from Windows 10 backup.

☛ If you want to restore a full system backup (including all files in system partitions), or an entire hard drive, you should use System Image Recovery or an equivalent >> See Method 1 or Method 2.

☛ If you want Windows 10 system image restore to different  computer>> See Method 2.

Method 1. Restore PC from Windows 10 system image backup

In Windows 10 or even Windows 11, you can still use Windows 7 Backup and Restore to create system image, which contains all drives required for Windows to run, additional drives are also optional. That is, you can use it to restore the operating system or the entire hard drive.

How to create a system image backup in Windows 10

1. Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Backup > Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7) > Create a system image. You can also find it in Control Panel.

2. Choose a destination for the system image, like external hard drive, DVD, network location (it’s not recommended to store it on the local drive). Then choose additional drives if necessary and follow the wizard to complete backup.

create system image backup

How to restore Windows 10 from system image

1. To access the option, you need to boot Windows 10 in recovery mode with installation disc, recovery USB, or after 3 failed boot-ups. Select your language and region, hit Next > Repair your computer.

repair your computer

2. Then choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > System Image Recovery.

If you want to restore windows 10 from an external hard drive, connect the device properly so that it can detect your system image.

system image recovery

3. Your latest system image backup will be displayed in the popping out window. If it's not the one you want, click Select a system image to locate it.

select system image

4. If your current partition layout does not match the one in the earlier backup, you need to check this option Format and repartition disks. This applies especially when you want to restore the backup to another SSD or HDD.

format repartition disks

5. Confirm the operation and click Finish. Wait patiently till the restore process is complete.

finish

Notes:

  • It’s possible to restore system image backup to another computer, but the failure rate is high considering the compatibility between different hardware. You can refer to the instructions about bare metal recovery.
  • If the recovery goes wrong, please check this guide to fix System Image Recovery failed.

Method 2. Restore Windows 10 backup to your PC or another PC

Windows 10 Backup and Restore is carried over from Windows 7. In today's view, it is cumbersome and not fast enough. There are also many known mistakes that may prevent the recovery process from being completed.

All in all, for people who have a vast amount of data, or who operate their computers frequently, I would like to recommend AOMEI Backupper as a solution.

◉ It is a full-fledged backup program works on Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista, and integrates multiple backup options. You can simply fulfill system backup or disk backup, and just as easily restore computer from backup.
◉ The supported devices include internal/external hard drive, USB flash drive, NAS, network share, cloud drive. Choose any one as the backup destination or recovery source.

>> If you want to restore Windows 10 backup to the same computer: use AOMEI Backupper Standard for free.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

>> If you want to restore Windows 10 backup to another computer: upgrade to Professional edition to enjoy the dissimilar hardware restore feature.

Create a backup in case of recovery needs

Launch the software, go to Backup tab and choose System Backup, the system partitions will be auto selected. You can specify a removable device to store it safely, and follow the wizard to complete the process. It’s also available to schedule automatic backup, choose compression level, perform incremental or differential backup, etc.

system backup

Restore Windows 10 computer from backup

1. Launch the software, navigate to Restore tab, choose Select Task or Select Image File to locate the system image.

locate system image

2. Choose Restore this system backup click Next.

If you need to restore your system to another drive or another computer, tick Restore system to other location to specify a target path.

restore this system backup

3. Confirm the information and Start Restore

As for Windows 10 system image restore to different computer, please tick Universal Restore (supported by Professional edition) to ensure it can boot after restoration.

universal restore

Notes:

  • In case the computer cannot boot due to system errors, you could create a bootable media to boot the PC and perform system restore in WinPE. If you want to restore Windows 10 backup to another unbootable computer, then you need both a bootable media and a system backup created by AOMEI Backupper.

create bootable media

  • You can also use Recovery Environment in Tools tab to enable a recovery option at startup, which also allows you to perform backup & restore in WinPE. But this approach only applies to the same computer.

    enable recovery environment

Conclusion

Among various backup and restore methods in Windows 10, System Image Backup is the one you use when trying to restore PC from backup thoroughly. It targets the system drives and even the entire hard disk instead of only configurations or individual files. But if you find it complex or error-prone, AOMEI Backupper can be a better choice.

No matter you want to restore computer from system backup or complete PC backup, it offers a simple and smooth workflow. And you can use the Universal Restore feature to recover different computer, even unbootable one. If you need to replace the hard drive someday, it also helps you migrate Windows 10 to SSD or HDD without reinstallation.