Solved: Windows Backup Freezes at 97%

Find Windows backup freezes at 97% and don’t know what to do? Read this article patiently to get effective solutions.


By Lily Updated on January 17, 2024

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The problem: Windows backup freezes at 97%

There are two built-in backup tools in Windows: Backup and Restore (Windows 7) and File History. The first tool is used to backup the entire system as well as everything else on your hard drive while the second tool backs up important folders in your user folder. Superb as they look like, users are frustrated by the error they encounter—Windows backup stuck at 12%, 57%, 97%. One user shared his experience in the forum:

“When I try to make a system image with the Windows 7 recovery backup tool, it gets to 97% and just sits there (I let it run overnight). I am using a USB external drive and checked it for errors. This happens on a Sony Vaio laptop and a Lenovo Ipad.”

Windows Backup Freezes at 97%

How to resolve Windows 10/8/7 backup stalls at 97% easily

In short, there are three main factors that may cause this problem: some system files are locked by other programs, preventing Windows from accessing them; there is not enough disk space for backup; there are bad sectors in your system disk or target disk. As a result, Windows backup doesn’t go well as expected. If you find Windows backup is currently in progress but not completed even after a long time, you can try following methods to fix it:

AOMEI Backupper

If you are looking for the best free Windows backup software, AOMEI Backupper is recommended.

Method 1: check disk errors

1. Tap the Search button on the taskbar and type “cmd” in the search box. Right click “cmd” and select “Run as administrator”.

2. Type chkdsk D: /f /r /x and press Enter. You can change the drive letter “D:” to others so as to check errors on other drives.


✍ Tips:
● The meaning of the parameters used: “/f” tells chkdsk to fix any errors it finds; “/r” tells it to locate the bad sectors on the drive and recover readable information; “/x” forces the drive to dismount before the process starts.
● To check errors on the boot drive, you will be asked to run the command before the next boot. Type y to confirm the operation.

3. Type exit and press Enter to exit Command Prompt.

Method 2: disable the antivirus program or firewall temporarily

Sometimes, antivirus software or firewall can cause Windows 7/8/10 backup freezes. Try to disable them temporarily. Once the backup process is finished, enable them immediately because antivirus software is very important to ensure your computer’s security.

1. Type firewall in the Windows search box and choose the option Windows Defender Firewall.

2. Navigate to the left panel and click  Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall option to disable the installed antivirus apps.

Allow An App or Feature

3. Next, disable the installed antivirus program by unchecking the corresponding box.

4. Then return to Windows Defender Firewall page and click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off on the left panel.

Turn Windows Defender on or off

5. Select Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended) at Private network settings and Public network settings. Then click OK to confirm.

Turn off Windows Defender Firewall

Method 3: disable all the programs running at startup

1. Tap the Search button on the taskbar and type “msconfig”. Select System Configuration from the search results.

2. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, click Open Task Manager.

Open Task Manager

3. On the Startup tab in Task Manager, select each startup item and then click Disable. Close Task Manager.

Disable Startup Items

4. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, click OK. Restart your computer to run the backup again.

5. After Windows backup is completed successfully, you can enable all of your startup programs in System Configuration again.

Backup Windows with the best freeware - AOMEI Backupper

When you encounter the problem that Windows 10/8/7 backup hangs at 97%, you may be looking for a program superior to Windows built-in tools. AOMEI Backupper Standard, the best Windows backup software for free, is an ideal choice. Following are its main features:

Backup all kinds of data
It offers five types of backup: System/Disk/Partition/File/Cloud Backup, which can meet your different needs. 
Save backup time
It enables you to do incremental backup or differential backup to improve backup efficiency.
Run smoothly on your PC
All Windows PC operating systems like Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP are supported. However, if you are running Windows Server operating system, please turn to server backup software

Learn how to make a system backup via AOMEI Backupper below:

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper and follow the wizard to finish installation. It will be installed in a short time.

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

Step 2. Launch AOMEI Backupper. Click on “Backup” and select “System Backup”.

System Backup

Step 3. The required system partition(s) is (are) selected by default. Choose the destination path to store the backup files. You can save the system image to the local disk, external hard drive or network location.

Select Destination Path

Step 4. Confirm the operation and click “Start Backup”.

Start Backup

>> Options: you can enable email notification, choose the compression level for the backup image file and select intelligent sector backup or sector-by-sector backup, etc.
>> Schedule Backup: you can schedule a backup task to run automatically at fixed intervals, such as daily, weekly, and monthly.
>> Backup Scheme: you are able to choose full/incremental/differential backup method and enable automatic backup cleanup to delete old image files automatically. You need to upgrade to higher editions to enjoy differential backup and auto backup deletion.

★ Create a boot device in case of boot errors

Sometimes, your computer may fail to boot due to serious system errors. How to repair system when the PC won't start? A bootable USB drive can give you a hand. Click Tools > Create Bootable Media and follow the wizard to make a boot device.

Create Bootable Media

💡 Note: If you don't have a spare USB stick, you can create recovery environment with AOMEI Backupper Professional so that you can restore your computer from a boot failure.

★ More efficient way to backup Windows OS

AOMEI OneKey Recovery offers you a more efficient way to backup Windows OS. It supports both Windows PC and Windows Server operating systems, such as Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012. You are allowed to create a factory recovery partition to save the system image, and you can restore system from the recovery partition whether your computer can boot or not.

OneKey System Backup


To solve the problem that Windows backup freezes at 97%, you can resort to the three solutions offered in this article. If you are looking for a more advanced backup utility, you can choose AOMEI Backupper. It enables you to backup PS4 to external hard drive and backup WD My Cloud to Google Drive.

If you want to protect unlimited PCs and Servers, you may pick AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus. It offers you plenty of powerful features like command line backup/restore/clone and dissimilar hardware restore. Why not give it a try right now?

Lily · Editor
Lily Green joined AOMEI in 2018 and has since become a professional in the areas of data protection and data transfer. She is committed to helping users protect their precious computer data and troubleshoot Windows system errors. She consistently stays vigilant about the latest trends in technology, guaranteeing that the given information aligned with the ongoing advancements in the field.