Backup Active Directory 2016 with Top 2 Ways

In this article, you'll know 2 ways on how to perform a full Server backup on a Windows Server 2016 computer, in order to restore your Server if anything goes wrong.


By Clytze Updated on April 9, 2024

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Why need to backup Active Directory 2016?

It’s really essential to have a backup of your Server 2016 Active Directory in case one of your domain controllers (DCs) fails, or any other unforeseen errors such as Server keeps booting to the blue choose an option screen that prevent your users to log in to their computers. Thus, you will need to create a full backup of your Server 2016 or other versions.

Backup Active Directory 2016

What does a Server backup include? A Server backup includes all the necessary components to protect Active Directory and restore it. This includes the raw database, DNS information, the SYSVOL volume/share, Group Policy, and its environment.

The following content will show you 2 easy ways to backup Active Directory 2016 to prevent something bad occurs.

What are Active Directory backup best practices?

To make a full or system state backup of your Windows Server 2016, you can try the Windows built-in tool Windows Server Backup, or ask help from a professional third-party backup and restore software.

Enable Windows Server 2016 backup Active Directory with WSB

Here are the illustrated steps that you can follow to perform system state backup Active Directory with Windows Server Backup.

1. Open Server Manager, click Tools in the upper-right column and select Windows Server Backup.

2. Click Local Backup. On the Action menu, click Backup once.

Backup Once

3. In the Backup Once Wizard, on the Backup options page, click Different options, and then click Next.

Different Options

4. On the Select backup configuration page, click Full server (recommended), and then click Next.

5. On the Specify destination type page, click Local drives or Remote shared folder, and then click Next.

Destination Type

6. On the Select Backup Destination page, choose the backup location.

7. On the confirmation screen, click Backup. Once this has completed, click Close to exit the Backup Once Wizard.


The whole process of backing up Server 2016 AD with WSB seems complicated and error-prone. Is there a simpler way to backup Active Directory? The answer is definitely yes! Please continue reading below.

Backup Active Directory on Windows Server 2016 via AOMEI Backupper

In order to break the limitations of Windows Server Backup, you can still try a simpler and more flexible way to backup Server 2016, which is the best third-party Server backup and restore software – AOMEI Backupper Server.

❂ It enables you to backup Server system/file/disk/partition to different storage devices. You can use it to backup Windows Server 2016 to external hard drive, NAS, network shares, cloud services, etc.
❂ It offers 3 backup methods: full backup, differential and incremental backup. You can choose to backup all of data every time or only changes.
❂ It enables you to create a recovery drive and restore Server 2016 in WinPE to rescue a malfunctioning machine. Just go to Tools > Create Bootable Media to create a Window Server recovery drive.
❂ It works on a wide range of Windows OS, including Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2019, 2022 (including R2) and Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP.

With its help, you will easily get started to create a system backup of Windows Server 2016. Just download it to have a try.

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Step 1. Install and launch the software. Navigate to Backup and click System Backup.

System Backup

Step 2. All the system files, settings, applications and personal data in system partitions will be automatically selected as the source, you just need to select a destination path.

Select Destination Path

Step 3. Before clicking Start Backup, you can do further settings to optimize the backup.

💙 Schedule Backup: Create an automatic system backup. You can choose Daily/Weekly/Monthly/Event triggers/USB plug in.

Schedule Settings

💙 Backup Scheme: You can select backup method as full/incremental/differential, or enable automatic backup cleanup to auto delete old backups to free up the storage space.

Backup Scheme

💙 Options: You could add a comment for your backup and use other backup settings such as the compression level, backup encryption, notifications, splitting image, intelligent sector, VSS, and more.

Backup Options

Step 4. Click Start Backup to begin the process of Windows Server 2016 backup Active Directory.

Tip: Centrally backup Windows Server active directory and computers

If you are an enterprise user, AOMEI Cyber Backup is more suitable for you to backup the Active directory. AOMEI Cyber Backup is a professional enterprise backup software. With this tool, you can easily backup all Windows Server and all Windows client physical machines on a web console.

✾ It enables you to create system/disk/partition backup for client computers and Servers.
✾ It supports saving backup files on local storage, external hard drives, network share or NAS devices, etc.
✾ You can schedule a backup task to run daily/weekly/monthly using the full/incremental/differential backup method.

You can hit the download button to have a 30-day free trial. And you can refer to the following steps to learn how to use this tool to backup all client computers and Server.

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Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Cyber Backup. Log in with AOMEI Cyber Backup account or Windows account.

Step 2. Click Source Device Windows Add Windows Device to add the Windows Server or other client windows that you want to backup. 

3. Create a new backup task.

  • Click Backup Task and select Backup Task Create New Task.
  • Choose a Backup Type.

Select Backup Type

  • Edit Task Name .
  • click Select + to select the device you just added.
  • Then click Select + and Add a new local storage or Add a new network storage to choose a backup path.

Choose Backup Target

  • In the Schedule field, specify a schedule according to your need.

Schedule Backup

  • Click Start Backup > Add the schedule and start backup now to launch the backup process.


Backup Active Directory in 2016 is an essential move to protect your Server computers. You can use Windows Server Backup for Active Directory backup. Nevertheless, AOMEI Backupper Server provides an easier way to backup Active Directory with its user-friendly interface and simple steps.

It can also help you solve Windows Server 2019 repair UEFI boot and fix Windows Server 2019 slow file sharing. Don’t hesitate to get the free trial of AOMEI Backupper Server to have a try! 

Clytze · Editor
Clytze, an editor at AOMEI Technology, is passionate about safeguarding your digital world. She dedicates her expertise to empower users like you in data security and recovery. She firmly believes that everyone should have the tools and knowledge to protect their digital assets through computer backup, seamless disk cloning, and efficient file synchronization. Clytze is your trusted guide on the journey to data safety.