By Delia / Last update December 13, 2021

Why do you need a backup software that only copies changes?

With the increase amount of daily work, more and more files need to be backed up just in case. In order to make sure the integrity of your files, most people prefer to make a full backup. As everyone knows, full backup needs a long time. Is there an easy way to copy changed files only? Incremental and differential backup can solve this problem successfully. What is the incremental and differential backup? Let’s have a look:

Incremental backup, base on the previous backup (full backup or incremental backup), only copies changed files and newly added files for you. When you make an incremental backup, you must use a full backup as the starting point. Then you can make the first incremental backup after the full backup. By parity of reasoning, you can get the second incremental backup after the first incremental backup. Therefore, if one of the incremental backups is damaged, others will be affected.

Differential backup based on the originating full backup, backups only files that have changed. When you make a differential backup, it will backup all the modified and newly added data since the full backup was made. If one of the differential backups is damaged, others will not be affected.

Compared to differential backup, incremental backup requires less storage space and shorter time. But incremental backup needs longer time to restore data. Here is a table for your reference. You can choose a backup type according to your needs.


Backup Speed

Storage Space

Restore Time

Incremental Backup




Differential Backup




Backup software that only copies changes – free and easy

If you want to find a backup software that only copies changed files, AOMEI Backupper may be a good choice. This best free backup software can run smoothly on Windows 10, Windows 8.1/8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and XP. And you can make an incremental backup or a differential backup easily with its simple interface and easy steps. Besides, this software is totally safe, you don’t need to install other plug-ins. How to use it? Let’s take the incremental backup as an example. You can follow the easy steps blow.

Steps of copying changed files only

Step 1. Install and launch this software. Choose Backup from the left list then click System Backup to create a full backup for your system.

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System Backup

Step 2. The required system partition is selected by default. Select your destination path by clicking the lower box. Then click Start Backup to get a full backup.

Select Backup Destination


Step 3. After the backup finished, you can go to the Home. You can see the backup image you created. Then choose Incremental Backup under the Backup tab.

Incremental Backup Home


Step 4. A pop-up window will appear. You can write your comments. Then choose Start Backup.

Step 5. You can get an interface of System Backup Progress. Then you can finish your incremental backup.


  • If you decide to backup system to an external device, you need to connect it with your computer. The external device will be overwritten. You need to backup the data of the device in advance.

  • You can click Check backup integrity on completion in the System Backup Progress. If you choose this tab, the program will check the integrity of the backup image. Thus, you can recover it successfully later.

  • You also can click Shut down PC to choose Shut down PC, Restart PC, Hibernate or Sleep according to your needs.

  • If you want to backup files such as photos, music and so on, please choose File Backup.

  • If you want to make a differential backup under the Schedule Settings, you need to upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional.


In order to save more time and storage space, people prefer to use a backup software that only copies changes. And they make an incremental backup or a differential backup according to their needs. AOMEI Backupper, the best free backup software, helps users backup changed files only. You can make a Windows 7 incremental backup, an incremental backup to USB drive, a differential backup in Windows 8/8.1 with the best free software. You also can upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional to get backup scheme, scheduled tasks with differential backup and so on.