By Ivy / Last Updated January 8, 2020

What are the 3 types of backups?

There are 3 commonly used backup types, including full backup, incremental backup and differential backup. In the following, I’ll introduce you in details.

Full backup

Full backup, as the most basic and complete type of backup operation, makes a copy of all data to another set of media, such as a disk or tape. However, this type of backup takes longer to perform and requires more storage space.

Incremental backup

Incremental backup will copy only the data that has changed since the last backup whether it’s full backup or incremental backup. The advantage of incremental backup is that it copies a smaller amount of data than full backup. Thus, this operation will complete faster, and require less disk space.

Daily Incremental Backup

Differential backup

Differential backup is very similar to incremental backup, because the first backup of both backup types is full backup. However, after the first backup, differential backup will continue to copy all data changed since full backup instead of previous one. Thus, it requires more disk space, backup time and storage than an incremental, though typically far less than a full backup.

Daily Differential Backup

What is the difference between incremental and differential backup?

There is a big difference between the last two backup types: differential backups can be interrupted, while incremental backups must be continuous. Specifically, if you delete a differential backup in the middle, this software only deletes the selected backup. But if you delete an incremental backup, the selected backup and all subsequent backup will be deleted.

For example: If you create both daily incremental backup and daily differential backup on Sunday, and today is the next Tuesday, you delete the backup created on Monday. Finally, this software will delete incremental backup on Monday and Tuesday but only delete differential backup on Monday. That’s to say, now you can only restore backup image with differential backup created on Tuesday.

When to use daily incremental backup?

Compared with daily differential backup, daily incremental backup use less backup time and storage space. So, I have some ideas about when to use this type of backup:

  • You may change files very frequently.

  • These data are shared. For example: You and your colleague are working on a project and everyone needs to view these files at any time. So, everyone needs to update these files in a short time.

  • The backup disk is not big enough. In this case, you need to save disk space as much as possible.

  • Your time is urgent.

Why use daily incremental backup?

As you can see from above, there are 3 choices when you create a backup. But why do you use daily incremental backup?

  • Keep data up-to-date. The most common situation to backup data every day is that users may change files very frequently and need to keep files update for review.

  • Save backup time and disk space. Compared with differential backup, incremental backup needs less backup time and storage space. Because it only backup changed data based on previous backup.

  • Protect data continuously and avoid forgetting to backup data. Besides the above two reasons, there is common reason for schedule backup. You may save many precious memories or important files on the computer, such as, photos, videos, word, excel etc and cannot afford data loss.

Free daily incremental backup software

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a free backup software, which can help you create a daily incremental backup with a few clicks. And this software supports all Windows-based operating system, including Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, XP, etc.

In addition, there are some useful features you may need:

  • Schedule Backup. This feature is used to help users who want to backup data on a regular basis, such as, daily, weekly, monthly.

  • Email Notification. If you have no time to wait until the backup task ends, you can enable email notification and it will inform you the backup result or any error message during the process.

  • Compression and splitting. If your disk doesn’t have enough space to save the backup, you can compress the image or split it into multiple smaller image files and save on multiple devices.

How to create a daily incremental backup?

To create daily incremental backup with AOMEI Backupper, use the following steps:

1. Download AOMEI Backupper Standard, install and launch it.

2. Click Backup and then File Backup.

File Backup

3. Click Add File or Add Folder and select which file or folder to backup.

Add Folders Files

4. Click where the arrow point and select a path to save your data. You can backup files to cloud, external hard drive, flash drive etc.

Select Destination

5. To create daily incremental backup, click Schedule, then select daily under the General tab and tick incremental backup under the Advanced tab. At last, click the Start Backup to start the backup task.

Schedule Settings General


  • Please protect your backup or target drive well. Because this type of backup need to keep all image intact.

  • If there is any sensitive data, you can enable encryption for backup in the Options.

  • If your target drive is a USB drive, you could consider using “USB Plug in” feature and it’s designed for USB drive. When you schedule backup with this feature, this software will run automatically and backup data from or to flash drive when it’s plugged in.

  • If you create a schedule backup, there will be more and more backups unless your backup disk full. To avoid this issue, you could consider using Scheme and delete backup according to its rule.

These features mentioned above are available on the paid version. If needed, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional or other advanced version.


Daily incremental backup is suitable for users who may add, modify, delete files very frequently and need to keep files update. To backup changed files per day, you could use free AOMEI Backupper Standard. It’s very easy to use, even for a beginner.

Besides, the advanced version will offer you extra useful features, such as, event-trigger, USB plug in, backup scheme etc. And these features will bring you many convenience, such as, backup data automatically, solve the problem of excessive backups.