Best Practice: File Level Backup vs Block Level Backup

You will get the file-level backup meaning and how to backup your crucial data with this method in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7. Block-level file backup supported.


by Ivy Updated on November 10, 2022

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What is file level backup?

The file level backup is to create backup for individual files or folders, such as, documents, photos, music, video, etc and save it to a recognized drive. And you can certainly backup disk image with it, since they are files. But it's not bootable.

Besides, you may hear about image level backup, also called block level backup, or bare metal backup or recovery, which is to backup system, disk and partition. And you can restore corresponding backup to get data or system back without downtime. 

File level backup vs image level backup

Both backup types can help you protect your data, but there are some differences between a file level backup and an image level backup. We summarize the main points in the following:

  File level backup Image level backup
Backup items Backup files or folders, not including open file. Backup system, disk, partition, file. 
Backup frequency More often, even several times in a day. Lower frequency, and usually in weekly or monthly, except for files.  
Image size Much smaller, depnding on the data amount. Relative big.
Recovery options Restore only files or folders. Restore entire system, disk or partition.

All in all, the file level backup is worth trying if you just want to backup files or folders on a disk. Considering the backup frequency and image size, you can create multiple backups to minimize data loss in a disaster. But if you want a fast way to restore entire system, disk or partition, try image-level backup

Best free file level backup software for Windows PCs

The file level backup is the best choice if you want to keep data security in a long-term and minimize data loss as much as possible while recovery. You could try free backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard. With its Sync feature, you can easily perform file level backup and enjoy the following advantages: 

Schedule Sync: It supports daily, weekly, monthly frequency, and more precisely, you can set sync date, time and intervals. 
Wake the computer to run scheduled task: It is capable of waking up your computer from sleep mode and sync files or folders at the selected time point, especially useful for off-peak backup.
Sync only changed files: By default, it only sync changes from one location to another, not including the deleted files. But you can enable the ability to sync deletion in the Options.
Verify the integrity of files in the destination directory during synchronization: It ensures you sync all the files in the source directory, so you don't need to worry about missing any files. 
Various backup destinations: It is able to sync files to external hard drive, USB flash drive, cloud storage, NAS, network share, etc.

Click the button below to free download it and enjoy now. Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista supported. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server.

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

Create a file level backup in Windows 10 to protect data safely 

1. Open AOMEI Backupper after installing, click Sync tab and then Basic Sync.

File Sync

2. Edit the task name if you want to. Click Add Folder to select all the files you want to back up.

Add Folder

3. Click the second bar to select a destination path, you have 3 options in the following. 

Select a local path: It allows you to sync files to an internal or external disk as long as it's recognized by Windows. And you need to connect it in advance.
Add Share or NAS Devices: It is to sync files to network location or NAS. You need to add it by clicking this option and inputting display name, IP address, user name and password.
Select a cloud drive: It allows you to sync files to Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox if you install them on the computer. 

Start Sync

4. Specify daily, weekly, or monthly schedule sync if you want to keep changes continuously. To get alerted backup sync result, you need to enable “email notification”  in the Options. Then, click Start Backup to add or run the task.

Also, you can use the premium feature - Event trigger and USB plug in. The last one is recommended if you don't want to always keep external device connected. With it, this software will automatically copy files when USB drive connected. If necessary, please upgrade now and enjoy it!

Schedule Settings General

Tips on a fast way to backup files: 

The file-level backup will look through every file to detect changes and copy the entire file to destination directory, while the block-level backup back up only changed block, taking less time and disk space. Thus, if you want a fast way to backup files, try File Backup in this software. 

File Backup

The steps are almost the same, but using a different way. And it allows you to add a single file rather than a folder containing files. And the biggest advantage of it is to minimize disk uage with multiple features, and some of them are default features.

Among them, the most effective way is to enable automatic backup cleanup methods and delete old backup images on a regular basis. Besides, differential backup is less demanding for backup intact and ease of recovery. Both of them are supported by the professional version.

Enable Automatic Backup Cleanup


The file level backup is much more suitable for file or folder backup while block level backup has much wider range, you can use it to backup system, disk, partition and files. And it only backup the changed block instead of the entire file if you make some changes to your files. 

In sum, you can try them depending on your needs, and the corresponding features are Basic Sync and File Backup. And both of them allow you to copy files automatically. The biggest difference is the File Backup feature allows you to delete old backup image automatically without human intervention. Thus, you don't need to worry about the disk usage. 

If you want to backup files to cloud storage, don't miss AOMEI Cloud. It offers you 1TB free storage for 15 days after you sign up for an AOMEI account. Get it now and enjoy.

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.