How to Backup Surface Pro to External Hard Drive: 2 Free Ways

You will learn two methods on how to backup Surface pro to external hard drive. Choose the one you prefer to backup your entire computer or certain files/folders easily.


By Jonna Updated on November 3, 2023

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Can You Plug an External Hard Drive into a Surface Pro?

Surface Pro is a line of 2-in-1 detachable tablet/laptop hybrid computers, developed and manufactured by Microsoft. The device operates on a 64-bit version of Windows 8 Pro operating system with a free upgrade possibility to Windows 8.1 Pro, and eventually also Windows 10. Of course, you can plug an external hard drive into a Surface Pro.

Surface Pro devices typically come with one or more USB ports, such as USB-A or USB-C, that allow you to connect various external devices, including external hard drives. If you are looking for guides on how to backup Surface Pro to external hard drive, here are some techniques that may be helpful.

How to Backup Surface Pro to External Hard Drive

Benefits of Backing up Surface Pro to External Hard Drive

Backing up your Surface Pro to an external hard drive offers several benefits, which can help protect your data and ensure you can recover it in case of unexpected issues or data loss. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Disaster Recovery: External hard drive backups provide a reliable means of disaster recovery. If your Surface Pro meets a catastrophic failure, such as disk crash or system malfunction, you can restore computer to an earlier working date.
  • Easy Migration: When you move to a new computer or if you need to replace your Surface Pro, having a backup on an external hard drive makes it easier to migrate your data, settings, and applications to the new device.
  • Offline Access: Unlike cloud backups, which require an internet connection to access and restore data, external hard drive backups provide offline access to your data.

Now, let’s take a look at how to backup Surface Pro/Surface Pro 4/Surface Pro 7 to external hard drive easily.

How to Backup Surface Pro to External Hard Drive in 2 Ways

In the following, we will present how do I backup my Surface Pro to an external hard drive using two different methods. You can choose to backup your entire Surface, including program files, user settings, profiles, etc., or backup certain important files/folders as needed.

Option 1. With Professional Backup Software

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a versatile, free backup utility compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and even XP. It supports devices included internal/external drives, network locations (e.g. share & NAS), USB flash drive and cloud storage. This tool not only facilitates complete computer backups but also enables system, partition, and individual file backups.

⌛ When creating backup, there are flexible backup scheduling options, including daily, weekly, monthly, event triggers, USB plug in.
⌛ It provides you with 3 backup methods: full/incremental/differential backup, allowing you to choose the most suitable one for your specific needs. (The last one is available in Pro or higher version)
⌛ It also offers Sync and Clone functions that can help you transfer from one Surface Pro to another hassle-free.

For how do I backup my entire computer to an external hard drive for Surface Pro using this tool, please download this tool on your computer and follow the guidelines below.

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

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to your Surface Pro and make sure it is recognized by your device.

Step 2. Launch the installed AOMEI Backupper, click Backup on the left side, and then select System Backup.

System Backup

The System Backup options aims to backup your Windows system. If you wish to backup computer files to external hard drive, please use the File Backup option instead.

Step 3. The program will automatically select the system-related partition(s) as the source data. To choose the destination location, click on the destination bar and select your connected external hard drive.

Select Destination

In addition to backing up to external drive, you can also choose to backup Surface to OneDrive and other clouds, network drives, or more paths.

Step 4. Once you've selected the destination, click Start Backup to backup Surface Pro to external drive with ease.

Start Backup

★★Useful features:
Options offers you the flexibility to customize options to meet specific requirements, such as adding comments to backup images, compressing files, splitting image files, and more.
Schedule Backup lets you automatically backupSurface Pro in daily, weekly, monthly, event triggers or USB plug in.
Backup Scheme enables you to choose your preferred backup modes(full/incremental/differential), or set up a rule for automatic backup cleanup.(Most features here are accessible after upgrading to Pro version)

You can restore your system backup by heading to the Restore tab > Select Image File > Restore this system image > Start Restore.

Select Image File

Option 2. Use Backup and Restore

There is also an in-built backup software, Backup and Restore, that can help you backup Surface Pro to external drive. It should be noted that this native backup tool only offers limited backup options and content. And it is not available on the Windows 8 system, as this tool is deprecated on this system.

How to backup computer to external hard drive for Surface Pro with Backup and Restore:

Step 1. Navigate to Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7) in turn.

Step 2. Click Create a system image on the left panel.

Create a System Image

Step 3. Choose the connected external hard drive on the page of Where do you want to save the backup and tap on Next.

Where to Save the Backup

Step 4. Confirm your backup settings and click Start Backup.

Final Words

That’s all about how to backup Surface Pro to external hard drive. There is no doubt that Windows Backup and Restore function is helpful in backing up your PC files.

But AOMEI Backupper stands out as my preferred choice due to its array of advanced features. These include system backup, file backup, disk backup, scheduled backups, incremental backups, and even the creation of bootable media, among others. In fact, this tool is not just backup software; it also allows you to clone disk to disk, clone partition, and more, making it a comprehensive and versatile solution for data management and protection.

Jonna · Editor
Jonna joined AOMEI in 2021 and has become a professional in the areas of computer backup and restoration, disk cloning, file synchronization, etc. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.