Solved: Windows Backup Failed to Get an Exclusive Lock

How to fix the problems of Windows backup failure? You’ll find the cause and answer after reading the article.


By Maggie Updated on April 25, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

Problems: Windows 10 backup failed to get an exclusive lock

Windows is a powerful program and has many built-in tools and utilities, one of which is that it enables users to back up their important data and files on the computer. Through Windows backup, you can auto-back up the data on the computer in preventing data loss or damage. However, Windows backup is not omnipotent, you may encounter some errors. Occasionally, when you try to create a system image but receive an error warning:

The backup failed.
Windows Backup failed to get an exclusive lock on the EFI system partition. (ESP)
This may happen if another application is using the files on the ESP.
Please retry the operation. (0x8078011E).

Windows Backup Failed

Applications deny access of the process due to the files and applications being used by other processes. However, you need to get an exclusive lock for Windows backup to ensure that other processes won’t modify the backing-up files and catalogs. So, once when Windows backup failed to get an exclusive lock, don’t worry, you can try to use one of the following methods, let’s have a look.

7 useful methods to solve Windows backup failure problem

7 methods are listed here in order to solve this problem.

Method 1. Close all your applications

There is a possible cause when Windows backup fails if other programs are using the EFI system partition.  To check the possibility, you can try to close all your running applications to check if there is a running conflict, especially some third-party antiviruses, Windows file wall, Windows Defender, and other Windows backup processes.

Method 2. Restart your computer

Restarting your computer is an easier way to ensure all the processes and programs are closed, and you can simply shut down your computer and turn on it again. When you restart your computer, create a system image immediately without doing other operations.

Method 3. Run as administrator

Try to use the rights like Windows backup, you must operate as an administrator. To check if you have run as an administrator, you have to follow these steps:

Step 1. Press the Windows button and open the Control Panel.

Open Control Panel

Step 2. Head into User Accounts. Check your account type.

Account Type

Step 3. After checking it, you should try to run your backup as administrator to see the performance.

Method 4. Check the performance of system file

Windows backup failed to get an exclusive lock on EFI system partition if hard drive failure or file system damage. System file errors can be fixed by performing a system file check (sfc /scannow). If you find any problem, you can try to repair it and then execute Windows backup again.

Step 1. Open Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

Run as Administrator

Step 2. Then type “sfc /scannow” to execute the operation as followed.

Type Command

Step 3. Patiently wait until the whole process is done.

Process Completed

Step 4. When it is done, restart your PC and execute Windows backup again.

Method 5. Adjust Windows backup plan

If you use a backup task schedule for Windows, you can check its settings to make sure that it does not conflict with other backup tasks or schedules. You can adjust the execution time of backup tasks to avoid conflicts with other tasks.

Method 6. Uninstall or temporarily stop antivirus software

Likely, there are some unnecessary or unwanted applications that might cause obstacles for Windows backup, for example, some antivirus applications may get in the way of Windows backup. You can try to uninstall or temporarily stop running antivirus software, and run the backup process again to see if it succeeds.

Method 7. Use a computer backup alternative

If none of the solutions mentioned above work out the problem of  Windows backup failing to get an exclusive lock or you want to try a new opportunity to backup your files and data on your computer, you can turn to a third-party software----for example, AOMEI Backupper Standard.

▪AOMEI Backupper provides a one-key function of system backup for Windows 7/8/8.1/10/11 and even earlier operating systems.
▪It’s a full-featured backup and recovery software, that offers you full backup solutions, including system backup, disk backup, partition backup, file backup, and cloud backup.
▪It contains complete schedule options allowing you to automatically back up any data on your computer in Daily/Weekly/Monthly/event triggers and USB plug-in mode.
▪It also provides advanced users with incremental and differential backup options(you can enjoy differential backup in paid version), so as to improve the backup efficiency and further save storage space.

Now, download AOMEI Backupper and try its system backup as followed:

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

Step 1. In the left tab page, select Backup and then select System Backup.

System Backup

Step 2.  You can see the partitions included as part of the system backup are displayed automatically. Then choose a destination path to save the system backup. You can backup your computer to USB, external drive, network share, NAS, etc.

System Backup Location

Step 3. Click Start Backup to start the system backup task.

Start Backup


When your Windows backup failed to get an exclusive lock, you can try to use the above 7 methods. If you are looking for an excellent-performing cloud storage software, we kindly recommend you AOMEI Cloud which is perfectly equipped with AOMEI Backupper-----the best alternative to Dropbox, through which, you can auto-backup your important data and files and sync them without effort.

Maggie · Editor
Maggie is a technical editor from AOMEI and troubleshoots technical problems against data protection. She has received professional and systematic technical training. With a focus on user experience, security, and problem-solving, she always puts herself in the readers' shoes and provides them with valuable technical insights.