Create and Manage Client Computer Backups on Windows Server

How to create and manage client computer backups on a central server? You can either use Windows Server Essential or a centralized backup software.


By Delia / Updated on October 18, 2022

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Case: How to backup client computers to server?


Is it possible to backup data from client computers to server using windows server 2012 R2? I want to backup all data in my client computers and store in my server. I tried the windows server backup but its for local data only.

In a client-server architecture, a client is dependent on the server for any specific service, including backup service. More specifically, the computers running client programs interacts with the computer running a server program to complete the backup process. And the individual administrator can configure the backup type, schedule, target and source data centrally.

In the following article, we will introduce how to create and manage client computer backups in Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2, 2016, etc. 

How to backup client computer in domain?

To backup client computer in domain, you need to install Windows Server Essentials Dashboard first, then connect all client computers to Windows Server Essentials Domain. At last, Open Windows Server Essential Dashboard and backup the client computers. Here's an example to perform Windows Server 2012 client backup.

Part 1. Install the Windows Server Essentials Dashboard

Windows Server Essential Dashboard is not installed on Windows Server 2012 by default, so you need to manually install Windows Server Essential Experience Roles and configure Windows Server Essential. If you just add Windows Essential Experience roles, you cannot open Windows Server Essential Dashboard. 

1. Launch Server Manager and click Add Roles and Features

Add Roles Features

2. Click Next to continue.


3. Select Installation Type -> server -> Server Roles: Windows Server Essentials Experience, then add features that are required for Windows Server Essentials Experience.

4. Follow the prompt until the last step and click Install.

Part 2. Configure Windows Server Essentials

1. Launch Server Manager, then click the flag and Configure Windows Server Essentials subsequently

2. Click Next until you reach a window called Create a network administrator account. Type Administrator account name and password. At last, click Configure and wait for the final result.


Part 3. Connect computers to Windows Server Essentials Domain

When you connect a computer to a server, you need to ensure that your client computer has a valid connection to the Internet.

To connect all client computers to your server, follow the steps below.

1. Log on to the computer that you want to connect to the server.

2. Open an Internet browser, such as Internet Explorer.

3. Type https:///connect or https:///connect in the address bar and then press Enter.

4. Click Download software for Windows in the Connect your computer to the server page.

5. Run the application (known as the Connector) and follow its prompts to join the client to the domain

Part 4. Detailed steps to backup client computers in domain

1. Launch Windows Server Essentials Dashboard and click DEVICES.

Windows Server Essentials Dashboard

2. Click Client computer backup tasks under Computers tasks tab

Client Computer Backup Tasks

3. Set up your own client computer backup schedule and client computer backup retention policy. After that, click Apply

Client Computer Backups

This way you can backup client computers in domain. However, the process is very complicated if you are not familiar with Windows Server Essential.

Easier way to backup all client computers from a central server

If you don't want to take the time for the complex installation and setup process as mentioned above, you can also use a much simpler centralized backup software - AOMEI Centralized Backupper to perform client-server backup. 

Just a few clicks, you can create a file backup/system backup/partition backup/disk backup task for all computers within LAN, and the supported OS includes Windows Server 2019/2016/2012 (R2)/2008 (R2)/2003 (R2), Microsoft Windows Home Server (WHS) 2011, Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2011 and Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP.

Its backup settings contains compression, encryption, notification, schedule, full/incremental/differential, retention scheme, etc. You can set it up as you need, and manage or restore the created backup task from the central machine intuitively. 

In version after ACB 3.0, you will also enjoy a SQL Server Backup feature to backup and restore multiple databases on any SQL Server within LAN. 

Here's a 30-day free trial for you:

Download Free Trial Win Servers & PCs
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Install and set up the software properly

1. Download AOMEI Centralized Backupper, install in on the central server as a management console. 

2. It will detect all the available client computes on the network. You just need to select the ones you want to manage, and Install client program on them remotely or manually.

3. After that, you can Request Control for computers you want to backup, and start to create centralized backup task after getting their confirmation.

request control

Now, you can use this centralized backup solution to create client backup for Windows Server 2012, 2016, 2019, etc.

How to create and manage client computer backups

1. After getting control over the client computers, you can switch to Tasks tab, click New Task and choose the task type as you need. Here choose Disk Backup as an example.

Disk Backup

2. The backup setup screen is divided into three steps. In Step 1, you can click + Add Computers to detect all the controlled computers, and select the ones you want to backup.

add computers

3. In Step 2, you can either Select data based on a client (manual selection), or Select data based on backup rules (auto selection). 

disk backup based on backup rules

4. Click on Step 4, and click Add Storage to enter the network path of a share or NAS, then specify a folder in it as the target directory. 

add storage

5. After the basic setup, you can manage Settings, or create a Schedule, Scheme to customize the backup, then click Start Backup to create and execute the task.

start backup

Setting: Manage compression level, image spitting, backup mode (intelligent sector or exact backup), notifications, etc.

backup settings

Schedule: Set up automatic backup Once/Daily/Weekly/Monthly, and choose to perform Full Backup/Incremental Backup/Differential Backup.

schedule backup

Scheme: Create a rule to auto delete backup older than x days and therefore save your storage space.

backup scheme

6. The created backup tasks will be listed under Tasks tab, then you can directly manage it here. 

manage backup tasks


To create and manage client computer backups, you can use Windows Server Essential Dashboard. However, the whole process is quite complicated.

To perform client-server backup effortlessly, you can download AOMEI Centralized Backupper to create and manage backups for client computers. With it, you do not need to join the domain. Just a few clicks, you can finish the backup tasks on multiple remote computers, e.g. centralized system backup.

Delia · Editor
Delia owns extensive experience in writing technology-related blog posts, and has been a part of AOMEI since 2020 to provide expertise in data security and disaster recovery. She works with Windows operating systems, SQL databases, and virtualization platforms such as VMware and Hyper-V, specializing in troubleshooting and advising on data protection and migration.