By Delia / Last update November 24, 2021

Backing up data regularly should be one of the most important things for every computer user, because system crash will lead to data loss. However, only a few of us are aware of the importance of data backup.

For many of us, the data stored on our computers is precious, so we must take actions to ensure that our data is safe. The most effective method of preventing the important data from losing is backing up it in advance. With our data backed up, a system crash or accidental deletion won't be so painful.

Well then, what is the best free software for Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista? How to perform system image backup in Windows 10 and other previous versions? You can get clear ideas in the following including a step by step guide.

Which backup software is best?

In our daily life, hard drive failure or system crash happens frequently, whether it's a breakdown or a completely unexpected disaster. Therefore, choosing a correct backup software is particularly important. When selecting a software, we usually consider its functions, reliability and technical support. 

Here are two common free backup software you may consider when you want to backup your computer. The first one is built-in Windows image backup software - Backup and Restore in Windows 7/8.1/10. It's used to backup system including the operating system(OS), system files, installed programs, stored data, etc. It supports backing up to local drive, external hard disk, network drive, cloud storage etc. Therefore, you can have different copies of your system and restore it in the event of a disaster, even when it fails to boot. For detailed steps, go to Windows 10 backup utility.

But you need to know that the backup image created by built-in tool will overwritten the previous one and it cannot be restored to a sifferent computer. In other words, you always have only one backup and your computer and data on it will go forever if this image is damaged. 

Fortunately, there is another backup software that can make up for this shortcoming, it's AOMEI Backupper Standard. It not only backup system, but also backup disk/partition/files with full/incremental/differential backup options. Also, it still provides other functions, such as, restore partitions or disks through image files, clone disks or partitions, image inspection and browsing, create a bootable CD/DVD etc.

How to create Windows 10 system image backup effortlessly

AOMEI Backupper, as the best free windows image backup software, provides a simple way to backup all the data, programs and operating systems completely. The following points are some characteristics of this backup software. 

  • It not only can backup partitions including system partition and data partition, but also can backup an entire hard disk.

  • It also can backup several volumes located on different disks at the same time.

  • It can back up several hard disks simultaneously, and the unallocated space on the hard disk will not be backed up.

Here is a picture of the main interface of this software:


Then, you can follow the detailed steps to create a system image backup in Windows 10. Also, these steps are applicable to other previous system, such as, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista. 

Before you start to backup Windows 10, please prepare a target disk to store the image file, it can be any detected storage, including local disk, external drive, USB flash drive, network storage, cloud storage etc. And then,  free download and install the best Windows 10 backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Launch this software, and click Backup and System Backup in order. Then, it will select the operating system(OS) and hidden boot-related partitions automatically required to start Windows, which greatly reduces the risk of computer failling to start.

System Backup Image Windows 10

Note: You can choose to backup specific partitions, disk or files per your needs. 

Step 2. Click where the arrow point and select the prepared storage to store the system backup. 

Select Destination

Step 3. To create Windows 10 incremental backup, click "Backup Scheme" under the Schedule Backup and then "OK". The default backup option is daily incremental backup. Please note that differential backup is available on AOMEI Backupper Professional at least.

Windows 10 Incremental Backup

Options: You can comment on this backup, enable email nofitication, create pre/post-command, compress backup image with normal or high compression level etc.
Schedule: You can backup system continuously in daily/weekly/monthly plus full/incremental/differential backup. Also, there are two more backup options in the advanced version - AOMEI Backupper Professional, such as, USB plug in, Event triggers.
Scheme: You can choose one backup scheme among them to delete old backup regularly, which will retain several number of latest backups you specify. If your targe disk does not have much disk space, you can upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional to enjoy this feature. 

Step 4. Confirm this backup task and click "Start Backup" to backup Windows 10 system. 

Scheduled Windows 10 System Image Backup

Now, you may already have a system image backup for Windows 10 computer. You can restore system image to new hard drive to start the failing computer, or use it on different computer, even with dissimilar hardware. Also, it's suggested to create a bootable USB, so you can recover your computer without booting into Windows.

Wrriten in the end

That's all for best free Windows image backup software for Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista. You can choose to backup your computer with  built-in backup software or third-party software - AOMEI Backupper Standard. It's all your decision. 

But honestly, AOMEI Backupper is a better choice, it makes up for the shortcoming of built-in backup software "Backup and Restore" or "Backup and Restore(Windows 7)". At the same time, it still supports full backup solutions and multiple backup options, such as, system/disk/partition/file backup, incremental&differential backup, daily/weekly/monthly schedule backup, compression, encryption etc. Don't be hesitate, download the freeware to have a try.