Create Windows 10/11 Image Backup with Best Free Software

Windows image backup software is one of the most safest ways to prevent data loss or system crash by backing up system and files on it. Get it here and start backup now.


By Delia / Updated on October 20, 2023

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What is Windows image backup, is it necessary?

Backing up regularly should be one of the best data protection means for every computer users, because system may crash unpredictably, causing great inconvenience and even severe data loss. But what kind of backup should we create? Usually there are 2 types you can consider:

File Backup - The backup of certain files/folders that are valuable to you. You can recover them in a running OS.
Windows Image Backup - Also known as system image backup. It's the backup of all the partitions required by Windows 11/10/8/7 to run. You can also include some additional parititons so as to get a complete PC backup which can be used for bare metal recovery.

Overall, Windows image backup is the safest option if you want to guard against any system crash, data loss and provide the possibility of recovery in any situation (even when the computer cannot boot). You can also combine it with file backup to create a flexible backup strategy.

Well then, what‘s the best free Windows image backup software for desktops and laptops? How to perform system image backup in Windows 10/11 and other previous OS? Get all you want to know in the following.

Best Windows Image Backup Software

What Windows image backup software should you use

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 Windows backup software is particularly important.

👉For system image backup, you may first consider the built-in utility Windows Backup and Restore. It can create a system image including the operating system(OS), system files, installed programs, stored data, etc.

It supports backing up to local drive, external hard disk and network drive. But you may receive the error that you can't backup system to USB drive, or the system image backup failed for various reasons. Not only backup, the image recovery process is also complicated and error-prone.

Also, the backup image created by this tool will overwrite the previous one and it cannot be restored to a different 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.

Create A System Image

👉If the built-in backup utility cannot meet your needs, there is another backup software that can make up for these shortcomings - AOMEI Backupper Standard. It include the features to create Windows image backup, file backup, partition backup, as well as entire disk backup. You can benefit from in in various scenarios, for example:

  • Backup system-related partitions, but can also backup an entire hard disk.
  • Backup several volumes located on different disks at the same time.
  • Backup several hard disks simultaneously (without unallocated space).


It also provides many useful options, such as backup schedule based on daily/weekly/monthly, incremental backup to capture only changed data since the last backup, clone disks or partitions, image inspection and browsing, create a bootable CD/DVD, etc.

You can simply download the freeware here and follow the guide below to start the journey:

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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How to create system image backup for Windows 11/10 step by step

Now, you can follow the detailed steps to create a system image backup in Windows 10 or Windows 11. 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.

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. Optionally, you can click Backup Schedule to create Windows image backup regularly, or choose a backup method in Backup Scheme (the default backup option is daily incremental backup). If you upgrade to Professional edition, you can also Enable Automatic Backup Cleanup to delete old backup images intelligently.

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 Backup: You can backup system daily/weekly/monthly plus full, incremental or differential backup. Also, there are 2 more schedule options available in the advanced editions - USB plug in and Event triggers.
Backup Scheme: In Professional edition, you can set a policy to delete old backup regularly, which will retain several number of latest backups you specify. This is very useful if your targe disk does not have much space.

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. Besides recovering the original computer, you can also restore system image to new hard drive, or even use it on different computer with dissimilar hardware via the Universal Restore option (available in Pro edition).

Also, it's suggested to create a bootable USB, so you can recover your computer without booting into Windows.

Bonus tip: best free centralized backup software

If you have a bunch of PCs that need to be backed up, you can try the best free centralized backup software - AOMEI Cyber Backup.

  • It enables you to create a system image, disk image or partition image for client Windows PCs and Servers.
  • You are allowed to save backup images on a local disk, external hard drive, network share or NAS device, etc.
  • You can schedule a backup task to run every day/week/month using the full/incremental/differential backup method.

Download this powerful centralized backup software now and have a try!

Download ACBWindows Server and PC
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Written 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 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 and Restore (Windows 7). Meanwhile, it supports full backup solutions and multiple backup options, such as OS, disk, partition, file backup, incremental & differential backup, schedule backup, compression, encryption etc. Don't be hesitate, download the freeware to have a try.

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.