What is Hot Backup and How to Do It with Best Free Software

Hot backup seems to be the most convenient way to backup data without downtime. It's suitable for many situations like when your system has to run continuously. Luckily, there's a powerful hot backup tool can help you make it in only a few clicks.


by Lena Updated on October 25, 2022

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Hot Backup vs. Cold Backup?

Backup is a crucial measure to avoid data loss caused by system crashes, hardware failures or misoperation. It has two essential types no matter you want to perform a system backup, disk backup or file backup. One is hot backup (also known as dynamic backup or active backup), a technique to perform the backup while system is running normally, even if the data you want to back up is being read or edited; the other is cold backup, performed when the database is offline, namely all the data is not accessible to the users while the backup is in process.

Both hot and cold backup have their own suitable environments, but hot backup is obviously more convenient in some cases like:

  • Your system must be running 24/7

  • Your data needs to be updated frequently

  • You are running a multi-user system

If you fit into one of these conditions and would like to adopt hot backup, here's how can you do it in Windows.

Hot Backup

Best Free Hot Backup Software in Windows

If you want to do hot backup in Windows 10/8/7, AOMEI Backupper Standard is an effective yet free solution with comprehensive features. Powered by Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), it enables you to hot backup files/partitions/system/disk. And you can also create a cloud backup to add an extra layer of your data.

◆ It creates a snapshot when a backup is triggered, so the backup will be completed under the current system without going to DOS or WinPE, and the data being backed up is still accessible to users. But please note the changes you make during the process won’t be included in the final version of the backup.

◆ It allows you to set up scheduled automatic task to perform the hot backup daily/weekly/monthly.

◆ It enables you to run the task in full backup, incremental or differential backup for saving storage space.

◆ If you upgrade to advanced editions, you can enjoy more powerful functions with less restrictions, like backup scheme for auto deletion, backup filter for specific files, auto backup when event occurs, etc. 

◆ There are multiple advanced edition for different user groups, such as Workstation Edition for business hot backup, or Server Edition for Windows Server hot backup (both physical and virtual server machines).

Here you can have a try on the free Standard edition which shall satsify most of the basic backup needs.

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How to Do Hot Backup with Best Freeware Step by Step?

Take a hot file backup for example, you can complete it within serveral clicks using AOMEI Backupper.

Step 1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper Standard. Click Backup and then choose File Backup.

File Backup

Step 2. Click Add File or Add Folder to select files/folders you want to backup.

Add Folders Files

In advanced editions like Professional, you can backup only files with or without specific file extension. Click Filter settings to set up file inclusion/exclusion mask. Wildcard character is also supported.

Backup Click Filter

Step 3. Select the destination path to save the backup image. You can store it on internal/external hard drive, USB flash drive, cloud drive, network, etc.

Select Destination

Step 4. Finally, click Start Backup and wait for the process to complete.

Start Backup

Options - set the compression level, image splitting, backup mode, enable email notification, etc.
Schedule - set up an automatical backup task on basis of time schedule.
Scheme - automatically delete backup images to free up storage space. Available in advanced editions.


As you can see, the powerful hot backup software AOMEI Backupper can help you perform hot backup in an easy and quick way. In only a few clicks, you can create a scheduled backup task to keep your data safe all the time, without the worry about forgetting to back up manually.

When something goes wrong, you can perform a restore to bring the computer back to normal as soon as possible. In case your computer refuses to boot one day, you can also create a bootable media in advance. 

Lena · Editor
Lena is an editor of FoneTool, she covers backup & restore, and phone data management and so on. She enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She takes most of time with her family when she is not working.