By Ivy / Last update August 7, 2020

Quick Navigation:

✧Wbadmin Overview

✧Create Wbadmin File Backup

✧Restore Files and Folders with Wbadmin

✧Best Windows File Backup Software


WBAdmin Command Line Utility

WBAdmin (wbadmin.exe) is a command line utility built into Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10, and Windows Server 2008 (R2), Server 2012 for you to backup and restore your operating system, volumes, files, folders, and applications.

In different Windows versions, you will get varies wbadmin command parameters. To use wbadmin command line utility, you must be a member of the Administrators group, or you must have the appropriate privileges. How do you open WBAdmin in Windows 7/8/10 and Server 2008 (R2)/2012?

  • Input cmd into the Windows search box on the desktop.

  • Right click the Command Prompt from the results and choose Run as administrator.

  • Then input wbadmin /? in command prompt to find the supported command parameters.

However, you have to note that you cannot create a file/folders backup with wbadmin command line in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, because the -include parameter in wbadmin can only specify the comma-delimited list of volume drive letters, volume mount points, or GUID-based volume names.

Can you perform wbadmin file/folders backup in other Windows systems? Of course, you could create file/folders backup with wbadmin in Windows 7, 8, 10, and Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2. In these Windows operating systems, Wbadmin enables you to add items including files, folders, or volumes into a backup.

How to Create Wbadmin File Backup in Different Windows Systems?

Wbadmin utility allows you to create a file/folder backup with a certain inclusion/exclusion using wbadmin start backup command to perform one-time backup. If you want to backup other items, you can see Wbadmin backup and restore.

Here is the syntax for wbadmin start backup:

  • Wbadmin start backup

  • [-backupTarget:{ | }]

  • [-include:]

  • [-nonRecurseInclude:]

  • [-exclude:]

  • [-nonRecurseExclude:]

  • [-allCritical]

  • [-systemState]

  • [-noVerify]

  • [-user:]

  • [-password:]

  • [-noInheritAcl]

  • [-vssFull | -vssCopy]

  • [-quiet]

These parameters could vary in different version of Windows. You have to check it first.

In Windows 7/8/10

Run wbadmin from an elevated command prompt according to the beginning steps. To start backup files named Lenovo-reset.docx located in C:\Users\Public\Documents and the backuptest folder in E drive to D drive, input the following command:

Wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:D: -include:C:\Users\Public\Documents\Lenovo-reset.docx, E:\backuptest

As a matter of fact, Windows 10 Enterprise x64 does not support backup files and folders with wbadmin as we tested, you could only backup volume, otherwise you will get the error: A partial backup of volumes is not supported on this version of Windows.

Windows 10 Not Support Backup Files Wbadmin

To perform one-time backup, backup E drive to D: drive, and create a system image backup ( it’s useful for bare metal recovery or system state recovery), input the command:

wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:D: -include:E:\ -allcritical

Backup E To D Drive

In Windows Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012 (R2)

Make sure you have installed Windows Server Backup services, because the wbadmin included in Windows Server Backup, here is how to add the feature:

1. Open Server Manager in Windows Server 2008 R2(or Windows Server 2012 (R2)).

2. Then scroll down to the Features Summary, click Add Features.

3. Select the Windows Server Backup Features, including Windows Server Backup and command-line tools (wbadmin), and click Next.

4. Confirm installation selections and press Install button.

Then run wbadmin to backup files and folders. There are little different of the syntax in Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012 (R2), shows as below:

Wbadmin Start Backup Server 2008 R2

For example, we are going to backup files named ab-test.docx located in G: drive and the SVN folder in F: drive to the E:\ Drive, and create a system state backup, input the command:

wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:E: -include:F:\SVN,G:\ab-test.docx -systemstate

Backup File Folders To E Drive

For example:

wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:F: –allcritical –include:C:\Users\My documents –exclude: C:\Users\My documents\*.doc

This subcommand is to backup C:\Users\My documents to F: drive excluding all the .doc files.

File Backup

If you do not want to be prompted to enter Y to continue, you can add the –quiet switch, and then it will run the backup without prompt. Note that you can only specify a volume formatted with NTFS as target location when using command line backup files, and the next backup will overwrite the previous one if you do not change the target location.

Besides, you could use Windows Server Backup to backup files and folders, how to open Windows Server Backup, just input Windows Server backup into the Windows search box, and select Windows Server Backup, then click Backup Once or Backup Schedule to create files and folders backup.

How to Restore Files and Folders with Wbadmin?

If you are going to restore these files and folders someday, you could use wbadmin start recovery command to restore:

  • wbadmin start recovery

  • -version:

  • -items:{ | | }

  • -itemtype:{Volume | App | File}

  • [-backupTarget:{ | }]

  • [-machine:]

  • [-recoveryTarget:{ | }]

  • [-recursive] [-overwrite:{Overwrite | CreateCopy | Skip}]

  • [-notRestoreAcl]

  • [-skipBadClusterCheck]

  • [-noRollForward]

  • [-quiet]

For example, restore the above files and folders (ab-test.docx, and SVN folder), input the following command:

wbadmin start recovery -version:03/20/2020-03:36 -itemType:volume -items:F: (Restore the SVN folder)

Wbadmin Start Recovery

wbadmin start recovery -version:03/20/2020-03:36 -itemType:file -items:G:\ab-test.docx (Restore the ab-test.docx file)

Wbadmin Start Recovery File

If you have no idea the version identifier, you could run wbadmin get versions command to get the version identifier.

Besides, you could use wbadmin enable backup to create a daily schedule backup. Wbadmin delete systemstatebackup to delete old system state backups to manage your hard disk, etc.

However, creating wbadmin file backup is quite complex for ordinary people. Is there any wbadmin UI or similar backup software to create files and folders backup easier.

Best Windows File Backup Software - AOMEI Backupper

The best Windows file backup software - AOMEI Backupper Server, covers most of features in wbadmin, and povides you easier way, including AMBackup.exe utility run backups from a batch (.bat) file from an elevated command prompt and straightforward UI to backup and restore files, and it especially designed for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, and Windows Server 2003(R2)/2008/2012(R2)/2016/2019.

Besides, it offers you the schedule option to automatically backup files and folders, full backup, incremental and differential backup, etc. Even the real-time file sync to sync all the selected files as soon as they changed or modified. You could get email notification after the backup finished as long as you set it up. Now, please download for free, and have it a try to create file and folders backup.

Download Free Trial Windows PCs & Servers
Secure Download

1. Execute the AOMEI Backupper Server, select Backup -> File Backup.

File Backup

2. Click +Add File or + Add Folder button to add files and folders to backup.

Add File Or Folder

3. Select a location to save the Windows file and folder backup image.

Select Backup Destination


  • You could store the backup image to multiple destinations, like local disk, external hard drive, USB flash drive, CD/DVD, NAS, even cloud drives, like Google drive, Dropbox, Onedrive, etc.

  • Schedule: set the file backup as a schedule (automatic) task.

  • Options: you could modify the file backup image, like split, compress, comment the backup image.

4. Click Start Backup to perform this file backup.

Start Backup

Besides, AOMEI Backupper supports System Backup, Disk Backup, Restore data to dissimilar hardware computer, create bootable media, migrate OS to SSD without reinstalling Windows operating system, etc.


Compared with wbadmin file backup, and Windows Server Backup, AOMEI Backupper is easier to operate even the first time to try, provides you a more flexible way to backup files and folders with the friendly UI. If you are IT technicians, try AOMEI Backupper Technician to enjoy more advanced features.