How to Backup Data or Files on Windows 10 (5 Ways)

Read this post and learn 5 easy methods on how to backup data and files on Windows 10. You should always have a backup of your valuable data and files. Try one of the methods you like below and make perfect backups immediately.


By Delia Updated on May 10, 2024

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Why backup data and files on Windows 10?

You may never meet a data loss problem, but you should know that your computer is facing more threats that you may not be aware of. A recent study reveals that about 12,000 laptop computers get lost or stolen weekly in the US, a tenth of computers are infected with a virus monthly, and 5% of new computers experience hardware failure in their first year. That is why backing up data and files on Windows 10 is crucial for the following reasons:

1. Data Protection: Backing up ensures that your important files are safe from loss due to hardware failure, system crashes, viruses, or accidental deletion.
2. Disaster Recovery: In case of unexpected events such as system crashes or hardware failures, having a backup allows you to restore your data quickly and minimize downtime.
3. Peace of Mind: Knowing that your data is securely backed up provides peace of mind, allowing you to focus on your work without worrying about losing valuable information.
4. Version Control: Backing up your files regularly enables you to maintain multiple versions of your data, making it easier to recover older versions if needed.

You should feel lucky if none of these has happened to you. Do not wait until it is too late. Therefore, you should get started to backup your data and files on Windows 10. With a simple backup, you can restore all your valuable data back when your computer is in issues.

How to backup data and files on Windows 10

As you can see, knowing how to backup data and files on Windows 10 is not just a precautionary measure but a critical necessity to protect your valuable information. In today's digital age, where data is the backbone of many aspects of our lives, ensuring its safety is paramount. Whether it's personal documents, work-related files, cherished photos, or important projects, losing such data can be devastating. By regularly backing up your files on Windows 10, you create a safety net that allows you to recover swiftly from unforeseen events such as hardware failure, malware attacks, or accidental deletion. Read on for the 5 practical methods to do that.

Method 1: Backup data and files with File History on Windows 10

File History is a built-in feature in Windows 10 designed to automatically back up your files. It continuously monitors selected folders for any changes and keeps copies of older versions of your files. This ensures that you can easily recover previous versions of documents, photos, music, videos, and other files in case of accidental deletion, file corruption, or hardware failure.

  1. Click Start and then Settings -> Update & Security -> Backup, and then you will see Backup using File History. You can also open File History from the control panel.

File History

  1. It requires you to use an external hard drive to save the backup files. If you have an external storage device connected and a USB flash drive is also doable, you can just click Add a drive to select the external drive as a backup drive.
  2. After you select the backup drive, File History will start backing up the first version of your files.

If you do not have an external storage device and you want to save backups to a local disk, there is a workaround. You can create a shared folder on your internal hard drive, find the network address, and then you can configure File History to save backups to the network location (your shared folder).

Method 2: Enable system restore point in Windows 10

System restore point allows you to restore the Windows 10 system to an earlier date when your system not running well. By default, system protection is disabled, you need to configure it first.

You can right-click on This PC select Properties and then select System Protection. From there, click Configure to turn on system protection and then select which of the drives you want to protect. It is recommended to turn on system protection on the system drive.

Configure System Restore

When you enable system restore in Windows 10, it will automatically create system restore points when it detects some changes have been made to the system or in 7 days.

If system restore points have taken up much disk space, you can use Disk Cleanup to remove the earlier restore points to free up some disk space.

Method 3: Backup data and files with Backup and Restore (Windows 7)

If you want to be able to restore your Windows 10 back when the system crashes or is in a major problem, you can create a system image backup. Also, you may want to include some value files in the backup. In that case, you can use an older backup tool, Backup and Restore (Windows 7)

In Settings -> Update & Security -> Backup, you can find the backup tool under File History, and click Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

From there, you click Set up backup and follow the wizard to complete the backup.

Backup and Restore

You can select any files and volumes to include in the backup. You can also set up scheduled backup to automatically backup Windows 10 data. The image backup is not compressed, so you need to prepare a relatively larger drive as the backup drive.

Method 4: Perform data backup using Windows 10 OneDrive

If you prefer online backup, you can backup Windows 10 to OneDrive. You can select files and save them to the OneDrive local folder and it will automatically sync to the OneDrive cloud drive.

If you want to use File History to backup to OneDrive, you can mount OneDrive as a network drive, so you can select OneDrive as the backup location.

Method 5: Backup files with Windows 10 free backup software

In addition to the Windows 10 built-in backup tool, you also can choose a free professional backup software to backup your data or system. AOMEI Backupper Standard, an excellent and free backup software, solves the problem of how to backup files on Windows 10.

◑ No matter file backup, folder backup, disk backup, partition backup, or system backup, this freeware can meet your needs which provides you an easy-to-operation interface and can finish backups in three steps.
◑ External hard drives or internal hard drives, NAS, USB/DVD/CD can store the backup images. If you create an AOMEI account, you can also backup files to AOMEI Cloud.
◑ During backup, you can set for automatic backup for day-by-day, week-by-week, and month-by-month backup.
◑  In addition to scheduled backup, you can also use this freeware to do incremental and differential backups for some new increased, and modified data.
◑ Besides, there are some other backup options, you can click to add a comment for your backup, compress the data backup image, split an image into multiple file images, encrypt for backups, and enable email notification after finishing the backup.

The user-friendly interface allows you to set up a data backup task in a few clicks. Let’s take system backup as an example to show you how it works. If you want to backup data on Windows Servers, please turn to AOMEI Backupper Server.

  1. Free download this software and install it.
Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download
  1. In its Home screen, click Backup and select System Backup.

System Backup

Tip: Choose Disk Backup if you want to back up all the data on the hard drive, not just the operating system.

  1. Click the second box to select a location to save the backup image file. You can backup to external hard drive, internal drive or network location.

Select Destination

  1. Click Start Backup to start the backup.

Backup Data

>> Options: 
Here, you can write comments, and modify the compression level of your backups. And if you want to encrypt your backups, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional Edition.
>> Schedule: You can back up data for you automatically and periodically on a regular basis, such as Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Event triggers, and USB plug-ins.
 >> Backup Scheme: You can choose backup methods here. Differential backup is preferable to incremental backup because incremental backup requires all backups to be complete before a backup can be restored. This program will delete old image files automatically to save disk space for you. You need to upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional to enjoy this feature.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is there a file backup program in Windows 10?

Yes, Windows 10 has a built-in backup feature called File History. To use it, go to Settings > Update & Security > Backup. Then, connect the drive you want to use for backup, click "Add a drive," and select the drive you want.

2. Does Windows 10 backup save everything?

By default, Windows 10 Backup and Restore will back up all your data files in libraries, desktops, and default Windows folders. It also creates a system image, which can restore Windows if needed.

3. Are flash drives good for backup?

While flash drives are good for quick data storage, they may not be ideal for long-term backup. Tapes or optical discs are better options for long-term archiving due to fewer potential issues.

Final Words

Knowing how to backup files on Windows 10 is crucial, and AOMEI stands out as the top choice among the options discussed. Its user-friendly operation and reliable data security make it a clear winner. With AOMEI, you can easily safeguard your important files and ensure peace of mind. So, next time you're considering backup solutions, give AOMEI a try for a seamless experience.

If you do not prefer image backup, you can also choose to clone the hard drive or system as a way to backup data in Windows 10 using AOMEI Backupper Professional.

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.