By Ivy / Last Updated February 13, 2020

Necessity for file backup

In theory, if you create a system backup or disk backup, all your files on the system drive or entire disk will be there. Thus, you may wonder if it is necessary to create a file backup separately.

Here, I’ll list some advantages of file backup:

Save disk space and backup time. System backup or disk backup will backup all your files in the system partition or entire disk (unnecessary files included) while file backup only backup specific files or folders you need. So, file backup need less disk space and backup time.

Backup specific files in Windows 10 instead of all files. File backup give you a chance to select files and folders you want to backup, so you don’t need to backup all files.

Restoring file backup is very easy. File backup only backup files, so it’s easy to restore. By contrast, if you want to restore files from system or disk backup, you need to restore your system or entire disk first and then you can see your files.

In short, whether system backup, disk backup or file backup, all of them can keep your files in protection. But file backup will use less storage device and backup time, and restoration is very easy to operate.

Method 1: Backup files from Robocopy command prompt in Windows 10

Robocopy, or "Robust File Copy", is a command-line directory and/or file replication command, which provide more than 80 command-line parameters and switches. So, if you want to backup your important files whether personal or working files, you can use Robocopy command line.

To get Robocopy command line option, you can type Robocopy /?, then it will show you a detailed list.

Robocopy Command

The format of “Robocopy” is in the following:

robocopy <Source> <Destination> [<File>[ ...]] [<Options>]

For example, If I want to back up the data file contents of my user profile, C:\Users\William, to a folder named FileBackup on an external hard disk, which is assigned drive letter H. Just type the following command line: Robocopy "C:\User\William" "H:\FileBackup" (You'll, of course, replace the path and name with your own.)

If you don’t want to backup the hidden system files, you can use /XA:SH option. Then the command should be: Robocopy "C:\User\William" "H:\FileBackup" /XA:SH

Backing up files using Robocopy command prompt in windows 10 is a perfect way to keep files and folders in secure. However, the least of perfection is Robocopy does not backup open files.

Method 2: Backup files using SDCLT command prompt in Windows 10

Sdclt.exe is located in the folder C:\Windows\System32 that can be used to backup and restore files you specify.

To create an incremental backup silently, type the first command in the following. If you want details, you can use the second command line.

sdclt.exe /KICKOFFIOB

cmd /c sdclt.exe /KICKOFFJOB & sdclt.exe /UIMODE /SHOW

Backup Files using SDCLT

To create a differential backup without prompt, use the first command below. If you want to get details, you can copy and paste the second command.

sdclt.exe /KICKOFFNEW

cmd /c sdclt.exe /KICKOFFNEW & sdclt.exe /UIMODE /SHOW

Method 3: Backup files using notepad CMD in Windows 10

If your computer is unable to boot, you can use installation disc and notepad command prompt to backup files in Windows 10.

To backup files using notepad CMD, use the following steps:

Step 1. Insert installation disc into your computer and set boot priority for your disc. Restart your computer, press specific key (usually F2 or ESC) on the initial screen and go to BIOS, select Boot option and move CD/DVD to the first place by clicking “+”, then press “F10” to boot your computer.

Step 2. Press a key when you see “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD”.

Step 3. In the first Windows Setup screen, press “Shift + F10” to open command prompt.

Step 4. Type “notepad” in the command prompt and hit “Enter”.

Step 5. Locate files to be backed up. In the pop up window, click “File” and “Save as”, then find your files you want to backup in the computer.

Backup Files using Notepad

Step 6. Backup files to USB flash drive. Plug your USB drive into computer, then right-click the files you want to backup and click ”Send to” and select USB thumb drive.

A more flexible way to backup files and folders in Windows 10

Above three methods are using command line utility, which are more suitable for technicians. In addition, some users report that command line is very complicated for them. And using command line is very easy to make mistake if you are not familiar. So, you’d better use a trust and reliable backup software with clean interface and user friendly design. Here, I highly recommend you AOMEI backupper Professional.

With this software, you don’t have to figure out all the parameters and can backup files and folders without any obstacle. It allows you to choose files selectively. Also, it support multiple backup destinations, including external hard drive, USB, NAS, cloud drive like OneDrive, Google Drive, etc. Besides, it provides you many extra useful features, such as, filter settings, daily backup, incremental and differential backup, compression, backup scheme, etc.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Professional and select “Backup” and then “File Backup”.

File Backup

Step 2. Select files to be backed up. Simply click “Add File” or “Add Folder”, then find the files you want to backup and select it.

Add Folder


  • If you just want to backup files with certain file extension, you can use filter settings. Just click the funnel shaped icon, then include and exclude the file extension.

  • If you do not want to backup hidden files and folders, system files and folders, just tick Exclude hidden files and folders or tick Exclude system files and folders.


Step 3. Select a destination path for your files. Click where the arrow point and click “Computer” or “This PC”, then select a internal hard drive or external hard drive as storage. Also, you can click “Share or NAS” and select network share or cloud drive.

Select Backup Destination

Step 4. Click “Start Backup” and wait until the process is 100% completed.

Start Backup

Skills for backing up system with AOMEI Backupper

File Backup keep a copy of your data and you can restore files from backup when something unexpected happens. But there are some other problems that make you feel upset. For example: Your data is sensive and you don't want a second person to see it; Your data is very larger and you don't have a storage device big enough; Your data is not the latest version.

Don't worry about it ! Continue to see below and there are some useful features that may solve your problem.

Enable encryption for backup: This feature is used to protect sensitive data or any files or folders you don’t want other people to know. If you need, please go to “Options”.

Email notification: This feature will tell you the final result or any error message during the backup process. If you don’t want to wait until the backup process complete, you could consider using “Email notification”.

Compression and splitting: Both features can help you solve the problem of oversize backup data. If your data is very large, you can compress these data or split it into multiple smaller piece of image file.

Daily, weekly, monthly backup: This feature is designed to backup files continuously with a fixed interval, such as, daily, weekly, monthly. And one backup is not enough to protect your files and folders, because there are changes after you create a file backup.

Incremental or differential backup: If you want to only backup changed files after the first full backup, you can use either incremental backup or differential backup.

Backup scheme: No matter what kind of schedule backup you create, you may need this feature, because it can help you delete old backup and save disk space. If you don’t use this feature, your disk will be full sooner or later.

Support multiple backup types. Besides file backup, AOMEI Backupper also supports system backup, disk backup and partition backup that are not available on most command lines.

In sum, if you are not familiar with command line, you’d better use backup software with GUI interface. AOMEI Backupper is very easy to use and has more additional features, which can reduce a lot of trouble for you. Just download and try it yourself.