By AOMEI / Last update September 23, 2021

Why backup installed programs in Windows 11/10/8/7?

If you've ever reinstalled any version of Windows operating system, you may know how tedious the job is. Though Windows OS can be installed using bootable media like installation disc or USB drive, it's still troublesome and time-consuming to install all the programs, and configuring them to to your satisfaction.

Therefore, backing up installed programs in Windows 11/10/8/7 should be taken as an important part of backup strategy. Just think about this, you computer suddenly goes wrong due to system errors or other reasons, you reinstall Windows trying to solve the problem, but all the apps you installed are erased all together - what a relief it will be if you can restore these programs from a backup without reinstallation.

In addition, if you've just bought a new computer and want to transfer installed programs from the old computer to the new one, an image backup can also help you restore all the programs once for all.

Now let's take a look at the following 3 methods to backup installed programs.

Way 1: Backup installed programs via Windows built-in tool

To backup installed program in Windows 11/10/8/7, you can usebuilt-in free backup software for Windows 11/10/8/7 - Backup and Restore (Windows 7) to create a full backup.

It will backup everything in the system partition, such as, OS, system drivers,  installed program, personal data, etc. And the system partition is the default location of programs if you don't change it. Then, if there is any problem, you can perform system restore and get your programs back in a very short time.

Next, I will walk you through every detailed step to backup installed programs with Windows backup and restore tool. 

Step 1. Open Backup and Restore by clicking Start->Control Panel-> System and Security -> Backup and Restore. Or, you can open Backup and Restore by typing “backup and restore” in the Search box. After open Backup and Restore, click Create system image in the left panel.

Create a System Image

Step 2. Specify where you want to save the backup.

Save the Backup

Tip: If you want to backup programs and applications to USB drive, you have to prepare a larger capacity USB with its free space at least be equal to 64GB in size. Otherwise, you will receive an error message which says: The drive is not a valid backup location.

Step 3. Confirm your backup information and click Start Backup to backup installed software and everything else in the system partition.

It’s pretty easy to backup all installed program in Windows 10 or earlier system with this method. However, Windows built-in backup and restore tool has its inherent limitation.

For example, as incremental backup is not supported, a scheduled full backup will take you much space. Besides, Windows built-in Backup and Restore tool can only backup volumes formatted with NTFS. What’s more, it will not transfer systems and programs to dissimilar hardware.

Therefore, if you want to have a better backup experience and a more flexible choice, you can use powerful AOMEI backupper to backup installed software in Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista.

Way 2: Easily backup installed programs via AOMEI Backupper

AOMEI Backupper Professional is a reliable backup and restore software in Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP. It supports all the file systems that can be detected by Windows, such as NTFS, FAT32, FAT16, EXT2, EXT3, and various storage devices including internal/external hard drive, SSD, USB flash drive, CD/DVD, network share, NAS, cloud drive, Hardware RAID and virtual machine systems, etc.

With this software, you can backup Windows 10 to USB drive without worrying about its capacity issue, or backup the newly added or changed files by creating incremental backup to save you much space. The awesome part is that you can even restore system to a dissimilar hardware. When you buy a new computer, you can transfer system and programs without efforts.

How to make a backup copy of installed software in Windows 10

Next, I will show you how to take backup of installed software in Windows 11/10/8/7 and previous Windows XP/Vista. Below will take Windows 10 as an example.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Professional and open this software. At the home page, click Backup and select System Backup. It will back up the entire system partition, including the installed program.

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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System Backup

Step 2. It will choose the source for you, and you only need to choose another location as the destination path.

Select Destination

Tips: There are Options, Schedule, and Scheme options available when you backup apps in Windows 10 or other systems. With them, you can click to have more advanced settings.
‱ Options: You can enable encryption and email notification.
‱ Schedule: it allows you to set automatic backup with five modes, namely daily, weekly, monthly, event triggers and USB plug in. Click Advanced to set incremental and differential backup.
‱ Scheme: it enables you to manage disk space. It can automatically delete old backups and keep the latest versions of the backup image file.

Step 3. Click Start Backup to take a backup of installed software in Windows 10. Then, just wait for the process done.

Way 3: Quickly backup installed programs with AOMEI OneKey Recovery

AOMEI OneKey Recovery, specialized onekey backup and recovery software, can also help you take a backup of installed programs in Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista. It supports both Windows PC and Server operating systems. You can use it to create a recovery partition for all branded computers, including Dell, Lenovo, HP, and ASUS, etc. The greatest part is that you are allowed to launch the system restore process by pressing "F11" (default) or "A" key during computer startup.

Follow the steps below and learn how to backup installed software in Windows 10 with AOMEI OneKey Recovery:

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI OneKey Recovery. Choose OneKey System Backup to continue.

OneKey System Backup

Step 2. Choose the way you want to backup your system and click Next. Here I choose Backup system to AOMEI OneKey Recovery Partition (Recommended).

Backup To

Step 3. Select a partition where the factory recovery partition will be created and click Start Backup to backup installed software in Windows 10.

Start Backup


Basically, you can use Windows built-in tool, AOMEI Backupper or AOMEI OneKey Recovery to backup installed programs in Windows 11/10/8/7. However, to have a better backup experience, AOMEI Backupper is recommended. It has many powerful features that Windows built-in tool does not have.

If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.