Backup Installed Programs in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 (3 Ways)

It's essential for you to backup installed programs and apps in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 if you don't want to reinstall them from scratch. Scroll down to get the detailed steps.


By Lily Updated on December 4, 2023

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The scenario: can I backup my installed programs?

Several programs are actually installed in the system, some in 'program files' folder and some in 'program files (x86)' folder. All of them are less than 10. Is there some way to backup those really installed programs so that after some hardware upgrade I do not have to reinstall them and go over the settings and customization all over again? Answers will be appreciated. Thanks!"

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 configure them to your satisfaction.

Therefore, backing up installed programs should be taken as an important part of backup strategy. Just think about this, your computer suddenly goes wrong due to system errors or other reasons, you try reinstalling Windows to solve the problem, but all the apps you installed are erased altogether - 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.

Then, how to backup programs in Windows 11/10/8/7? Let's take a look at the following 3 methods.

👉 Way 1: Backup installed programs via Windows built-in tool
👉 Way 2: Windows app backup via AOMEI Backupper🔥
👉 Way 3: Backup installed software with AOMEI OneKey Recovery👍
👉 FAQs about Windows app backup

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

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

It will backup everything in the system partition, such as OS, system drivers,  installed programs, 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 you all of them including 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 opening Backup and Restore, click Create a system image in the left panel.

Create a System Image

📖 Note: If you are currently using Windows 11 and want to backup installed programs in Windows 11, please go to Settings -> System -> Storage -> Advanced Storage options > Backup options, then scroll down to Looking for an older backup and select Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

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

Select Destination

📃 Tip: If you want to backup programs and applications to USB drive, you have to prepare a larger capacity USB with at least 64GB free space. Otherwise, you will receive an error "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.

Make A Copy of Installed Software

It’s pretty easy to backup all installed programs in Windows 10 or earlier systems with this method. However, the "Create a system image" feature has its inherent limitation.

  • As incremental backup is not supported, backing up installed programs every time with full backup will take you much space.
  • It can only backup volumes formatted with NTFS.
  • 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: Windows app backup via AOMEI Backupper

AOMEI Backupper Professional is a reliable application backup software for PC. With it, you can easily backup installed programs in Windows 10 using its System Backup feature. Also, if you want to backup everything on this disk including the applications, you can choose to use the Disk Backup feature. And it also has the following advantages.

⏰ Schedule Backup

With this software, you can create scheduled backup in daily, weekly, or monthly mode and backup only newly added or changed files with its incremental or differential backup method, thereby saving you much space.

🗑 Backup Scheme

If you are worried it still takes you a lot of space, it allows you to delete old backup images with Backup Scheme.

💾 Supported Storage Devices

You can backup Windows 10 to USB drive as well as other storage devices including internal/external hard drive, SSD, CD/DVD, network share, NAS, cloud drive, hardware RAID, etc.

📃 Supported File Systems

It supports all the file systems that can be detected by Windows, such as NTFS, FAT32, FAT16, EXT2, EXT3 and so on.

🧿 Dissimilar Hardware Restore

The awesome part is that you can even restore system to dissimilar hardware. When you buy a new computer, you can transfer system and programs without effort.

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.

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. At the home page, click Backup and select System Backup. It will back up the entire system partition, including the installed programs.

System Backup

Step 3. 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 Backup, and Backup Scheme options available when you backup apps in Windows 10 or other systems. Click them to have more advanced settings.
 Options: you can enable encryption and email notification.
Schedule Backup: it allows you to set automatic backup with five modes, namely daily, weekly, monthly, event triggers and USB plug in. 
 Backup Scheme: it enables you to set incremental and differential backup methods and manage disk space. It can automatically delete old backup images and keep the latest versions of the backup image file.

Step 4. Click Start Backup to take a backup of installed software in Windows 10. Then, just wait for the process done.

Way 3: Backup installed software 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.

And you can use it to create a recovery partition and system image for all branded computers, including Dell, Lenovo, HP, and ASUS, etc. It will keep only the latest backups by deleting the previous one. 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.

OKR 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.

Backup with Lenovo One Key Recovery Alternative

FAQs about Windows app backup

1. Can you restore individual files from a Windows image backup?

Yes. If you create an image backup with Backup and Restore (Windows 7), you can enter the Backup and Restore page and click "Restore my files" at the lower location to restore individual files. If you create an image backup with AOMEI Backupper, you can use the Explore Image feature to restore specific files.

2. Can you run a copy of an installed software on another PC?

That depends. A program that is 100% portable can be copied onto another PC and run. Other programs that are COM objects or dependent on COM objects cannot be copied unless they self-register.


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. For example, it allows you to save disk space by creating incremental or differential backup.

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.

Lily · Editor
Lily Green joined AOMEI in 2018 and has since become a professional in the areas of data protection and data transfer. She is committed to helping users protect their precious computer data and troubleshoot Windows system errors. She consistently stays vigilant about the latest trends in technology, guaranteeing that the given information aligned with the ongoing advancements in the field.