How to Backup Windows 10 Computer to External Hard Drive (Fastest)?

July 2, 2019

Wondering backup computer to external hard drive in Windows 10 for an offsite protection? This article presents how to backup Windows 10 files to external drive step by step.

Can I backup Windows 10 to external hard drive?

“I’d like to create a full backup in Windows 10 to external hard drive, and later an incremental backup or differential backup would be better. Tried to use Windows 10 backup and restore utility to backup to Seagate external hard drive but it seems like the drive cannot be recognized successfully with the tool. Is there any simpler way to backup my Windows 10 operating system on Dell laptop to external drive easily when Windows 10 backup to external drive not working? Any advice would be appreciated.”

Backing up Windows 10 means make a copy of the system/boot files and applications, and then you can restore it when you need. Windows 10 system backup prevent data loss effectively in the accident of hard drive failure, system meltdown, ransomware like WannaCry, virus, or human error. In addition, creating an offsite backup i.e. backup computer to external hard drive in Windows 10 reduces the risk of backup image corruption.

Surely, some users are looking for a way to, for example, backup photos and mails in Windows 10 to external hard drive. Except for operating system drive, all personal files that are valuable and non-creatable in Windows 10 should also get extra layer of protection.

How to backup computer to external hard drive in Windows 10?

AOMEI Backupper Professional is comprehensive and robust backup software devoted to prevent data from being lost. It is able to help users to backup Windows 10 to an external hard drive, which is much safer than backup to internal disk because the internal disk may be wearing out someday. Seagate, West Digital, and Samsung provide excellent external hard drives.

AOMEI Backupper allows you to automatic backup Windows 10 to external hard drive with Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Event-trigger modes. To backup files in Windows 10 to external hard drive, you can do Real-time Sync with File Sync feature.

System Backup, Disk Backup, Partition/Volume Backup, File Backup and File Sync are offered. You can also set a password to encrypt backup image for extra protection. The option Backup Scheme allows you to delete old backups automatically. Incremental backup and differential backup are embedded with. Get the 30-Day Free Trial and have a try.

Free Trial

How to backup Windows 10 to external hard drive step by step?

In the first place, to back up your Windows 10 PC to an external hard drive, please connect the external storage to your computer and make sure it can be detected by Windows 10. Take system backup in Windows 10 for example.

1. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper Professional. Click Backup on the left side of the interface and then choose System Backup.

System Backup

2. The system drive (C:) and its boot related partitions have been selected by default. Click to select the destination path.

Select Destination

3. In the pop-up small window, choose "This PC" and double-click the external hard drive you prepared.

Backup This PC


  • "Backup Options" (optional) can be set based on your own needs. It includes the functions of adding comments for image to distinguish it from other images, compressing, encryption and splitting image file, etc.
  • "Schedule" (optional) enables you to automatically backup Windows 10 via daily, weekly, monthly, or event-trigger.
  • "Scheme" (optional) allows you to delete older backups automatically to save backup disk space.

4. Confirm all operations and then click Start Backup to backup Windows 10 operating system to external hard drive.

Start Backup


  • Do not remove the external hard drive from your Windows 10 computer before the backup is completed.

  • Edit the Task Name at the second step if you want to.

  • You are allowed to backup Windows 10 to USB flash drive, internal disk, NAS, network share, Cloud drive as well.

  • If you want set up an automatic backup job to external hard drive, you need to make sure the drive letter of external drive remain unchanged. It is suggested to permanently assign drive letter to external drive.

Backup to external hard drive via Windows 10 built-in backup utility

Windows 10 provides a way to backup to external hard drive. You can use “System Image Backup” to realize the task. To backup Windows 10 files to external drive, you need to turn to File History. Here will take system backup for example.

1. Open Control Panel and click System and Security. And then select Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

2. Click Create a system image on the left side.

3. Choose the external hard drive at the page of “Where do you want to save the backup?” and click Next.

Where to save the backup

4. At the confirm page, click Start Backup and wait for the process to complete.

Tips: It may prompt to create a system repair disc which is used to boot computer when disaster happen. You can create one to realize bootable backup Windows 10.

Usually, back up Windows 10 to external hard drive in advance is a good way to rescue your crashed system, but if when the disaster happens and you don’t backup your system, you can use this software to create bootable media on any normal computer and then use it to enter your crashed system to backup the important data.

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.