What is Network Drive?
A network drive is a storage device often used for business or home. There are many types of shared network resources located on servers, network-attached storage (NAS) devices, networked external hard drives or networked computers.
To access the shared data over network more conveniently, you can create a shortcut of the shared folder by mapping it as a local drive. The drive you mapped is called a network drive, which also needs to be assigned a drive letter. Users can use a network drive to share and store files without consuming local disk space on themselves computer. Therefore, to backup Windows 10/11 to a network drive could be an ideal choice.
Solutions to Windows 10/11 Backup to Network Drive
Three ways on how to backup Windows 10/11 to network drive or NAS will be illustrated below. Then, which one should you choose? Windows 10/11 File History vs Backup, or turn to a third-party backup utility. Get details below and choose one of them according to your situation.
There are two built-in tools can help you perform Windows 10/11 backup to network drive: Backup and Restore (Windows 7) and File History. The Backup and Restore utility can help backup Windows 10/11 system to network drive including systems files, applications, files, etc. File History focuses on backing up files to network drive in Windows 10/11. Both support Windows 10/11 automatic backup to network drive. Windows 10/11 backup to NAS is also supported.
Choose Backup and Restore if you want to create system image backup and select File History if you want to backup files/folders. However, it’s possible to meet Windows 10/11 backup not working problem now and then. In that case, one free third-party backup tool - AOMEI Backupper Standard can help you execute Windows 10 backup to network drive or NAS. It supports both system backup and files/folders backup. Please refer to Part 3 to learn more
Method 1: Windows 10/11 Backup to Network Drive via Backup and Restore
Windows 10/11 follows Backup and Restore in Windows 7. It can help you create a system image as well as backup your files, and you can choose backup them to network location/NAS or external drive. When your computer goes wrong, you can restore your computer to a previous status that works normally.
Step 1. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
Step 2. Click Set up backup on the right side.
Step 3. Choose Save on network...
Step 4. Click the Browse and select a network drive or NAS by adding its networking location. Then enter your username and password. Click OK.
Step 5. Click Next to continue.
Step 6. Choose whether or not you want Windows to handle everything. If you choose Let me choose, please remember to check Include a system image of drives option.
Step 7. At the Review backup settings window, you can click Change schedule to let Windows 10 automatic backup to network drive/NAS. Then click Save settings and run the backup.
Note: You may encounter that Windows 10/11 backup to network drive fails if you directly input the network path in the Step 4 above. In this case, you need to map your network drive or NAS to local computer and assign a drive letter for it.
Tip: If you are currently using Windows 11, the location of Backup and Restore (Windows 7) may be a little different. To find it, go to Start > Settings > System > Storage, scroll down to Storage Management and select Advanced storage settings > Backup options > Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
When the process completes, you will be asked if you want to create a system repair disc that can help to boot your computer. If your computer has an optical drive, you can click Yes to make it. If not, you can also create a system repair disk with your USB flash drive.
How to restore a system image using Backup and Restore
1. To restore certain files or folders, go to the Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7) > click the Restore my files button.
2. To restore the system, go to Settings > Update & security > Recovery > Advanced startup > Restart now. And go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options when your computer restarts, and then click System image recovery.
Method 2: Windows 10/11 Backup to Network Drive via File History
File History is the primary built-in backup solution in Windows 10 that can help you backup all folders in the user account folder. You can also add other folders according to your needs. And it allows you to perform Windows 10/11 backup files to network drive/NAS or external hard drive.
Step 1. Click Start > Click Settings option > choose Update & security > Click Backup.
Step 2. Click the “+” next to Add a drive and choose network location to store the backup files.
Step 3. Click More options to access Backup options screen where you can set how often File History backs up your files, how long versions are saved and add other folders that need to be backed up.
Tip: If you are currently using Windows 11, the location of Backup and Restore (Windows 7) may be a little different. To find it, go to Start > Settings > System > Storage, scroll down to Storage Management and select Advanced storage settings > Backup options, then you will see Back up with File History.
How to restore the backup files using File History
If you accidentally delete a file/folder, you can perform Windows 10/11 File History restore to recover the file/folder. Two methods are available.
1. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > File History > Restore personal files. Browse and find the files you want to restore.
2. To restore a previous version of a file: right-click the file and select Properties and go to the Previous Versions tab > choose a restore point and restore it.
Method 3: Windows 10/11 Backup to Network Drive via AOMEI Backupper
AOMEI Backupper Standard is one comprehensive and free PC backup tool that can help you backup Windows 10 to network drive in simple steps. Below are some of it useful features:
It provides system backup, disk backup, partition backup, file/folder backup.
It lets you set Windows 10/11 automatic backup to network drive. Perform the backup daily/weekly/monthly.
It allows you to do Windows 10 /11 incremental backup to network drive as well.
It allows you to set internal/external hard dive, USB flash drive, cloud drive, network drive/NAS, etc. as source or target directory. Therefore, you can easily backup Windows 10/11 to network drive/NAS, or vice versa, backup network drive/NAS to windows 10/11.
The restore feature of AOMEI Backupper is also amazing. In Professional or higher editions, you can restore system image to different disk type (GPT and MBR) or even another computer with dissimilar hardware. You can use a bootable rescue media or AOMEI PXE Boot tool to perform offline restore.
Before you backup Windows 10/11 to network drive, make sure you have created a bootable media in order to restore when your system is not working, and you have a network drive shows in File Explorer. As the network drive also has a drive letter, to backup to network drive/NAS with AOMEI Backupper is the same as to local partition.
To backup Windows 10/11 to network drive:
Step 1. Download, install and launch this free network/NAS backup software.
Step 2. Click System Backup under Backup tab. The software will automatically choose the partitions to be backed up.
Step 3. Click the inverted triangle to select the network drive/NAS as destination location. You need to click Add Share or NAS Devices in the popping-out window and enter the required information.
Step 4. Then, the program will backup your Windows 10/11 to network drive/NAS after clicking Start Backup.
1. Click Options to write a comment, set the compression level or enable email notification.
2. Click Schedule to let the backup perform every day/weekly/monthly.
3. To better manage the backup files, AOMEI Backupper Professional offers Scheme option which can help remove old backup images automatically to free up the storage space. If you are interested in, you can get the free trial version to explore it by yourself.
4. To perform Windows Server backup to network drive easily, you could consider using AOMEI Backupper Server.
Besides, AOMEI Backupper allows you to do this operation in another way - backup network drive to Windows 10/11, just selects the source and target directory accordingly. Please remember to map network drive to local drive in Windows 10/11 before you make a backup. And it's also feasible to backup network drive to external hard drive.
Now you know how to let Windows 10 backup to network drive or NAS. The Backup and Restore utility helps you create a system image as well as make a backup for your files. The File History lets you backup personal files. Or if you choose AOMEI Backupper, it can help you backup system as well as disk, partition or selected files to network drive or NAS.
Besides backup one computer to network, you still can backup multiple computers over network with centralized backup software - AOMEI Centralized Backupper. It allows you to remotely monitor all the backup tasks for client computers and manage them from a central console effortlessly.