What is Network Drive?
A network drive is a storage device on a local access network (LAN) within a business or home.
- Within a business, it is usually on a server computer or a network-attached storage (NAS) device.
- Conversely, within a home, it may be located on a dedicated server computer, NAS device, external hard drive, or one of the computers in a LAN. And, if it is a networked computer, you will lose access to the drive when it is turned off.
No matter what are the types of network drive, you can store files without consuming local disk space on your computer. And this is the biggest reason why users want to backup Windows 10 to network drive or NAS.
How to Perform Windows 10 Backup to Network Drive
Three ways to back up Windows 10 to network drive or NAS will be illustrated below, you can use either built-in tools - Backup and Restore (Windows 7) or File History, or the best free auto backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard.
- To backup Windows 10 system to network drive including operating system, systems files, applications, files, etc, try Method 1 using Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
- To automatically backup files to network drive in Windows 10, try Method 2 using File History.
- To schedule backup system, disk, partition, or files on Windows 10 or avoid Windows 10 backup not working problem now and then, try Method 3 using third-party software - AOMEI Backupper Standard. And it is the easiest method among them.
And you still need to know how to access network drive in different methods before perfoming Windows 10 backup to network drive or NAS.
#1: Directly access the network drive by typing its IP address and inputting the required Windows credentials.
#2: Map the network drive as a local drive (we also call it a network drive) to access it over the network more conveniently. You need to specify the network path and assign a drive letter.
Method 1: Windows 10 Backup to Network Drive via Backup and Restore
Windows 10 follows Backup and Restore in Windows 7. It can help you create a system image and save it on network location or NAS, then restore your computer to a previous good status when your computer goes wrong. Here are the detailed steps for you:
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 a network...
Step 4. Click Browse to add the network drive or directly type the network location you want to store the system image. Then, enter your username and password and click OK to confirm this operation.
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 the option Include a system image of drives.
Step 7. At the Review backup settings window, click Change schedule to let Windows 10 automatic backup to network drive or NAS. Then, click Save settings and run the backup.
You may encounter that Windows 10 backup to network drive fails if you directly input the network path in Step 4 above. In this case, you need to map your network drive or NAS to a local computer and assign a drive letter for it.
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.
#2: Restore system image to new hard drive when your system crashes or disk damaged:
- Go to Settings > Update & security > Recovery > Advanced startup > Restart now.
- And then, in the recovery environment, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > System image recovery and follow the instructions.
Method 2: Windows 10 Backup to Network Drive via File History
File History is the primary file backup software in Windows 10, by default, it only backs up all the user's folders and you can save them on a network drive. Also, you are still able to backup specific folders in Windows 10 using its Add a folder option. Please follow the steps below:
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.
One day, you may need to restore files or folders. With File History, you have two ways the following:
#1: Restore entire files: Go to Control Panel > System and Security > File History > Restore personal files. Click Browse and find the files you want to restore.
#2: 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 Backup to Network Drive via AOMEI Backupper
AOMEI Backupper Standard is the best free auto backup software to backup Windows 10 to network drive or NAS in simple steps. You can not only backup system, but also disk, partition, or files, and run it automatically.
By default, this software does Windows 10 incremental backup to network drive. And, it still automatically compresses backup images to smaller one, split larger files into smaller one, backup only the used file system, etc. All of them help to save disk space and backup time.
In addition, this is the only software you can create a system image for another computer, even with different hardware. You need to use the Universal Restore feature in the professional version or higher editions. And it is capable of creating a bootable USB or CD/DVD in order to restore system that is not working.
Please download, install and launch this free network or NAS backup software. And then follow the steps below to backup Windows 10 to network drive:
(Note: This version only supports Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista. To perform Windows Server backup to network drive easily, you could consider using AOMEI Backupper Server.)
Step 1. Click System Backup under the Backup tab.
Step 2. The software will automatically choose the boot partitions to be backed up, which ensures your computer is bootable after restoration, especially useful for novices. And then, click the inverted triangle, select Add Share or NAS Devices, and type the network path of the network drive.
Tip: If you have mapped the network drive on your computer, it will work like a local drive and you can select it by clicking Select a local path.
Step 3. Click Start Backup and the program will start to backup Windows 10 to network drive or NAS. Considering continuous data protection, you still need to set Options, Schedule Backup and Backup Scheme optionally.
- Click Options, you can write a comment, set the compression level, enable email notification, etc. On the professional version, it's able to enable passwords for a backup task.
- Click Schedule Backup and enable it, you can run system backup every day, weekly or monthly at a specific time, date, or intervals. The USB plug in feature is recommended to create a system image in Windows 10 on USB drive.
- Optionally, on the professional version, you can change the backup method (to differential backup) and enable automatic backup cleanup methods. It's the most thorough way to manage disk space and ensure there are always space for new backups.
And one day, you need to restore Windows 10 image to bring your computer back to normal. There are 3 different situations you may encounter:
#1: Restore Windows image to new hard drive. Switch the Restore tab, choose Select Task or Select Image File to find backup image > Restore entire image and to other location, finally click Start Restore.
#2: Move Windows 10 to a new computer with dissimilar hardware. The steps are almost the same as in the previous situation, only the last step is different, in this situation, the Universal Restore feature is checked.
#3: Deploy images to multiple computers at a time. Like the previous two situations, it requires a system image but needs the help of AOMEI Image Deploy (supported by the technician or techplus edition) to boot multiple computers over a network.
How to Perform Windows 11 Backup to Network Drive
To backup Windows 11 to network drive or NAS, you still can use Backup and Restore (Windows 7), File History and AOMEI Backupper. The core steps of built-in software are exactly the same, the only difference is Windows 11 changes its location. While for AOMEI Backupper, you just need to install this software on Windows 11 and follow the steps above.
❤ For Backup and Restore (Windows 7): To find it, go to Start > Settings > System > Storage, scroll down to Storage Management, select Advanced storage settings > Backup options > Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
❤ For File History: To find it, go to Start > Settings > System > Storage, scroll down to Storage Management, select Advanced storage settings > Backup options, then you will see Back up with File History.
Now you know how to let Windows 10/11 backup to network drive or NAS, you can use Backup and Restore (Windows 7), File History, or comprehensive software - AOMEI Backupper, not only automatically backup system, but also disk, partition or selected files to network drive, and backup network drive to Windows 10 or 11.
Besides, you still can backup multiple computers over network with its 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.