By Ivy / Last update June 29, 2021

The importance of a bootable backup for Windows 10

In general, a system backup includes the system partition and system related partitions. A bootable system backup not only contains these partitions, but also allows you to boot from your system backup. Thus, a bootable system backup is also considered to be an exact replica of your working system.

Unexpected computer problems can happen to everyone at any time due to system crashes, virus attack, and human errors, etc. Worse still, your computer may refuse to boot. System reinstallation is not a good idea, because all contents on the drive will be overwritten during the process.

In addition, reinstalling a system is often a complex and time-consuming process to perform. If you’re in a situation like this, you can start everything from the beginning by using a bootable backup of Windows.

How to create a Windows bootable backup?

If you don't have a bootable backup for Windows 10 yet, now it is time to create one. To do so, two practical methods are highly recommended. One is using a Windows built-in feature, and the other is using its best alternative. Let's take a detailed look at each of these steps.

Method 1. Use Windows Backup to get a bootable backup in Windows 10

Step 1. Open Control Panel to click System and Security.

Step 2. Choose Backup and Restore (Windows 7) from the list.

Windows Backup

Step 3. Click Create a system image on the left pane.

Create System Image

Step 4. Select the destination to save the backup (On a hard disk, On one or more DVDs or On a network location). Then click Next.

Step 5. Confirm your system backup settings and then click Start backup.

Start Backup

Wait for the backup process to be completed. Then you'll see a prompt asking you to create a system repair disc, which you can use to restore your system in case something goes wrong. Skip this option if you already have one. Click Yes if you don't have such a disc.

Tips: To restore system, you should first connect the repair disc to your computer and boot from it. Then go U.S. > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > System Restore.

However, the backup process is not always smooth. Many users complain that Windows 10 backup not working. This issue happens when your computer has corrupted files or your external storage device is not formatted. Under such circumstances, you may need an alternative to Windows Backup.

Method 2. Use the freeware to create a bootable image for Windows 10

AOMEI Backupper Standard is definitely the best alternative to Windows Backup. With its intuitive interface and simple operation steps, you can create a bootable backup of Windows 10 in a very short time. By using it, you can save the system image to cloud drives, internal/external hard drives, NAS devices, and network, etc.

Compared to Windows Backup, this utility offers more advanced features such as auto backup based on weekly or monthly, incremental and differential backup and so on. Besides, you can configure email notification to see if your operation is completed successfully. Other practical features like disk backup, partition backup, file backup/sync are also available.

Above all, it is free to download and use (supports Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP currently). Now you can follow the steps below to make a bootable backup for Windows 10.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and open this freeware.

Install Now

Step 2. Click System Backup under Backup tab.

System Backup

Step 3. Change the Task Name as you like. The related system partitions are selected by default. Select the destination path by clicking the bar at the lower location.

Select Destination

Step 4. Confirm your operations and then click Start Backup.

Start Backup


  • This freeware works well as a bootable rescue media creator. You’d better use it to create a bootable media, which can help you restore the system if your computer fails to boot.

  • Windows 10 backup encryption can prevent unauthorized access. Go Backup Options > General > Enable encryption for backups (in Pro edition) at Step 4 to enjoy this feature.

  • You click Schedule at Step 4 to backup system regularly, including Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers and USB plug in. To enjoy the last two options, you need to do an edition upgrade.

  • Scheme (in Pro version) means the program will delete older backups automatically. You can choose it at Step 4 to save disk space.

  • These steps also apply to bootable backup for Windows 7.

  • When your computer can't boot, you should first connect the bootable media to your computer and boot from it. Your computer will directly boot into the main interface of this freeware. Then please go Home ﹥ the System Backup task ﹥ Restore to do a system restore.

Method 3: Create Windows bootable backup in Windows 10 easily 

Except for AOMEI Backupper Standard, you still can try another reliable software to make bootable image in Windows, it's one key recovery software AOMEI OneKey Recovery. It supports backing up system to AOMEI OneKey recovery partition or other location, such as, external hard drive.

If your system disk has enough space, the first option is recommended. Because it will create a real partition to store the system image and boot files but not specify a drive letter for it to greatly avoid any unwanted deletion. 

In addition, it will automatically add boot menu  and specify a fast key (F11 or A)  during the backup process. Thus, you can directly press F11 or A key to access AOMEI recovery environment without creating bootable disc first and factory rest Lenovo desktop or laptop computer.

Also, you can use it on other brands of computer, such as, Lenovo, Dell, Asus, Acer, etc. All Windows system and server computer are supported. Download it to have a try tright now! (The demo version can only be used for demostration, please upgrade the professional if needed.)

Download Demo Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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1.  Launch one key recovery software AOMEI OneKey Recovery, click OneKey System Backup.

Okr Backup

2. Tick Backup system to AOMEI OneKey recovery partition (Recommended) and click Next.

Backup System to Other Location

If you want to set compression level or password for the backup image, click Backup Options at the lower location.
If your system disk has enough space to store your backup image, it's suggested to backup system to AOMEI OneKey recovery partition. Because it's much safer.

3. Click Browse and select external hard drive on the computer. If you don't connect your external disk, please connect it first.

Select Other Location

The selected partition in the Advanced option is to store boot files and we call it recovery partition. 

4. Confirm all the info and click Start Backup. The process will run into reboot mode. please wait patiently and don't stop it.


This tutorial contains two methods to create a bootable backup for Windows 10. I recommend you use AOMEI Backupper Standard to do bootable backups, as it is not only easy to use but also provides you with many advanced options. By the way, this freeware serves you well when you need a bootable clone for Windows 10.