By Ivy / Last update June 28, 2021

How do I do a full backup on Windows 10?

Making complete system backup on Windows 10 is a really essential way for us to protect our system files and boot files. Only both system files and boot files run on the computer, you can succeed in booting it. Before telling how to make a full system image backup on Windows 10, we start to see a situation first.

I has a DVD Disc with Windows 7 and want to make a complete system backup before upgrading to Windows 10. And later, continue to do a full system backup for Windows 10. My disk is not large enough, is it needed to burn a Disc?

To the questions, below is what I want to say.

  • If you do not have enough space to finish the entire backup for Windows 10, the operation will stop. So your worry is not a problem anymore.

  • It's not recommended to use DVD discs to save system backup, because the DVD discs is too old. And the technology is finicky. Aside by that, you are likely to use dozens of discs at every backup.

Therefore, I suggest you making a complete system backup of Windows 10 to USB drive. Compared with other storage device, it's cheaper with various capacity. Also, you still need a best free Windows backup software.

Does Windows 10 have a backup program?

Honestly, yes! This issue can be a great concern of many users, and the clear answer is that Windows has a backup and restore software inherited from Windows 7. Next, I'll introduce the built-in backup software for you.

Backup and Restore (Windows 7) will include operating system, system settings, individual folders, libraries and drives you want to backup. It supports schedule backup in daily, weekly and monthly and allows you to manage backup disk space by deleting old backups, for example, file backup or system backup. Also, you can restore your computer to previous date at any time.

Also, this software has some flaws, you need to take it seriously. Here are some examples.

  • It only supports full backup. That's to say, this software will backup everything on system drive every time, and increasing backups will result in insufficient space. Then, your backup will fail owing to not enough space. 

  • It will backup files on partition level instead of file or folder level, which will need more space. 

  • It requires human intervention to delete file backup. 

  • It does not backup some files, such as, program files, files stored in partition with FAT file system, Recycle Bin, temporary files on drive smaller than 1GB. 

  • Other unexpected backup and restore errors, for example, Windows backup did not complete successfully, backup failed, not enough space on the disk,  system image restore failed, Windows cannot find a system image on this computer, and more.

Backup Windows 10 to USB with Backup and Restore (Windows 7)

Step 1. Connect your USB drive and make sure it can be detected.

Step 2. Type backup settings in the search box and select it from the list result. 

Step 3. Click Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).  

Go To Backup And Restore Windows7

Step 4. Click Set up backup

Set Up Backup

Step 5. Select the destination drive for your backup, then click Next. 

Select Destination

Step 6. Click Let Windows choose or Let me choose, and click Next. If you choose the latter, please remember to tick Include a system image of drives at the bottom. 

Let Windows Choose

Step 7. Click Save settings and exit. By default, the schedule backup is set to 7:00 PM every Sunday. If you want to backup at another time, click Change schedule.

Windows 10 backup software alternative -AOMEI Backupper

Windows 10 has its own full backup software, but it lacks of many useful features you may need. Also, you may encounter various backup and restore errors, such as, no disk available for backup destination, the system writer is not found in the backup, system restore failed etc. Therefore many users turn to a third-party Windows 10 backup software like AOMEI Backupper Standard

  • It includes all backup solutions: System Backup, Disk Backup, Partition Backup and File Backup.

  • It has more advanced features, except for daily/weekly/monthly backup, you can also enjoy event-trigger backup, USB plug in, incremental and differential backup, encryption, compression, email notification, backup scheme etc.

  • It can boot your computer in trouble using bootable media or PXE boot tool. 

  • It supports various backup destinations, such as, external hard drive, USB drive, SSD, network drive, cloud storage (eg: Google Drive), SD card, and so on. 

  • It helps you deploy system image to different computer with dissimilar hardware, motherboard, for instance.

Create Windows 10 system image on USB with AOMEI Backupper

Before starting the operation officially, you need to connect your USB, and download AOMEI Backupper Standard, install and launch it.

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

Then, start to create system image for Windows 10 and save it to USB drive.

Step 1. Click Backup and System Backup subsequently. To backup important files only, click File Backup.

System Backup

Step 2. Click the folder shapped button to select the prepared USB and click Next. By default, this software will automatically select system partition and boot related partitions for you.

Select Destination

Step 3. Click Options, Schedule or Scheme, then select one or more settings you like. Finally, click Start Backup.


Notes: Here, I'll briefly introduce you the feature you may use in the free or higher version. If you happen to need this, please go to edition comparison and upgrade.
Email notification: This feature will bring you much convenience when you have an emergency, and it will inform you the final result through your email. 
Daily/weekly/monthly backup: This feature helps you continuously backup your system and ensures you can restore your computer always with the latest backup. 
Incremental or diffential backup: This feature only backup changed contents so it will save you much backup time and disk space.
USB plug in: This feature is quite flexible and the backup will automatically start when USB plugged in, even not opening the software.
Backup Scheme: This feature is used to manage backup disk space and delete old backups at a specific role.


To create complete system backup in Windows 10, you can use both built-in backup and restore software. Also, you can use third-party backup software like AOMEI Backupper Standard if Backup and Restore (Windows 7) does not meets your needs. It stands out with its excellent features and easy to use, such as, incremental and differential backup, USB plug in, encryption, email notification etc. With one or more backup in hand, you can restore your computer at any time, even with different hardware.

Besides, it's still a disk clone software. With it, you can clone system, disk, or partition as you like. And the cloned disk can be used to boot your computer directly.