How to Create Windows 10 System Image Backup and Restore It

You will learn how to create system image backup for Windows 10 and use it step by step. Choose one among 4 methods below!


By Ivy Updated on December 14, 2023

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Does Windows 10 have system image backup? 

Up till now, Windows 10 is probably the most stable and usable OS released by Microsoft. But it’s still exposed to all kinds of dangers that may lead to data loss and system failure, such as natural disasters, virus attacks, human errors, and sudden crashes. Therefore, it's necessary to create system image backup in Windows 10. 

Well then, you may wonder if Windows 10 has system image backup. Here are two main Windows image backup software, namely "File History" and "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)". The latter one is to make a system image backup in Windows 10. It used to be a system backup software for Windows 7 and later remained in Windows 10/11, named "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)".

👉 How to create a system image backup in Windows 10 and use it
👉 How to create Windows 10 system image and restore to different computer
👉 One key recovery software to create Windows 10 system image
👉 Centralized backup software to create system image in Windows 10

How to create a system image backup in Windows 10 and use it

Before you start to create a Windows 10 system image with built-in Backup and Restore (Windows 7), please prepare a storage device to store system image backup and connect it in advanced.

You can use internal hard drive, external disk, USB drive or network location. Among them, the most common way is to use USB as backup storage and backup Windows 10 to USB. Here is an example to create system image Windows 10 on USB and restore from it.

Part 1: Create Windows 10 image for deployment

Step 1. To get started, open Windows 10 system image software - Backup and Restore (Windows 7). You have three methods in the following.

  • Through File History:  Go to "Control Panel", select "File History" and then click "System Image Backup" at the lower left corner. 
  • Through Control Panel: Go to "Control Panel" and select "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)".
  • Through Settings: Go to "Settings" > "Update & Security" > "Backup", and scoll down to "Looking for an older backup" and select "Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7)". 

File History

Step 2. Click "Create a system image" at the left panel. Then, it will start to scan your storage device and list all of them. 

Create A System Image

Step 3. Tick "On a hard disk" and select the USB drive from drop-down menu. Then, click "Next". 

Select Usb

Note: If you cannot find the USB drive, please disconnect it and reconnect again.

Step 4. Confirm your backup settings and click "Start Backup" to create system image on USB in Windows 10.

After the backup task is completed 100%, you will be asked to create a system repair disc, please do so if you don't have a bootable media. This method requires a CD/DVD disc. If you don't have any of them, you still can create Windows 10 recovery USB with built-in Recovery Drive feature.

Part 2: Restore Windows 10 from system image backup

If your computer still can boot, go to Update & recovery > Recovery > Advanced startup > Restart now. Then, your computer will restart to the Windows recovery environment, click Troubleshoot > Advanced Options System image recovery in order, and follow on-screen intructions to perform a system restore.

System Image Recovery

If your computer does not boot, you can use system repair disc or recovery drive to start your Windows. Please note that you need to set boot priority for the bootable media first. Then, boot from it and go to System image recovery.

💡What you need to know about Backup and Restore (Windows 7)

It cannot be denied that you can easily make a complete system backup in Windows 10 with the help of Backup and Restore (Windows 7). However, the disadvantages of it cannot be ignored, either.

  • High disk space usage: Windows 10 system image size all depends on the used space of your system. The more space the system has used, the more space the image will occupy on the USB drive or other devices. And it needs longer time.
  • Insufficient function: It does not support differential backup, encryption, etc.
  • Error-prone: The system image backup failed error will occur, owing to different reasons, such as, USB not a valid backup location, BIOS/UEFI, not enough space, shadow copy storage, no disk that can be used, etc.
  • Inflexible use: It only allows you to restore the entire system, and you can’t restore individual files from the image. In addition, you cannot restore the image created on a larger hard drive to smaller SSD as well as a different computer.
  • Lack of maintenance: Since Windows 10 version 1709, Microsoft no longer maintains this backup feature. Thus, you can still use it to backup your system, but it may stop working one day.

So a better Windows 10 backup software is needed. Searching “backup and restore software” on the internet, you will find that there are many backup utilities. And, among all kinds of software, AOMEI Backupper Standard is one of the most outstanding programs.

How to create Windows 10 system image and restore to different computer

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a popular Windows 10 image backup software, which supports all backup and restore solutions, including system backup, disk backup, partition backup, file backup, system restore, selective file restore etc. And you can enjoy the following advantages during the process of use: 

Schedule backup: You can use it to backup system regulary based on daily, weekly, monthly.
Incremental backup: You can choose to backup only changes in the system partition, thereby greatly saving disk space and backup time.  
Various backup destination. It allows you to backup Windows 10 to USB, hard drive, external hard drive, cloud drive and also a network share.
Easy to operate. It has a clean and clear interface that is very easy to be understood.
Supports all the Windows system, including Windows 7/8/8.1/10/11/XP/Vista.

Then, connect your USB drive and download the freeware to have a try. If you want to restore system to different computer, please upgrade to its professional version first. Then, please follow the steps below.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Part 1: Make a system backup Windows 10

Step 1. Open AOMEI Backupper Standard, Click "Backup" and "System Backup". Then, it will select Windows 10 OS and boot related partitions required to boot Windows 10 by default. 

System Backup

Step 2. Click where the arrow point and select USB drive connected to you computer. Also, you can backup Windows 10 to external hard drive, NAS, network location, etc. 

Select Destination

Step 3 (optional). At the lower location of System Backup, you will see 3 helpful features. Click Options, you can compress a big system image to smaller one with three compression levels, enable email notification to get final result timely, etc.

Backup Options

Also, you can set Differential Backup in the Backup Scheme. And you can use cleanup methods (By quantity, By time, By daily/weekly/monthly and By space) if you are currently using the professional version.

Automatic Backup Cleanup

Step 4. Then, click "Start Backup" to backup Windows 10 OS. 

Start Backup

Part 2: Restore Windows 10 system image from USB

If your computer is still bootable, open AOMEI Backupper Standard directly and then select image by clicking "Restore" and "Select Image File", tick "Restore this system image" and click "Start Restore" at last. Please remember to connect the device containing system image to your computer.

Select Image File

If your computer is unbootable, you need to create a bootable media first or directly use the PXE boot tool to start your computer and restore the image under the recovery environment.

Create Bootable Media

In addition to creating bootable media, if you don't want to burn it to an ISO file and you don't have a USB or CD/DVD, you can also choose to create Recovery Environment in Windows 10 operating system. This allows you to access the software and perform any operation directly in the recovery environment without the device at the next system boot.

Create Recovery Environment

If you create system image Windows 10 for another computer or want to restore system to different computer, the "Universal Restore" feature will be checked by default. If you are currently using free version, you will be asked to upgrade to advanced version when you tick this feature.

Universal Restore

One key recovery software to create Windows 10 system image

Except for the above software, you still can use one key recovery software to make a system backup in Windows 10, it's AOMEI OneKey Recovery. It still supports other Windows system, including Windows 11/8/7/XP/Vista and Windows Server 2003/2008(R2)/2011/2012(r2)/2016(R2)/2019/2022.

By using it, you can backup system to AOMEI OneKey recovery partition or other location, such as, external hard drive. The first one 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. And you can start the recovey process easily and quickly through boot menu and fast key (F11 or A).

Below are the detailed steps to make Windows 10 system image. Before the official start, download the demo version of AOMEI OneKey Recovery to have a try. Note that the demo version can only be used for demonstration, please upgrade to the professional version. Also, you need to connect the USB flash drive and be sure it's recognized.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1.  Launch one key recovery software AOMEI OneKey Recovery, click OneKey System Backup.

Okr Backup

Step 2. Tick Backup system to other location 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.

Step 3. Click Browse and select the connected USB flash drive on the computer. 


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

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

Restore from system image backup in Windows 10 

Connect the USB drive containing system image to your computer. Then, launch this software, click OneKey System Recovery, tick Restore system by selecting a system image file and click Browse to select image file in the USB drive. After that, click Next and then Start Restore after confirmation.

Restore from

Also, there is a possibility that your computer does not boot successfuly. In this case, restart your computer, press F11 or A key to access the boot men added in this computer. Then, restore system using OneKey System Recovery option.

Enter into AOMEI OneKey Recovery

Centralized backup software to create system image in Windows 10

The best enterprise backup software - AOMEI Cyber Backup provides a convenient and reliable solution for centralized backup management of all Windows operating systems.

  • It enables you to create system/disk/partition backup for a bunch of Windows PCs, supporting Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7.
  • You are allowed to save backup images on a local disk, external hard drive, network share or NAS device, etc.
  • You can schedule a backup task to run every day/week/month using the full/incremental/differential backup method.
  • It also allows you to backup VMware, Hyper-V and SQL databases.

Download AOMEI Cyber Backup now to try it out!

Download FreewareEasiest Enterprise Backup Software
Secure Download

To create a system backup for client PC, follow these steps:

Step 1. Log in AOMEI Cyber Backup. Then, click Source Device Windows Add Windows Device to add the Windows device that you want to backup.

Add Windows Device

Step 2. Click Backup Task on the left menu bar and select Backup Task Create New Task.

Create New Task

Step 3. Choose System Backup as the Backup Type and finish the rest settings.

Select Backup Type

Restore Windows 10 from system image

To restore client PC system, you need to click Backup Task on the left menu bar and click the three dots icon on the system backup task you created before. Then select Restore.

System Restore


Here you may already know how to create system image backup in Windows 10 or 11. You can use Backup and Restore (Windows 7), AOMEI Backupper Standard, AOMEI OneKey Recovery and AOMEI Cyber Backup to help you.

To create Windows 10 system image backup and restore it on the current computer, you can use all of them. If you want to restore system to new computer, you may pick AOMEI Backupper or AOMEI Cyber Backup. Their Universal Restore feature will install all the drivers required to start Windows on the target computer.

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.