By Ivy / Last update June 28, 2021

How Can I Create a Disk Backup in Windows 10?

"Can I backup all the data on my Windows 10 hard drive? I have a lot of pictures and other important documents in the system hard drive. How to create a disk backup for my Windows 10 computer? I’m not familiar with computer things. Is there anything I need to pay attention to?"

As a matter of fact, you could perform Windows 10 backup with built-in tools like File History or Windows Backup and Restore. But can they backup the entire computer, or in another word, create a disk backup? In this article, we will introduce how, and show you the difference between Windows 10 built-in backup tools and the third-party backup software.

Backup Important Files with File History

As one of the most commonly used Windows 10 backup utilities, File History is designed for important files and documents in Windows. You could use File History to backup data to external hard drive or network share. 

Here is how to backup files in Windows 10:

1. Input Settings in Windows Search box, and hit enter.

2. Go to Update & security -> Backup -> Add a drive + to choose an external hard drive or network share location to save the backup image. 

Backup Files Using File History Add a Drive


  • The above two steps could replace with the steps: click Windows 10 Start menu on the desktop, and then choose Control Panel. Tap Save backup copies of your files with File History in System and Security section.

  • Turn on Automatically back up my files in Back up using File History section if you have set up a File History task already. Make sure the destination disk is still connected. Otherwise, you might receive the error: Sorry, but that didn’t work. To find out more, look up error code 0x80040304. Reconnect the destination device will fix the error, verified already.

File History Error 0x80040304

3. Click More Options -> Back up now button to create backup for your files in Windows 10.

Backup Options Back Up Now

Besides, you could modify the settings in More Options. 


  • By default, File History in Windows 10 will backup all the folders in your Users folder per hour and save the backup image forever.

  • You could modify the settings as you want to backup your important files in Windows 10: You could backup files Every hour (default), Every 10 minutes, Every 15 minutes, Every 20 minutes, Every 30 minutes, Every 3 hours, Every 6 hours, or Every 12 hours.

  • And set up keep the backups Forever, Until space is needed, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year, or 2 years.

  • Click + Add a folder in Back up these folders section to add other files you would like to backup. For folders you don’t want to backup, click + Add a folder in Exclude these folders section to make a list.

Create System Image with Windows Backup and Restore

If you are planning to create a Windows 10 system backup in case of system failures, you could try Windows Backup and Restore. A system image created by Windows 10 Backup and Restore contains all the information on system drivers including system C:/ partition, EFI System Partition or Recovery partition. Additional drivers can also be included. 

Now let’s create a full system image:

1. Right click the Windows 10 Start button, choose Control Panel -> select Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

2. If you never used Windows Backup and Restore, select Set up backup, then follow the wizards to take a full backup for Windows 10 to external hard drive, DVD, or network share location.

Set Up Backup

3. Or tap Create a system image at the left panel to create a backup for Windows 10.

Create A System Image

Tip: If you stored the scheduled system image on your USB drive (should be formatted with NTFS), you probably get the error The drive is not a valid backup location, you could share the USB drive as a network location, then backup system image to the shared USB flash drive, and make sure the USB size is larger enough to save the system image.

Furthermore, if you created a backup task with Windows Backup and Restore, and the destination disk is disconnected, you might receive the warning message:

Check backup settings

Windows cannot find the disk or network location where your backups are being saved.

Windows Backup And Restore Error 0x81000006

Tap the Options button at the end of the error message, then you will see the detailed error at the show details:

Backup Location: The backup location cannot be found.

Error code: 0x81000006

Now, just reconnect the device again to fix the error.

Create Full Disk Backup with Windows 10 Disk Image Backup Software

Although Windows Backup and Restore will help you create a system image backup for Windows 10, it cannot be stored on USB flash drive, and could not restore individual file from the system image. And most important, the File History, Windows Backup and Restore don't support you to backup the whole disk. 

In this case, you could try this professional third party disk backup software AOMEI Backupper Standard as Windows 10 backup alternative .

AOMEI Backupper Standard is available to backup individual partition, multiple partitions, Windows 10 system files, even entire hard drive, and other personal data, and allow you to restore individual files from the backup image (provided by AOMEI Backupper Professional) in Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, and is capable of backing up the whole disk to any location path that shows in Windows Disk Management. To be able to perform offline disk restore, you also need a USB disk or CD/DVD-R/RW disc to create bootable rescue media.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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The procedure of disk backup with AOMEI Backupper is quite simple:

1. Execute AOMEI Backupper Standard after installing.

2. Select Backup -> Disk Backup. If you want to create complete system image in Windows 10, click System Backup as instead.

Disk Backup

3. Click + Add Disk button to select the source disk to be backed up. Then select the destination disk to store the Windows 10 disk backup image file.

Add Disk

Select Backup Destination

4. Click Start Backup to perform disk backup for Windows 10.

Start Backup


  • Schedule: If you want to backup the disk by scheduled, you could check this option, choose Run once only at the specified time in m/d/yyyy. Or set up daily, weekly or monthly to run the file backup if required.

  • Options: you could enable email notification after the task finished. Comment, split, compress the backup image, or select a backup mode, etc. 


That is it. It only takes a few clicks to create full disk backup of Windows 10. If you’re professional or IT technicians, you can backup with command line to do completely unattended backup.

After the backup is complete, you can create scheduled differential or incremental backup, which will backup your new added or modified data automatically to save disk space.

AOMEI Backupper provides you the selective files restore to restore the part of files in the backup image. Apart from disk backup, cloning HDD to SSD to upgrade the performance in this computer is a good idea.