How to Backup Windows 10 without External Hard Drive in 3 Ways

How to backup Windows 10 without external hard drive? In this guide, you can learn 3 methods. Two are Windows 10 built-in software and one is powerful third-party software. Let’s take a look!


By Jonna Updated on October 19, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

Is there a Way to Backup Windows 10 Computer without External Hard Drive?

"I want to backup my Windows 10 computer, but I don't have an external hard drive. Where should I save my computer files? Do you guys have any recommendations?"

Of course, you can backup Windows 10 without external disk. Although there are a lot of people who choose to backup Windows 10 to external drive due to its convenience and portability, there may be users who don’t have external disk or don’t want to use it as backup storage location.

In such as case, backing up Windows 10 computer to cloud services, NAS, or network locations, is available. In the following, you will learn 3 useful solutions on how to backup Windows 10 without external hard drive. You can choose the way you prefer.

How to Backup Windows 10 without External Hard Drive in 3 Ways

Three different ways are introduced below to help you backup Windows 10 without external drive. You can choose to backup Windows 10 to OneDrive or network drive using native backup tools (Way 1 and Way 2). You can also choose to backup Windows 10 to multiple locations using the professional backup software in Way 3.

Way 1. Backup Windows 10 Folders to OneDrive

OneDrive is a storage service provided by Microsoft. It is preinstalled on Windows 10 PCs with 5GB of free storage space. You can use it to backup important folders like Desktop, Documents, and Pictures. Here is how to backup Windows 10 folders without external hard drive, but to OneDrive:

Step 1. Go to Windows settings app, select Update & Security, and hit the Backup button.

Step 2. Click on Back up files under the Back up files to OneDrive section.

Windows 10 Back-up Files

Step 3. On the fly-out Manage folder backup page, check the folders that you want to backup, and click on Start Backup. Then, these select folders will be uploaded to OneDrive automatically.

Manage Folder Backup

If you wish to backup more folders on Windows 10, you can drag and drop items from your computer to the OneDrive folder in File Explorer for backup.

Way 2. Create Windows 10 Full Backup to Network Drive/DVD

As a powerful backup tool on Windows 10, Backup and Restore can help you backup Windows specific folders as well as create system image backup on Windows 10 for system restore with a network drive or DVD. Here we take creating Windows 10 system backup to network drive as an example to show you a detailed guide:

Step 1. Open Settings -> Update & Security -> Backup. Click on Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7) under Looking for an older backup.

Step 2. Click the "Create a system image" option from the left pane.

Create A System Image

Step 3. Select the "On a network location" option, and hit Select.

On a network location

Step 4. Click on Browse to add your network location to save the backup, and input the network credentials, and click OK. Then, tap Next.

Choose Network Location.png

Step 5. Configure your backup settings as needed, and click Start Backup.

Way 3. Easiest Way to Backup Windows 10 without External Drive

If you need more flexible Windows 10 backup software, you can try AOMEI Backupper Standard. It is a free auto backup utility that can help you backup Windows 10 to local disk, NAS, network drive, and cloud services like Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, etc. Multiple backup options are offered: System Backup, Disk Backup, Partition Backup, File Backup, Cloud Backup, and so on.

  • It uses incremental backup(by default) to help you backup only changed data to save your storage space and improve your backup efficiency.
  • It lets you set up automatic PC backup schedules at fixed frequencies, such as daily/weekly/monthly/event triggers/USB plug in.
  • It also provides its own cloud - AOMEI Cloud. After signing up for an AOMEI account, you can gain 1TB of storage for free within 15 days.
  • It is also equipped with other functions like Restore, Clone, Sync, etc. For example, you can rely on its Restore feature to restore computer to previous date if some problem occurs on your computer.

Below are steps for backing up Windows 10 PC to AOMEI Cloud. To backup Windows 10 to network drive, Google Drive, or other locations, you can try other backup options.

Step 1. Download and run AOMEI Backupper Standard. Select Backup -> Cloud Backup.

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

Cloud Backup

Step 2. Click either Add Folder or Add File, then select the files/folders that need to be backed up.

Add File

Step 3. Tap on Sign up to create an account and log in. Or, hit Login to log in directly, if you have registered an account.

Signup or Login

Step 4. (Optional) Tap on Schedule Backup to enable and choose a backup mode as needed.

Schedule Backup

Step 5. Click Start Backup button to begin the backup process. And, click Finish when the backup process has been completed.


That’s all about how to backup Windows 10 without external hard drive. You can use OneDrive, Backup and Restore (Windows 7), or comprehensive software - AOMEI Backupper. The last tool not only automatically backup system, but also disk, partition or selected files to network drive, cloud drives, and various paths.

What’s more, to backup multiple computers over network, you can use its centralized backup software - AOMEI Centralized Backupper. It allows you to monitor all the backup tasks for client computers remotely and manage them from a central console easily.

Jonna · Editor
Jonna joined AOMEI in 2021 and has become a professional in the areas of computer backup and restoration, disk cloning, file synchronization, etc. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.