How to Transfer Files in Safe Mode Windows 10/8/7

Here you can learn how to transfer files in safe mode of Windows 10/8/7 when Windows fails to boot. Follow the steps and try to copy files to external hard drive in safe mode.


By Lily Updated on July 17, 2023

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Need to transfer files in safe mode Windows 10/8/7

Windows users may meet the problem that system fails to boot. And lots of things can cause your Windows fails to boot.

You may realize that you have backed system up before, and you can restore computer to earlier date to get the Windows back. Truthfully, restoring system back with system backup image is a great idea that you do not need to reinstall Windows OS. However, what if you have very important data stored on the desktop? If you choose to recover system back, the data may be lost during the recovery process.

To prevent data loss in the process of restoring system, you need to transfer files in safe mode in advance. That is to say, when your system fails to boot, you can copy files to external hard drive in safe mode.

Transfer files in safe mode using WBadmin commands

WBadmin is a command backup utility that allows you to backup data with a command prompt or PowerShell (Windows 10) from Safe Mode. With WBadmin commands, you can transfer files in safe mode when your system fails to boot. You can follow the steps below:

1. Start your computer, and press the F8 key repeatedly.

2. It will lead you to Advanced Boot Options. Use the arrow key to select Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

3. Then, you will get into command prompt and enter a WBadmin to backup data from the failed system. For example, if you need to backup C: drive to external hard drive (here is F:), you can type the following commands:

Wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:F:-include:C:

* While if you need to replace the hard drive, then you should use WBadmin to backup whole hard drive in order to keep all old data on the hard drive.

4. After that, it will show you the detail of the operation and ask for your confirmation. Just type “Y” to start backing up under Safe Mode. And the files can be transferred out after the process done.

Transfer files when boot into Safe Mode failed

However, not every time you can boot from Safe Mode successfully. If you cannot boot into Safe Mode, how can you transfer files?

If the transfer files in Safe Mode Windows 10/8/7 can not work, you need a bootable disc so that you can boot the computer from it. Thus, the AOMEI Backupper Standard is highly recommended. It can not only help you create bootable disc (CD/DVD, USB drive), but transfer files to external hard drive before system recovery or OS reinstallation. To fix transfer files in Safe Mode failed problem, here you can do as the followings:

Step 1. Free download AOMEI Backupper and install this free backup on a working Windows 10/8/7 PC. Then, go to Tools -> Create Bootable Media to create bootable disc.

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

Step 2. After that, use the bootable media to boot the unbootable computer. You need to get into BIOS to change the boot order to allow the computer to boot from the bootable media.

Step 3. It will load to the main interface of AOMEI Backupper. If you want to transfer files to another place, here you can choose File Backup under Backup tab.

File Backup

* But if you want to copy entire hard drive, you can choose Disk Clone under Clone tab.

Step 4. Then, choose the files you want to backup, and choose the target drive which you would like to transfer files to. After that, click Start Backup to execute the task.

Start Backup

★ Bonus tip: backup important files to AOMEI Cloud

As cloud storage is becoming more and more popular, AOMEI offers users its own cloud - AOMEI Cloud. You can backup files to AOMEI Cloud if you have an AOMEI account. Then, when your computer fails to boot, you can easily restore your files on another working computer.



When your system is unable to boot, you can try to transfer files in Safe Mode no matter Windows 10/8/7. If you cannot even get into Safe Mode, don’t worry, you can still migrate files to another place without booting Windows.

AOMEI Backupper is a great tool that allows you to create bootable media, and with the bootable media, you can get all data on the boot failed hard drive. It is a powerful backup and restore software, and it is also a great hard drive cloning software.

If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.

Lily · Editor
Lily Green joined AOMEI in 2018 and has since become a professional in the areas of data protection and data transfer. She is committed to helping users protect their precious computer data and troubleshoot Windows system errors. She consistently stays vigilant about the latest trends in technology, guaranteeing that the given information aligned with the ongoing advancements in the field.