Create System State Backup for Windows 10 [2 Free Ways]

You will learn 2 free ways to create system state backup in Windows 10, namely using Backup and Restore (Windows 7) and third-party tool. The second one is automatic and feature-rich.


By Ivy Updated on October 20, 2022

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What is System State Backup?

System state backup means backup your Windows system files and enable you to perform system image recovery for Windows 10 while system boot failure due to the lost system files or registry. And you can use native backup utility, such as, with Windows Server Backup or WBAdmin start systemstatebackup command to complete it.

Install Windows Server Backup

The process may take an hour or more and the size of each backup (full or incremental) varies from 8GB - 12GB according to Microsoft Windows. And it usually include the following files:

  • The registry.

  • Sysvol (on a domain controller only).

  • Cluster database (on a cluster node only).

  • Active Directory (on a domain controller only).

  • Component Services Class registration database.

  • Performance counter configuration information.

  • Certificate Services (on certification authority only).

  • Boot files, including the system files, and all files protected by Windows File Protection (WFP).

Note that the system state backup is just a snapshot of a server computer, which cannot be used for disaster recovery. Thus, many users want to create a full backup for their computer including the operating system, system files, registry, installed program, personal data, etc. So what if you are currently using Windows 10 and not a  server computer, how do you go about doing that?

Similar to server computer, you can use the native backup software for Windows 10 - Backup and Restore (Windows 7). Also, you can use third-party backup software AOMEI Backupper Standard to achieve the same goal.

Way 1: Create System Image for Windows 10 with Built-in Tool

Backup and Restore (Windows 7) is a built-in backup software that comes from Windows 7 and kept in Windows 8 and Windows 10. Thus, you can easily create system image on USB or to external drive in Windows 10 if you use it previously.  Below are the backup instructions:

1. Input backup settings in Windows 10 search box, select it and then Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7) under the Looking for an older backup section.

Go To Backup And Restore

2. In the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) window, select Create a system image at the left panel. 

Create System Image Windows 10

3. Tick On a hard disk and select external drive or USB as backup destination. Also, you can use one or more DVDs or a network location to store backup images.

On A Hard Disk

4. Then all the system partitions, like C drive, EFI system partition, Recovery partition, will be selected automatically. Confirm it and click Start Backup to create system state backup in Windows 10.

Start Backup

That's the entire process of creating system state backup in Windows 10, you may find that the "Create a system image" option in the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) does not support schedule backup settings. Thus, you need to backup system manually if you make any significant changes. And it's not stable as expected, you may get Windows 10 backup failed errors due to different causes. In this case, it's not a bad choice to turn to a reliable third-party software. 

Way 2: Create Windows 10 Full  Backup with Third-party Tool (Auto & Smart)

Apart from the Windows built-in tools, you could use the best free Windows 10 backup software – AOMEI Backupper Standard to create system state backup in Windows 10//8.1/8/7/XP/Vista. And you can choose to backup system in daily, weekly, monthly, depending on how often you make changes to your files. 

Now, you can keep all the changes made in the previous backup and don't need to worry about any data loss. But in a long run, this may lead to backup disk full issue as backup image keeps growing. And you can greatly improve this issue by compressing backup image, backing up only used sectors of file system and changed files, etc.

You may be eager to create a system image automatically with this software, please download and install it on your Windows 10 first. And it’s highly recommended to create one on USB or backup Windows 10 to external hard drive to prevent computer failure.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Execute the best Windows 10 backup software – AOMEI Backupper Standard after installation. Connect USB  or  external drive with your Windows 10 computer and make sure it can be detected.

Step 2. Choose the Backup tab at the left panel, then select System Backup

System Backup

Tip: if you want to backup entire hard drive in Windows 10 without losing data, try Disk Backup in the above picture. It will include all the items in the system partition and your data in the other partitions. And you are allowed to backup multiple hard drives at the same time. 

Step 3. Click the folder-shapped button to select a destination path (your USB drive or external disk) to save the system backup image file (suffix with .adi). Meanwhile, you could rename the Task Name to differ from other backups.

Select Destination

Tip: The partitions associated with system files will be selected automatically, you don’t have to select manually.

Step 4.  Click Start Backup button to create the system state backup in Windows 10/8/7. To make this task simple and efffictive, you can still set backup settings  at the lower left corner.

  • Options: you could comment, split, and encrypt your backup image, and customize the compress level, enable email notifications, and more.
  • Schedule Backup: you could set the system backup task running daily, weekly, or monthly, event triggers, USB plug in, etc. The last two options are advanced features, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional or other editions to enjoy.
  • Backup Scheme (advanced): This option allows you to delete old backup images automatically (By quantity, By time, By daily/weekly/monthly) while the backups exceeding the backup number you want to keep. Also, you can backup only changed files with incremental or differential backup method.

Start Backup

Wait for a moment, the system state backup image file will be stored on your USB drive or external disk successfully. Hope you will not use. If something bad happens, you could use the system state backup image file to restore your Windows 10 system. And it allows you to restore individual file that need to restore.


system state backup originally referred to a snapshot of a server computer, but you can still create system state backup in Windows 10 with its native or third-party software. As a matter of fact, third-party software is more flexible and feature-rich, thus, you can backup system automatically without human intervention, backup only changed files with Incremental or Differential Backup, compress backup image with Normal or High compression level, etc.

And it is still a disk clone software. You can easily migrate Windows 10 to SSD by making an exact copy of your system. And you don't need to restore system image to new SSD before booting from it. 

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.