By Ivy / Last update October 19, 2021

Does Windows 10 have a backup utility?

If you don't have a backup for your Windows 10, you should be. Then, you need a free backup software. But what is the best backup utility for Windows 10? Does Windows 10 have a built-in backup utility? You may have this doubt. 

To get clear idea, you can type backup in the search box and select backup settings, then you will see all the backup tools and backup options, namely "Back up using File History", "Look for an older backup",  "Choose the right backup options for you". Following will introduce in detail.

Backup Settings

Free Windows 10 backup software to protect your computer

As you can see from above, Windows 10 not only have a file backup utility, but also have a system backup software. Now, let's see them specifically.

File history, Windows 10 file backup utility, was first introduced in Windows 8 and inherited in Windows 8.1/10/11. It was designed to back up your personal data in the user folder by default, including Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos, and parts of the AppData folder. What's more, Windows 10 file history is more flexibly and allows you to backup specific folders. It retains multiple previous versions, so you can get back in time.  

Backup and Restore (Windows 7), Windows 10 system backup software, as the name suggests, it was originally a system image backup tool for Windows 7 and still keep in Windows 8/10/11. It will backup everything stored on your system partition, including installation files, settings, and installed apps and all your personal files.  More importantly, it makes up for the shortcomings of file history can not do a complete system backup for Windows 10, thus ensuring the security of your computer system. 

Except for backup software, you still need to choose a correct Windows 10 backup options, which could add extra layer of your data and system. Here are three options, namely, "Clould-base backup", "External hard drive or network drive backups", "Legacy backups". The last one is to advise you to use modern backup options, like cloud backup, file history backup, not limited to old backup and restore in Windows 7.

How to use Windows 10 backup utility correctly

Here you will learn how to use built-in tools to backup your files or system. Please keep reading below to learn the detailed steps.

Backup and restore with Windows 10 file history

To automatic backup files on Windows 10 to external hard drive or network location, type backup settings and select it, then click " + " button next to Add a drive, and choose external hard drive or network drive as backup locations, finally click "More options" and "Back up now".

By default, the schedule backup interval is "Every Hour" and backup retention is "Forever". If you think that such a frequent backup will take up too much space, you can change it to a longer interval and shorter retention time. Also, you can exclude or backup certain folders by clicking "Add a folder" under related header.

Backup Files on Windows 10

To restore files from backup in Windows 10, you can type "restore files" in the search box and selecr "Restore your files with File History", use the left arrow or right arrow to find your files and click the green button to restore your files to original location. Also, you can use "Restore Previous Versions" from the context menu. It's much easier. 

Select One Backup

Create Windows 10 system image backup and then restore 

To create system image Windows 10, go to backup settings and click "Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7)", then click "Set up backup" > select external hard drive > tick "Let me choose" > Tick items under Data Files > Tick system partition and other partition under Computer > tick "Include a system image backup..." and finally click "Save settings and run backup".

Backup Files on Windows 10

Notes ✎...
• The default schedule backup is 7:00PM every Sunday, and you can modify it to your preferences by clicking "Change schedule" at the last window. Also, you can click "Change settings" later at the first page of Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
• To manage backup space, go to "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)" and click "Manage space", then you will see two link, namely Data file backup and sytem image, just click the button below to free up disk space. 

To restore Windows 10 from backup,  you need to prepare a repair disc or recovery disk and ensure you have a working system image backup. Then, restart your computer and boot from the bootable media, click "Next" > "Repair your Computer" > "Troubleshoot" > "System Image Recovery" in order, select Windows 10 and "Use the lastest available system image (recommended), finally follow on-screen instructions to finish the rest of steps. 

Restore Windows 10 System Backup

Honestly, Windows 10 backup software can help you protect personal files and system to some extent. However, they still have some disadvantages you cannot ignore. Now, let's talk about it.

The biggest disavantage of Windows 10 file history is it does not create a full system backup. But the legacy backup tool make up for this. So, this can be ignored. Next, file history schedule backup requires the external drive connected always, but you may receive "Reconnect your drive" error sometimes. And when you want to backup files to another drive, but receiving error like "File History doesn't recognise this drive". At the same time,  this tool does not delete file history backup in Windows 10 automatically. 

Speaking of Backup and Restore (Windows 7), the most obvious flaw is that the latest system backup will overitten previous one and it cannot be restored to a different computer. Also, you may be tired of its backup speed, very slow, or even overnight. In addition, the backup and restore process always fail with various error messages, such as, "Windows backup did not complete successfully", "The backup failed", "cannot find a system image", etc. At this time, you need an easier way in the following.

Easier Way to backup Windows 10 to external hard drive 

Using multiple software to backup files, system, and then recover is quite troublesome, isn't it? What's worse, it's still no guarantee that will work properly. To get rid of these problems, you can turn to the best free backup utility for Windows 10 like AOMEI Backupper Standard, which can backup files, system, disk, partition and then restore them. Also, you are allowed to create bootable media in case of system failure or hard disk crashes. 

And it still has many useful features to make the backup task simple and efficient. Now, let's have a closer look at the given features in this software.

  • Daily/weekly/monthly schedule backup: Have you ever suffered from data loss due to forgetting to back up? If you are one of them, these features can help you and the backup process will start automatically. And it keeps multiple backups for you, so you can restore to any previous backup versions, not limited to one version.

  • Incremental/differential backup: Does creating a full backup each time waste too much time and disk space? You could consider using incremental backup or differential backup that only backup changed files. Please note that the scheduled differential backup is only available on AOMEI Backupper Professional or advance version.

  • Compression:  Are you receive error messages like not enough space when creating a system or file backup? To resolve this problem, you can choose to compress your backup with normal or high compression level. By comparison, the high compressional level requires more backup time and less disk space.

  • Email notification: Do you want to leave directly in case of emergency? This feature provides you with such an opportunity and will inform you of the final result.

Are you surprised by these features? If you happen to have these needs, download this software and use it to perform Windows 10 automatic backup for your computer. Any type of backup is OK.

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

Here take Windows 10 system backup as an example to show you the entire process. If you want to backup filles in Windows 10, you can use "File Backup" in this software. Before start, you need to connect the external hard drive to your computer and make sure it can be detected. 

To create system image backup in Windows 10, launch this software, click "System Backup" and select external disk as destination path, then click "Start Backup".

System Backup

Notes ✎...
• This software will automatically select the C: drive and boot related partitions when creating system image backup in Windows 10. 
• This software not only can backup Windows 10 to external hard drive, but also backup computer to flash drive, network drive, cloud drive like Google Drive etc. 
• To create Windows 10 Iincremental backup, you need to enable the default schedule settings before you click start backup, daily incremental backup

To restore Windows 10 from backup, click "Restore" and "Select Task", choose a system image and destination path, then click "Start Restore". If your target disk is SSD, tick "SSD Alignment" to speed up the performance of SSD.

Restore Windows 10

Notes ✎...
• If your backup is not recognized, you need to click "Select Image File" instead of "Select Task".
• If you are restoring OS to different computer with dissimilar hardware, you are supposed to use "Universal Restore (supported by professional version)", which can resolve the driver incompatibility of different computer and ensure secure boot.

Bonus tip: one key system backup & recovery solution for Windows 10

Specialized onekey recovery software - AOMEI OneKey Recovery offers you a more efficient way to backup and restore system in Windows 11/10/8/7. It enables you to save system image on a custom recovery partition and recover corrupted computer using the "F11" or "A" key during computer startup.

To backup Windows 10, choose "OneKey System Backup" after launching AOMEI OneKey Recovery.

OneKey System Backup

To restore Windows 10 when your computer boots normally, open the program and choose "OneKey System Recovery". If your computer fails to boot, press F11 or A during startup (Legacy boot) or choose "AOMEI OneKey Recovery" in boot menu (UEFI boot) to launch the program and then perform system restore from Windows PE.

OneKey System Recovery


Windows 10 backup utility is essential for you to prevent data loss and serious computer issues, such as, system crash, disk failure etc. But, it's not good enough. To be honest, if one software can do everything, there is no need to use multiple software, which may still cannot work properly. Worse, this makes backup management difficult.

Then, what is the best backup utility for Windows 10? AOMEI Backupper will be a great choice. It can not only backup files and system, but also backup disk, partition and come along with many practical features, such as, daily incremental backup, compression, splitting, and so on. Also, its higher version supports more features, including event triggers, USB plug in, daily differential backup, scheme, and more. To learn more, go to edition comparison page.