Should you create a Windows 10 recovery image?

Have you experienced system crash or data loss? 10% of computers get infected with virus every month, and nine out of ten computer users have encountered hardware failure. There are too many unexpected things that could cause data loss.

To remove the risks of data loss and system crash, you should create a Windows 10 recovery image backup. An image backup copies everything on your system drive including operating system, files, installed programs and settings into a compressed image file.

If the system crashes or it is infected with ransomware, you can restore the image backup and get everything back. If your hardware fails, you can restore the backup to another hard drive.

How to create Windows 10 system image?

You should save the image backup to where no system is installed. For example, you can backup Windows 10 to external hard drive or network drive. Windows has its built-in feature to create system image backup. You can follow the steps below to create a system image backup.

1. Make sure the backup drive to receive the image backup is well connected to your Windows 10 computer.

2. Right click on Start and select Control Panel >All Control Panel Items > File History. If you use Windows 10 Home, you will not see the Control Panel option at Start. In that case, you can search File History to open it.

Control Panel

3. Down the left corner, click on the link to System Image Backup.

System Image Link

4. In the Create a system image window, specify a place to save your Windows 10 recovery image (on a hard disk, on one or more DVDs, or on a network location), and click Next. Then click Start Backup to get started.

Start System Image

This process may take a few hours, so it is recommended to start system image backup at the end of your workday.

When the backup is complete, you can create a system repair disc (using a DVD/CD) or Windows recovery drive (using a USB flash drive), so you will be able to use Windows 10 recovery options when your computer fails to boot, depending on which kind of Windows 10 recovery media you prefer to use.

Besides system image backup, you can also create Windows 10 recovery points to protect your system. You can access this feature through Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > System > System Protection.

Create a system image for recovery purpose with AOMEI Backupper

As you may have heard virus and ransomware had been starting to target common used backup image files. In that case, you may want to create Windows 10 system image backup with third party software.

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a free backup and restore software for Windows 10/8/7. It creates a compressed image backup with extension .afi or .adi which only this freeware can read.

To create image backup with AOMEI Backupper

1. Download and install this free backup software.

2. In its main interface, click Backup and select System Backup.

System Backup

3. System Backup will automatically include required partitions for a full system restore. You just need to click Step 2 to pick a destination location to save the image backup.

Set Backup

4. In the next screen Operation Summary, click Start Backup to start the backup.


This tool is faster than Windows system image. When the backup is over, you can create a bootable media using USB drive or CD/DVD. This bootable media is able to boot all versions of Windows 10/8/7.

If your computer fails to boot, you can boot from the bootable disk and then restore the Windows 10 recovery image backup. Then everything will be like when you have taken the backup.