By Ailsa / Last Updated September 11, 2020

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System Image

Windows 10 system image is a snapshot of Windows 10 system, including operating system, programs, user files, which can restore Windows 10 to an earlier normal state in case of something awful things happen such as windows can’t boot, etc.

Commonly, hard disk has a recovery partition when Windows 10 installed, around 450MB, which stores the OS, drivers, applications, and default settings for operating system repair. Or your PC might have a recovery image designed for computer reset or refresh, which is typically 3 to 6 GB in size and stored on an independent recovery partition. The recovery partition can troubleshoot and fix the system problems, then restore your computer.

However, you can delete the recovery partition to free up space and use Windows 10 system image to restore OS. Besides, creating a backup of system on internal hard disk is a risk operation; the backup might be lost due to hard disk failure, unintentional deletion, virus attack and other reasons. Thus, you can create Windows 10 system image on USB drive to restore system to normal in case Windows 10 won’t boot.

Backup Windows 10 to USB with Windows 10’s Built-in Tool

It’s necessary to create a Windows 10 system image on flash drive to prevent system from corrupting or hard drive failure and so on. Therefore, you can use Windows 10 built-in tool - Backup and Restore (Windows 7) to create a system image backup for Windows 10.

1. Type “backup and restore” in Windows 10 search box, then choose “Backup and Restore (Windows 7)”.

Backup and Restore

2. Click the “Create a system image” option, and then hit “Next”.

3. Select the USB flash drive to save the Windows 10 backup. Then click “Next”.

★Tip: Make sure you have plugged the USB flash drive into the computer; the program will detect the device automatically.

4. Confirm the backup settings and click “Start backup” to image Windows 10 to USB drive.

However, you might get the create a system image not working for USB drive and you will get the error the drive is not a valid backup location to prevent you backup system to USB drive. Hence, please try the relaible way to backup Windows 10 to USB.

A Better Way to Backup Windows 10 - Best USB Image Tool

Another reliable way to create system image backup for Windows 10 is to use third-party backup software to realize. The best USB image tool - AOMEI Backupper works great with USB flash drive in Windows Vista, XP, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, which is a powerful image tool for hard disk, NAS device, external hard disk, SD card, SSD drive and more; as well as useful restore and clone operations.

Here, we will introduce the detailed steps with AOMEI Backupper for you; you will have a full concept about backing up Windows 10 to USB drive.

1. Connect your USB flash drive with your computer. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper.

2. On the main interface, select “Backup” at the left panel, and then choose “System Backup”.

System Backup

★Tip: Make sure the USB drive can accept the system image for Windows 10; you’d better prepare at least 16GB USB drive.

3. At the next window, edit the “Task Name” to distinguish from other backups if you want to. Then, select the USB flash drive as the destination location to save the Windows 10 system image.

Destination Location

★Tip: The program will select the partitions associated with Windows 10 system files automatically.

4. Click “Start Backup” to create a system image for Windows 10.

Start Create A System Image to USB Drive

Wait for a moment, you’ll find Windows 10 system image on flash drive has been successfully created. Then take the USB drive to a safe place and don’t save other data anymore. Then you could restore Windows 10 system image to normal when the OS is corrupted. Apart from create Windows 10 system image on flash drive, you can also create bootable media, file sync, disk clone, dissimilar hardware restore, and more features.

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.