How to Take Windows 11 Backup in Pendrive: 3 Free Ways

This article has presents 3 easy and free way for you to solve how to take Windows 11 backup in pendrive. You can get the step-by-step tutorial in the following content.


by Jonna Updated on January 30, 2024

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How do I save Windows 11 to a pendrive?


Recently, my HP all-in-one desktop touch PC has been upgraded to Windows 11 OS. Could anyone please let me know the step-by-step procedure as to how to make a copy of Windows 11 backup in a pen drive for my future backup purposes?

Pendrive, also called USB flash drive, thumb drive, or jump drive, is a small portable storage device that uses a USB port to connect to a computer and typically stores data via flash memory. A typical USB flash drive is extremely small, lightweight, and re-writable.

Common uses of USB flash drives like pen drive are for storing, supplementing backups, and transferring files between computers. They are small, portable, inexpensive, and more durable because they have no moving parts. However, they are also limited by their small capacity, susceptibility to loss and damage, and slow transfer speeds. Usually suitable for people who store more document-based information, such as teachers, students, and office workers.

How to Take Windows 11 Backup in Pendrive

In this article, we will figure out how to take Windows 11 backup in pendrive. Before jumping to the solutions, let’s learn why should we backup Windows to USB drives.

The necessity of Windows 11 backup in pendrive

On a Windows 11 computer, there are various possibilities where files can be lost, like hardware failures, malware attacks, or files may be corrupted or accidentally deleted. And computer startup problems may even prevent you from logging into Windows and opening files. Therefore, it is a good idea for users to create a backup so that you can use the recovery drive to reinstall Windows 11 in case of major problems with PC.

As a precautionary measure against data loss, you can back up many files or your entire system to an external USB storage device. Windows 11 includes several optional built-in Windows 11 backup and restore utilities that enable you to back up files to a storage drive in different ways.

The following content will introduce you to two built-in system tools and an alternative third-party freeware that will help you fix how to backup Windows to USB easily and without losing data.

How to take Windows 11 backup in pendrive with built-in tools

The backup utilities that come with your Windows system can help you solve how to take Windows 11 backup in pendrive easily and quickly.  In this article, I have presented two system tools for your reference.

👉 Way 1: Backup Windows 11 to a bootable USB drive
👉 Way 2: Save Windows 11 files to external USB drive using File History
👉 Easiest way to take Windows 11 backup in pendrive🔥

Way 1: Backup Windows 11 to a bootable USB drive

Since this process copies a lot of files to the recovery drive, you need to prepare a flash drive with at least 16GB capacity and make sure it is empty or back up the files inside in advance, because all data on the USB drive will be deleted.

1. In the search box, search for Create a recovery drive and then select it.

2. In the pop-up window, make sure Back up system files to the recovery drive is selected and then select Next.

Backup System Files

3. Connect the pendrive to your PC, select it, and then select Next.

Select USB Flash Drive

4. Click Create to begin creating Windows 11 recovery USB drive. This may take some time to back up Windows 11 to the recovery drive, so be patient and wait for the process to complete.


Notes: You may encounter Windows 11 bootable USB (also called recovery drive) not working issues, which may be caused by wrong boot mode or file system.
🌟 Most of the old computer models support Legacy BIOS while modern computer like Windows 10/11 uses UEFI boot mode.
🌟 BIOS boot mode requires NTFS file system while UEFI (CSM disabled) requires FAT32.

If this measure cannot meet your needs, you can try the next one.

Way 2: Save Windows 11 files to external USB drive using File History

File History benefits from the fact that it is a built-in feature and you are able to find it and use it quickly and easily. It allows you to save all your files to an external hard drive and works by automatically backing up every folder location you’ve selected regularly. You can follow the steps below to learnhow to backup PC to pendrive:

1. Connect an empty USB drive to your computer, go to Settings, click SystemStorage, and select Advanced storage settingsBackup Options.

2. Click the Add a drive button under the Back up using File History option.

File History

3. Select your USB drive from the list, then click Back up now to complete the process.

Backup Now

However, File History has only limited functionality. It only provides full backup and you can't do incremental or differential backup. To break through these limitations, you are supposed to ask help from a best free backup software. Let’s move on to catch the detailed information.

Easiest way to take Windows 11 backup in pendrive

What is the best way to backup Windows 11? If you find in your attempts that the above two system built-in tools do not meet your requirements, it is time to try the full-featured free backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard. What’s more, it supports Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP, and Vista (both 32-bit and 64-bit) so that you don’t have to worry about the created recovery USB will not work on computers running different systems. Some of its features you can have a preliminary understanding are listed below:

3 backup methods: It allows you to do full backup, Incremental and Differential backups according to your needs. (Differential backup is available in paid edition)
☪ Various backup types and locations: It allows you to create scheduled system backup, disk backup, file backup, and partition backup to various locations, such as local disk, external hard drive or network share, cloud, etc.
☪ Schedule Backup: It allows you to automate your backup tasks on a daily, weekly, monthly, etc. basis.

Moving on I will show you how to backup Windows 11 to external drive, like a pendrive, with the professional Windows 11 backup software AOMEI Backupper.

Before that, you need to download this freeware to your PC and install it. Connect your pendrive to your computer and make sure it is detectable.

Download FreewareWin11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Click Backup on the left side panel, then choose System Backup. You can also choose File Backup to create specific file/folder backups or use Disk Backup to backup C drive, D drive, or other disks as needed.

System Backup

Step 2. The program automatically chooses the system-related partition(s) as the source data. You just need to choose your connected pendrive as the destination path.

Select Destination Path

You can set the advanced features as you desire:
Options: You can write any comments for your task to distinguish your backup from others, and set an email notification.
Schedule Backup: It allows you to automatically back up Windows 11 at a fixed frequency such as Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, and USB plug in.
Backup Scheme: It can help remove old backup images automatically to free up storage space. (available after upgrading to the Professional edition)

Step 3. Click Start Backup to create the system image backup on Windows 11.

Start System Backup

Create a recovery USB drive via AOMEI Backupper:

You can use the free feature Create Bootable Media under Tools to restore the system backup created by AOMEI Backupper especially when your Windows system has crashed and cannot boot up correctly.

Create Bootable Media


That’s all about how to take Windows 11 backup in pendrive with Windows built-in tools and the free backup software - AOMEI Backupper. No matter which method you choose, I hope it works well and spares you from the risk of data loss. But sincerely, I strongly recommend you to adopt the third-party way, for its integrated powerful feature service that will not only help you create a system backup but also allow you to restore from the recovery drive.

Not only that, AOMEI Backupper is the best migration tool that allows you to clone entire HDD/SSD to multiple brands SSD like WD, Integral, Samsung, Seagate, Intel, etc. In addition, it is an effective cloud sync tool that can help you transfer files to cloud drives like Dropbox, external hard drives, USB, NAS devices, and so on. As you can see, AOMEI Backupper can play a significant role in helping you safeguard your data, so you can’t miss it!

Jonna · Editor
Jonna joined AOMEI in 2021 and has become a professional in the areas of computer backup and restoration, disk cloning, file synchronization, etc. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.