By Lily / Last update December 13, 2021

Need of creating a system image backup

In computing, system image refers to an exact copy of the computer system, which includes the system settings, programs, files as well as all the drivers required by Windows. You need to create a system image backup in Windows for following reasons:

  • Get prepared for possible computer errors. You may encounter system crash caused by virus attack, hardware or software failure, and wrong operations now and then. With a system image at hand, you can restore system to a normal state easily and safely.

  • Avoid operating system and application reinstallation. If you restore system from a system image, you can not only get back a working operating system but also all the applications installed on the system partition, which saves you a lot of time to reinstall all of them.

Then, how to create a system image backup in Windows 7/10 easily? Get the top two ways from the coming part.

Two easy ways to create a system image backup in Windows 7/10

To finish the task of creating a system image backup in Windows 7/10, you can use the best free backup software or Windows built-in tool. I’ll show you one by one.

Method 1: Create a system image backup via a handy freeware

AOMEI Backupper Standard, the best free backup utility for Windows 7/8/10, offers you full backup solutions.

  • There are four backup types available: System/Disk/Partition/File Backup. You are able to create a system/disk image or just backup specific folders.

  • You are allowed to save backup images on various destinations, such as local disk, external hard drive, network location, NAS device or cloud service.

  • If you want to run the backup task on a regular basis, you can use the Schedule feature. In a scheduled backup, AOMEI Backupper runs incremental backup by default, which helps to improve the backup efficiency and save storage space.

Follow the steps below to backup Windows OS via AOMEI Backupper:

Step 1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper. Click “Backup” and select “System Backup”.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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System Backup

Step 2. The required system partition(s) is (are) selected by default. You just need to click the second bar to choose a destination path to store the system image.

Select Destination

Step 3. Confirm the operation and click “Start Backup”.

Start Backup

>> Options: you can enable email notification, choose the compression level for the backup image file and select intelligent sector backup or sector-by-sector backup.
>> Scheme: it will delete old image files automatically to save disk space for you. You need to upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional to enjoy this feature.

Method 2: Create a system image backup with Windows built-in tool

There is a built-in tool in Windows to help users create backups and restore from the backups created earlier. It is called Backup and Restore. Learn how to use Backup and Restore to create a system image in Windows 7/10 below:

1. Click Start, and then select Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore.

2. In the left pane, choose Create a system image.

Create a System Image

3. Choose the location to save your system image, and then click Next.

Select Backup Location

● It is recommended not to save the system image to the same physical disk as your system drive, or you may lose the image file if the disk fails.
● A hard disk must be formatted to NTFS in order to be used as the backup location.

4. The drives that are required for Windows to run are selected by default. You can add other drives to be backed up and click Next.

5. Confirm the settings, and then click Start backup.

Click Start Backup

How to restore your computer from a system image?

If a major disaster occurs, you can restore your computer with the system image you’ve created as follows:

1. Restore your computer with AOMEI Backupper

  • Click Restore > Select Task.

  • Select the system backup task from the list and follow the wizard to complete the restoration process.

Select Backup Image

Tip: To boot your computer in case of boot failure, you should create bootable media with AOMEI Backupper in advance.

2. Restore your computer via Backup and Restore

  • Open Backup and Restore as mentioned in Method 2.

  • Click Recover system settings or your computer > Advanced recovery methods.

  • Click Use a system image you created earlier to recover your computer and follow the wizard to finish the recovery process.

Restore from a System Image

Tip: To boot your computer in case of boot failure, you should create a system repair disc using Backup and Restore before hand.


Now you know how to create a system image backup in Windows 7/10. Both AOMEI Backupper and Backup and Restore can give you a hand. Compared to Backup and Restore, AOMEI Backupper offers you all-around backup solutions and it’s easy to operate due to the intuitive interface. What’s more, it is superb hard drive transfer software that can be used to transfer everything from an HDD to an SSD. Give it a try and discover more!