Windows 7 Backup Only Changed Files through Incremental Backup

AOMEI Backupper can be the ideal freeware to help your Windows 7 backup only changed files as well as in Windows 8/10/XP/Vista through incremental backup.


By Yuka Updated on October 28, 2022

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Windows 7 backup only changed files via incremental backup

If you’re going to backup only changed files in Windows 7/8/10, it comes to the incremental backup. The term that refers to back up only changed files and added files since the last backup is what we called incremental backup. The purpose of an incremental backup is to preserve data by creating copies based on the differences in those data so that minimize the amount of time and space to perform a backup compared with a traditional full backup. But in this case, if you delete the previous backup images, all subsequent images will be useless.

Backup only modified files by Windows 7 built-in tool

In order to protect data for computers, Windows 7 has a built-in tool which can realize incremental backup. Instructions of how to backup only modified files in Windows 7:

Step 1. Open Control Panel from start menu.

Control Panel

Step 2. Click Back up your computer.

Back Up

Step 3. Then click Set up backup.

Set Up

Step 4. Select a destination path. You are highly recommended to backup to an external drive.

Where To Save

Step 5. Let Windows choose what to back up or decide by yourself.

Let Me Choose

Step 6. Select data you need to back up.

What To Backup

Step 7. You can change schedule according to your requirement then run backup.

Review Run

So the next time when Windows 7 starts backing up, it will backup only changed files by default. However, this built-in program can not compress image files so they may occupy an amount of storage space. It seems that you need to search for another software for better management of backup images.

Backup only changed files on Windows 7 with AOMEI Backupper

AOMEI Backupper is a totally FREE but professional all-in-one backup and recovery software. With it, you can backup system, disk, partition or files as you like. Besides, you still can enjoy the cloud backup feature and 1TB of free cloud storage within 15 days. 

Thanks to its concise operation procedure, even a computer novice can deal with it easily. Let’s see how to backup only changed files in Windows 7 with AOMEI. By the way, the following steps also apply to Windows 8/10/11/XP/Vista. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server!

Step 1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper.

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

Step 2. Select one backup type you need. Here is System Backup.

System Backup

Step 3. All system files will be chosen automatically. Decide a destination path and select the way to backup only changed files.

Select Destination

There are 2 ways to back up only changed files: 

▶ Schedule backup

Continue with step 3, you can set the specific time to run backup from Schedule Backup and it shows incremental backup is already the default option. → Click Start Backup to execute.

Incremental Backup

▶ Manually backup

Continue with step 3, and click Start Backup. Once the task is completed, you can view the image under Home tab. → Click BackupIncremental Backup.

Find Incremental Backup

Tip✍: It’s possible to individually customize the global parameters when backing up data, including compression, encryption, etc. that are under Options.

That’s it! Apart from an incremental backup, as you see, you can use differential backup in this software. Click here to learn more about the differences between incremental and differential backup. Also, you can enable automatic backup cleanup in the Professional edition to delete old image files automatically to save disk space for you.

Anyway, this software ensures the data is safe and you will not be interrupted during the whole process even if there are files in use. And it helps a lot to manage disk space if your target disk is relative small.


After reading this article, you may know how to perform incremental backup in Window 7 to backup only changed files. You can also find free software on this page to help your Windows 7 backup only changed files. AOMEI Backupper Standard seems to be a better choice than Windows built-in tool. It can also help you backup only new files to external hard drive.

Yuka · Editor
Yuka, our dedicated editor at AOMEI Technology, is committed to bringing you valuable insights and guidance in data protection. Her mission is to empower everyone with her knowledge in computer backup and recovery, disk cloning, file synchronization, and more. Yuka's goal is to do her best to make complex tech tasks simple and ensure that your digital world remains safe and secure.