By Yuka / Last update April 6, 2022

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 that they may occupy amount of storage space. It seems that you need search 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 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, following steps also apply to Windows 8/10/11/XP/Vista.

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.

Select Destination

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

Now, there are 2 ways to backup only changed files.

▶ Schedule backup

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

Incremental Backup

Tip: You can refer to this article to understand which one is better between incremental and differential backup. Also, you can enable automatic backup cleanup in pro edition to delete old image files automatically to save disk space for you.

▶ Manually backup

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

Find Incremental Backup

That’s it! Apart from incremental backup, as you see, differential backup is also available in AOMEI Backupper. Anyway, this software ensures the data safe and you will not be interrupted during the whole process even there are files in use.


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.