By Yuka / Last update December 13, 2021

Differential backup definition

Differential backup refers to a type of backup that only backs up the changed data compared with the last full backup. Unlike Windows 7 incremental backup, the backup is still valid if you delete any of the previous differential backups, as long as you keep the last full backup and the current differential backup. Backup and Restore utility in Windows 7 will do incremental backup by default. However, Windows 7 differential backup is not possible with built-in tools. Compared to incremental backup, the advantage of a Differential backup comes at restore time, you will need only the last full backup and the last differential to get a complete restore.

To better understand differential backup, we need to introduce full backup. A full backup refers to a backup of all the valid data, whether it is new added or exists for a long time. For an example, you perform a full backup on Sunday and a differential every night, when the system crashes on Thursday you will only need to restore the full backup from Sunday and the differential backup from Wednesday.

Why do we need differential backup?

With the development of the information-based society, computer use has been more and more pervasive. Data safety has been a major consideration for computer users, so backup data has been an essential part in the daily life. Generally speaking, there are three means of backup, that is, full backup, incremental backup, differential backup. Nowadays, to do system differential backup is popular among computer users. When it comes to the advantages of the differential backup, it can help to improve backup efficiency and reduce storage disk space required by the image file. Since you cannot use built-in tool to create differential backup in Windows 7, then free differential backup software AOMEI Backupper comes into play.

How to how to differential backup Windows 7?

Free software, AOMEI Backupper has been one perfect choice for computer users to do Windows 7 differential backup. AOMEI Backupper can not only differential backup and incremental backup, but also have clone function. It allows you to create system backup, disk backup, file backup and partition backup. No matter what you want to include in a backup, it can meet your needs.

To create a scheduled differential backup:

1. Download AOMEI Backupper Standard and run it to go to the main interface.

2. Click “Backup”, then choose a type of backup. Here it is System Backup.

System Backup

3. In the next screen, click “Step 2” to select a location to save the image backups as the backup source has been added in Step 1 automatically.

Step 2

4. Click “Schedule” to decide when you want the backup to start, and then go to the Advanced tab to select “Differential backup”.

Differential Backup

5. Click “Start Backup” to start the backup.

Start Backup

If you have already gotten a full backup, you can also manually start to run a differential backup. In conclusion, AOMEI Backupper Standard can help you easily create Windows 7 differential backup with only a few clicks. Besides, it also allows you to do file sync with a certain schedule that you decide.