By Ivy / Last update December 13, 2021

Windows Server Backup Command Line Tool - WBadmin

Microsoft has brought us the Windows Server Backup since Windows Server 2008, as a replacement of NTBackup. Windows Server Backup is at the block level, which is more advanced than the file and folder level of NTBackup.

As a great improvement, it allows you to perform backups or restores in a faster, simpler, and more reliable way. You can configure a backup or recovery job via the graphic user's interface (GUI) or the command line. This article will show you how to use the Windows Server Backup command line tool WBadmin.exe in a few ways. 

However, this backup utility is not pre-installed by default on Windows Server 2019, 2016, 2012 or 2008. To be able to use it, you need to add both the Windows Server Backup and Command-line Tools in Server Manager. With the WBadmin.exe utility, you can do even more things from command line than that you do from the GUI.

Actually, besides the Windows Server backup command line tool, you could also use the Windows Server Backup alternative to create backups with cmd. What’s more, it offers more functions that WSB (Windows Server Backup) does not support, for example, it lets you set multiple scheduled backups (daily/weekly/monthly/Event triggers/USB plug in) while the WSB only supports one daily backup task. Refer to Part 2 to get it.


Part 1. Windows Server backup command line examples

To use Wbadmin.exe, you need to open an elevated command prompt with administrator permission, and then run a backup command based on your needs. To access an elevated command prompt, you can enter “CMD” in a Run box or right-click Start and select Command Prompt (Admin). With the command prompt, you can write a command to run a backup or recovery job referring to following WBadmin examples:

1. To create a system state backup to E: drive:

Wbadmin start systemstatebackup -backuptarget:E:

Backup to E

2. To create wbadmin backup to network share including all critcal volumes, system state, and “chrun” folder in D:drive to network shared folder:

Wbadmin start backup -allcritical -systemstate -include:D:\chrun -backuptarget:\\networkshare\backup -quiet

3. To create a scheduled backup job at 00:00 daily to the shared folder that can only be accessed with username and password:

wbadmin enable backup -addtarget:\\\Public\schedule -include:D: -systemstate -user:admin -password:1234 -schedule:00:00

4. To restore a full server backup to dissimilar hardware with version:11/11/2015-00:00 to another server with machine name Varlar:

Wbadmin start sysrecovery –version: 11/11/2015-00:00 –backuptarget:E: -machine:Varlar

5. To restore system state with version: 01/11/2016-01:09:

wbadmin start systemstaterecovery -version:01/11/2016-01:09 -backupTarget: F: -quiet

✍ Notes: 

  • The switch: -quiet means to run the task without being prompted to enter “Y” to confirm. 

  • Besides backup and restore, you can still delete old backup with Windows Server Backup.

Although the Wbadmin command line tool is convenient for those who know how to use it, it does have some restrictions, such as:

  • Only partitions formatted with NTFS can be used as backup source or backup target,

  • You cannot configure a scheduled backup less frequently than daily.

Therefore, if you need more advanced command line backup solutions, you can use third-party backup software.

Part 2. Alternative to Windows Server Backup Command Line Tool

As the best Windows Server Backup command line alternative, AOMEI Backupper Server allows you to perform backup and recovery with more options and in a more flexible way. 

◈ Backup types and locations
You can choose any files, folders, partitions, disks, or system as backup source. You could backup files to any locations, like local disk, external hard disk, USB flash drive, CD/DVD, Network share or NAS, even clouds, etc.
◈ Backup schedule
Unlike Windows Server Backup, AOMEI Backupper allows you to schedule daily/weekly/monthly/Event triggers/USB plug in backup task followed by full/incremental/differential backups.
◈ Backup scheme
It will delete old backup images automatically to help you free up disk space. There are four backup schemes offered.

To use command line backup feature:

1. Download and install AOMEI Backupper Server. Windows Server 2022, 2019, 2016, 2012, 2008, 2003 (including R2), SBS 2003, 2008, 2011 and Windows PCs.

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7 & Server
Secure Download

2. In an elevated command prompt, enter the path of the installation directory of this software and press Enter. For example, “cd C:\Program Files (x86)\AOMEI Backupper”.

Allocate Backupper

3. Type in the right backup command of AOMEI Backupper and press Enter. For example, to perform a system backup of your server to a folder named “system backup” in F: drive, run the command below:

AMBackup.exe /b new /t system /d “f: \system backup” /n “Backup System”

System Backup

Easier Way to Create Backups for Windows Server 2012/2016/2019/2022

Besides, you could try the AOMEI Backupper GUI to create backups easily even for a newbie. Here are the steps to create system backups in Windows Server 2019:

1. Lanunch AOMEI Backupper Server, choose Backup > System Backup subsequently.

System Backup

2. Rename the Task Name if required. All the partitions related to Windows Server 2019 system files and boot files will be selected by default.

3. Choose a destination to save the Windows Server 2019 system image.

Select Backup Destination

4. Press Start Backup >> button to create a system image for Windows Server 2019.

Start Backup

★ Tips:
Options allows you to comment on the backup task, encrypt, split, and compress the system image file, enable email or SMS notification, use VSS, run specified program or script before or after the backup, etc.
With Schedule Backup, you could create backups via Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, and USB plug in.
Enable Backup Scheme will help you manage disk storage space more efficiently. And you can create full backup, incremental or differential backups as you wish. Incremental and differential backups will save you much more space on hard disk.

Besides, you could sync files between Windows Servers via different ways, Basic Sync, Real-Time Sync, Mirror Sync, and Two-Way Sync to manage files easily.

★ More advanced way to create Windows Server backup

If you want a more advanced way to backup and restore system in Windows Server 2022, 2019, 2016, 2012, 2008, and 2003, etc., you can turn to AOMEI OneKey Recovery. It enables you to create a factory recovery partition to save the image file. When your computer refuses to boot, you can launch the program by pressing the "F11" or "A" key during computer startup and then perform system restore.

OneKey System Backup


If the Windows Server Backup command line tool WBadmin cannot satisfy you, you can try AOMEI Backupper Server, which provides you more powerful command line utility and GUI to create backups easily. Apart from backup and restore, AOMEI Backupper also allows you to use clone feature from command line. It supports all the Windows Server system including Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019/2022, and Windows PCs.

To protect unlimited PCs and servers within your company, you may choose AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus. It offers unlimited billable technical services to clients. It also enables you to copy installation directory for portable version creation.