By AOMEI / Last update May 18, 2021

Can I perform Windows Server Backup incremental to network share?

Windows Server has its built-in utility Windows Server Backup wizard or WBadmin start backup command to schedule a backup to the network share, but only full backups will be performed.

Starting with Server 2008, the utility only allows you to keep one backup on remote shared folder, which means windows server backup incremental to network share is no longer available. Even if you map the network shared folder as a network drive, it will still fail to create incremental scheduled backup.

The fact is that Windows Server Backup only allows you to schedule an incremental backup task to your local disk. The question is whether it is possible to let the system regard the network shared folder as a local drive. The answer is clearly yes.

How to perform Windows Server Backup incremental to network share?

As mentioned above, to let Windows Server Backup to network share with incremental task, you can try to let the system regard the network shared folder as a local drive. To make it, you can create a virtual hard drive (VHD) on the network location to perform Windows Server Backup incremental, and then Windows Server Backup will allow you to set the VHD as the destination drive for incremental backups.

However, this method is kind of time-consuming. And do not forget that, it will only let you schedule only one incremental backup. Actually, there is another way that can help you perform Windows Server Backup incremental to network share in an easier way and supports multiple schedules. Just refer to Method 2 to get it.

Method 1. Window Server Backup incremental network share (VHD files)

Windows Server built-in tool Disk Management is able to create VHD/VHDX files, which can be displayed in File Explorer as a local drive. In that way, you can let Windows Server backup to network share. Then you can use the VHD to perform incremental backups to Windows Server 2008/2012/2016, which is quicker and less disk consuming than full backups.

1. Type "diskmgmt.msc" in the search box or Run box and press Enter to launch Disk Management.

2. Click Action and select Create VHD.

3. Enter a network location and disk size. Then click OK.

4. Right-click on the new created disk and choose Initialize Disk.

5. Right-click on the unallocated space and choose New Simple Volume.

6. Follow the wizard to create a new partition.

7. Type "backup" in the search box and select Windows Server Backup.

8. Click Backup Schedule and follow the Backup Schedule Wizard to schedule an incremental backup task to the virtual drive.

Available Disks

Only in this way, will Windows Server Backup allow you to schedule incremental backup to network share folder. You cannot set another scheduled backup but modify or stop the existing schedule backup. Rather than spend time creating one schedule backup, you can also create incremental backups directly to network share folder with backup software.

Method 2. Easier way to make Windows Server Backup to network share incremental

If you prefer an easier way to perform Windows Server Backup incremental to network share, one Windows backup utility named AOMEI Backupper Server is here to help.

  • It supports Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016 (including R2), SBS 2003, 2008, 2011, 2019 and Windows PC systems.

  • It allows you to schedule multiple incremental/differential backup to network share effortlessly.

  • It provides System Backup, File Backup, Disk Backup, and Partition Backup to backup Servers.

Example: create system backup to network share

1. Download, install and launch this program. Select System Backup under Backup tab.

Download Free Trial Server 2008/2012/2016/2019
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System Backup

2. The program will automatically choose the system-related partitions to be backed up. You just need to expand the drop-down menu of the second column and click Select a network location.

Select A Network Path

3. In the pop-up window, click Add Network Location and type in the network path. Then, choose a shared folder under the path.

Type Network Path

4. After specifying the backup target location, you can click Schedule to configure a specific time that you want the backup performed. Under Advanced tab, you can see Incremental Backup is set as default. You may change it to Full Backup or Differential Backup based on your need.

Schedule Settings

5. (Optional) In case of running out of space after several runs of backups, click Scheme to enable Disk Space Management.

Backup Scheme

6. Review the backup task. Then click Start Backup.

Note: If you want to get notified whether the backup runs successfully or not, click Options to enable Email Notification. And also set a password to protect the backup image.



Now you know two methods to perform Windows Server Backup incremental to network share. To make things easier, AOMEI Backupper Server is the way to go. It can help you schedule multiple incremental Windows Server 2008/2012/2016 backups to network share. Besides, you can also perform System Clone, Disk Clone, and Partition Clone to protect your data.

In addition, if you're a service provider, you can try AOMEI Backupper Technician to offer charged technical service to unlimited companies or individuals.

Related to network backup, AOMEI Technology released AOMEI Centralized Backupper to backup computers and manages backup tasks within LAN on a central management console.