By Ivy / Last update September 17, 2021

Windows Server Backup schedule is not running, with no failure messages

You create a scheduled backup in Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016 for regular data backup, but Windows Server Backup schedule not running on schedule as expected. When you manually start the backup, it runs as successfully. Below is real case from Microsoft:

"I'm struggling with a problem that i've yet to find a solution to.  I have a brand new Windows Server 2012 R2 installation.  I've created a scheduled local backup to a local Hard drive, not a network location.  The backup configures and schedules properly, but when the time arrives for it to run, it never runs. 

If I check the Scheduled tasks, I see the backup task changes from ready to queued.  The backup job shows as not running, not failed, not anything.  Wbadmin just shows next backup as being tomorrow, with no successful backup and no failed backup.  Each day is the same thing. 

If I run the backup manually, it will run successfully every time.  I have tried to search for similar problems and found a few similar threads, but none of the suggested solutions have done anything.  Does anyone have any ideas as to what could be causing this?"

Don't worry about this too much, and this article will show you how to troubleshoot and fix the Windows Server 2008/2012/2016 scheduled backup not working problem.

Causes for Windows Server Backup schedule not running

Many reasons could result in Windows backup schedule not working. 

  • First, scheduled backup will fail when the target backup location is not available to write data to at the scheduled time. 

  • Next, the scheduled backup unable to start may also be that the Volume Shadow Services and other related services are neither set to Automatic nor Started.

  • At last, if you use Task Scheduler to run Windows Server Backup, the Task Scheduler service or settings may be the cause of Windows Server Backup not running on schedule error.

Solutions to Windows Server Backup not running on schedule

Based on the above causes, you can check the methods below to fix the Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016 backup schedule not running problem.

1. Whether you want to backup to external hard drive or network share, make sure the destination location is well connected and you do have permission to write data to it.

2. Type “services.msc” in the Run box and press Enter to open Services. Then locate the Windows Server Backup service and Volume Shadow Services, and change the Startup type to Automatic.

3. If after that, schedule backup is not started as it should, you can write a wbadmin backup command or make a script batch file and then let Task Scheduler run it.

4. For those who are using Task Scheduler to run scheduled backup and it still fails, you can manually start the task to see if it works. If it backups successfully, you can check if the Task Scheduler service is set to Automatic and the task was set to Run whether user is logged on or not. If it fails after a manual start, you need to check if the wbadmin command is correct.

How to schedule backup Windows Server with Task Scheduler

From above, you can get the causes and solutions to Windows Server Backup not running on schedule. But how to create a scheduled backup in Windows Server 2008/2012/2016/2019 etc step by step? You could use Windows Server Backup or Task Scheduler. 

For schedule task with Windows Server Backup:  It allows you to create a schedule backup with its Backup Schedule Wizard, but it's limited to create one schedule backup. If you want to create multiple scheduled backups, you can choose to delete or modify the previous one.  

For schedule task with Task Scheduler: To complete the schedule backups,  you need to use both Task Scheduler and Wbadmin.  In Task Scheduler, you have multiple schedule options, including daily, weekly, monthly, etc.

Thus, if you want multiple schedule backups, the second method will be a better choice. Then, I'll walk you through the steps to schedule backup Windows Server with Task Scheduler and Wbadmin. For the first method, you can refers to: schedule automatic backup in Windows Server 2016.

Step 1. Be sure the user you are login is an administrator. Then, set the Volume Shadow Services and Task Scheduler Service to be automatic. 

Open the Service window, find the Volume Shadow Services, double-click it to open the Properties window and select Automatic as Startup type.  Then, do the same steps for Task Scheduler.

Find Volume Shadow Copy

Step 3. Then, type task scheduler in the search box and select it from the listed results.

Step 4. Select Create Task ... under the Actions tab.

Create Task

Step 5. In the Create Task window, select the General tab and name it. Then, scroll down to Security options, tick Run whether user is logged on or not and Run with highest privileges.


Step 6. Then, turn to the Triggers tab and click New. After that, select On a schedule, you have 4 schedule options, namely One time, Daily, Weekly, Monthly. 

Schedule Backup Windows Server

Step 7. Then, start a new action in the Action tab.  Select Start a program action, and type wbadmin in the Program/script box and write a backup command in the Add arguments(optional) box. To backup the entire C: drive to H: drive, you can type as follow:

start backup -backupTarget:H: -include:C: -allCritical -quiet

New Action

Note: If you are not familiar with wbadmin start backup, you can type wbadmin start backup /? to get details.

Step 8. Go to Conditions and Settings to check if you want to set other settings. After that, click OK to start the process.

That's the entire process to schedule backup Windows Sever with Task Scheduler and Wbadmin, which requires you to have some knowledge of the Wbadmin command line. Only in this case, you can use it method effortlessly. If you don't want to waste time in learning the parameters, you can choose to use a user-friendly backup software. Below I'll show you an easier way to schedule backup Windows Server.

Easy Way to schedule backup Windows Server 

As a user-friendly server backup program, AOMEI Backupper Server, can be your best choice. Because it allows you to backup any items you want including disk, system, partition and files and supports multiple schedule backup options to continuously protect your server. Below are some useful features of it:

  • It provides 4 backup strategies, including Disk Backup, System backup, Partition Backup and File Backup. 

  • It allows you to create multiple backup schedules in daily/weekly/monthly or use Event Triggers/USB Plug in.

  • It lets you choose to do full/incremental/differential backup for the scheduled task as per your need.

  • It allows you to delete old backups automatically with Backup Scheme feature. This greatly reduce the risk of backup disk full issue.

  • You can choose to save the backup on the hard drive, external hard drive, a network share, etc without limitation.

  • Supports Windows Server 2003/2008(R2)/2012(R2)/2016(R2)/2019/SBS and Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista.

Then, download (30-day free trial) and run this software. For the system to be more convenient, system backup will be set as an example to show you how it works.

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


To create a scheduled backup with AOMEI Backupper Server:

1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Server, it will bring you to the intuitive interface. Click Backup and then go to System Backup.

System Backup

2. As you can see, the system related partitions have been selected by default. You need to specify the backup destination location where the backup will be saved.

Select Path

3. After that, click Schedule to enable a schedule to decide when to run the backup. The scheduled backup will be performed with incremental backups defautly. If you need to change it, click Advanced to configure.

Schedule Settings General

4. (Optional) To be sure your backup disk always has enough space to store new backups, you still need to enable Backup Scheme to automatically delete the old backups as you wish. 

Backup Scheme

5. Back to the System Backup screen and confirm the backup task. If no problem, click Start Backup to add or run this scheduled backup.

Start Backup

Note: Many backup options like email notification, encryption are available in Options.


That’s all for how to fix the Windows Server backup schedule not running problem. Hope one of the solutions can help you. Or if you still cannot fix the problem, just have a try Task Scheduler or AOMEI Backupper Server to run scheduled backup in Windows Server.

And if you want 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.