How to Perform Windows Server File Backup (2 Ways)

In this article, you can choose to perform Windows Server file backup with free backup software or professional backup software.


by Miya Updated on September 28, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

Why Need to Create Windows Server File Backup?

Many users store their precious data on the server computer, such as photos, videos, documents, financial records, and so on. Among them, financial records are of great significance to small and medium-sized companies, which are important data that they depend on for survival.

But once something goes wrong, these data may be lost forever. It may be caused by accidental deletion, hard drive failure, system crash, virus attack, etc. According to Gartner, 25% of all PC users suffer from data loss each year. 7 out of 10 small firms that experience a major data go out of business within a year, this info is from DTI/Price Water House Coopers.

Therefore, whether you are a PC user or a business user, ensuring the safety of these files is of utmost importance. You can choose to backup files to external hard drive, USB flash drive, network drive or NAS, etc., which greatly reduces the risk of data loss caused by computer failure. Please keep reading below to learn more.

Perform Windows Server 2019 Backup to External Hard Drive

In this article, you will learn 2 ways to create Windows Server 2019 files and folders backup and save them to an external hard drive. But the problem is which one should you choose? Check the following contents, you may get an answer.

Windows Server Backup: It's a free Windows Server file backup software that was first introduced in Windows Server 2008 and inherited in later versions, including 2012(R2)/2016(R2)/2019/2020. With its help, you can easily backup full server (all volumes), selected volumes, and system state, or create a bare metal backup to perform bare metal recovery. But it only allows you to backup files or folders based volume or partition, which backup other items you don't want and takes up much space.

AOMEI Backupper Server: It's the best Windows Server file backup software for all server systems and you can choose to backup files or folders, system, disk or partition based on your needs. And It has more flexible backup settings, such as daily backup, weekly backup, monthly backup, etc. At the same time, it helps you free up disk space from different angles. 

AOMEI Backupper Server

Create Windows Server 2019 File Backup with Windows Server Backup

Here you can use the built-in Windows Server backup to create Windows Server 2019 file backup. Just the same as the earlier version, Windows Server Backup is not installed by default, so please install it manually in Server Manager and then use it to backup files based on.  Now let's take a look at how to backup files on server.

Install Windows Server Backup in 2019 

  1. Open Server Manager > click Add roles and features and Next. 
  2.  Just leave the default Role-based or feature-based installation, then click Next until you're asked to select one or more features to install on the selected server. 
  3. Scroll down to Windows Server Backup and tick it. Then, click Next and Install respectively.


Backup Files in Windows Server 2019 

Once the installation is completed, you can close it and go back to your desktop. Then, open Windows Server Backup in Server Manager and backup files in Windows Server with the following steps.

  1. On the main page of Windows Server Backup, go to Actions > Local Backup and click Backup Once, then you will enter the Backup Once Wizard.  

Backup Once

  1. On the Backup Options page, tick Different options and click Next.
  2. On the Select Backup Configuration page, choose Custom option so as to backup selected volumes or files and folders. Then click Next


Note: If you use "Custom" option, you still can enable VSS settings. It provides users two available options, namely, VSS full backup and VSS copy backup. The previous one is very useful if you want to update backup history of each file and clear the log files.

  1.  On the Select Items for Backup page, click Add Items to choose the entire volume containing all your files to back up. Then click Next.
  2.  On the Specify Destination Type page, choose Local drives or Remote shared folder. Then click Next.

Note✍: If you use the Remote shared folder, you will be prompted that each backup run will erase the previous backup, and only the latest backup will be available. 

  1.  On the Select Backup Destination page, choose the available local drive or specify UNC path of a remote shared folder.
  2.  On the confirmation page, check all the info and click Backup to start Windows Server file backup. Once the backup process is 100% completed, click Close to exit.


As mentioned earlier, this software only supports application-level file or folder backup and the later backup will overwrite the previous one, so it will backup other items you don't want, and you can only use the latest backup to recover files. This process is time-consuming and tedious. What's worse, if the latest backup is corrupted, you are out of luck. Thus, it's suggested to use Windows Server Backup alternative - AOMEI Backupper Server. 

Perform Windows Server 2019 File Backup with AOMEI Backupper Server 

AOMEI Backupper Server is a professional Windows Server file backup software for all PCs, including Windows Server 2003, 2008(R2), 2011, 2012(R2), 2016(R2), 2019, 2020, and Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista. And it allows you to backup files to any detected storage, such as internal hard drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive, network drive/NAS, cloud drive etc. You enjoy the following advantages during the backup process: 

Backup only changed files automatically:  It supports daily/weekly/monthly/event triggers/USB plug in schedule backup plus full backup, incremental and differential backup, so you can automatically backup files without missing any changes. 
Save disk space from multiple angles: It will compress or split backup image to reduce backup image size, and directly delete old backup with automatic backup cleanup in the backup scheme.

Then, keep reading below and backup individual files or folders in Windows Server 2019. The following steps are applicable to Windows Server 2012/2016/2019/2022 as well.

Step 1. Click the download button below to install AOMEI Backupper Server and launch it, then you will see its deep-blue screen. On the main page, click Backup > File Backup in order.

Download Free Trial Windows Server & All PC
Secure Download

File Backup

🎍 Tip: If you have an AOMEI account, you can choose to backup files to AOMEI Cloud with the Cloud Backup feature. And it still offers you 1 TB of free cloud storage in 15 days.

Step 2. Change the Task Name to clearly distinguish it from others. Then, click Add Folder or Add File to select files or folders on Windows Server.

Add File Or Folder

Step 3. Click where the arrow point, then you will see three options, namely, "Select a local path", "Add Share or NAS Devices", and "Select a cloud drive". To back up files to cloud drive, select the last option and one cloud drive in the next window.

Select Backup Destination

Step 4. Here you just need to check if everything is correct and click Start Backup. It will only include the items currently lying on your Windows Server. To make this task simple and effective, you need to make use of the following 3 options.

✍Useful tips: 

✡ Click Options, you can comment on this task, enable email notifications to get results easily, compress backup images with normal or high compression levels, encrypt backup images, etc.
Click Schedule Backup and enable it, you can backup files per day/week/monthly or make use of specific events or a USB drive. If you are performing Windows Server 2019 backup to external hard drive, USB drive, for example, try USB plug in. It will automatically copy files when USB drive is connected

Schedule Settings General

Click Backup Scheme, you can select Full Backup or backup only changed files with Incremental or Differential backup method. For cleanup methods, the previous two options are much easier, you just need to input the number of backups or backup settings, and then it will delete the old backup automatically.

The last one is a little complicated but safest, it does not work independently. Take the following rule as an example, it will keep all the backups in 7 days, then delete all the incremental or differential backups after 4 weeks, and finally retain one full backup every month when the backup task exceeds 6 months. 

By Daily/Weekly/Monthly


That's all the solutions to perform Windows Server 2019 file backup, you could use either of them. But if you want the best way, you could consider using AOMEI Backupper Server. Thanks to its intuitive interface, so all users can understand it easily and quickly. And it's compatible with all the server system, from 2003 to 2020, so you can backup files regardless of your system. 

In simple words, it's the most powerful Windows backup software to protect your data! Just download it to have a try now! 

Miya · Editor
Miya has an excellent insight and receives professional and systematic technical training since joining AOMEI. She has a comprehensive understanding of computer issues, aiming at helping users troubleshoot all kinds of problems. A lot of computer users around the world have found her articles very helpful!