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How to Backup Windows 10

In this guide, we will explore how to make a full backup of your Windows 10 PC Using Integrated Tools or Backup Software.

Table of Contents

If you are looking for how to make a full backup of a Windows 10 PC, you are on the right guide. Backing up is an essential practice to ensure the security of your data.

How to make a full backup of a Windows 10 PC

Backup is an essential practice to protect your PC data and settings. Backup is a security copy of your data. In case of issues, such as hardware failure or malware attacks, you can use backup to restore your system and files. It is important to distinguish between backup and system image copying. While backup refers to backing up specific files and folders, system image copy is an exact replica of your entire hard drive, including your operating system, applications, settings, and all files.

This means that, in the event of a total failure, you can use the system image to completely restore your PC to the state it was in when the image was created. In this article we will look at the tools built into Windows 10 to perform a backup and suggest software to buy on offer such as Easeus Todo Backup. Regularly backing up your Windows 10 PC is essential to ensure the security of your data. Whether you choose to use the built-in tools or third-party software, the important thing is to have a backup routine and follow it. Don’t wait for a snag to start! 

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Backup Scheduling: A Reference Table

TaskFrequencySuggested Tool
Full system backupMonthlyBackup System Images or Backup Software
Backing up personal filesWeeklyBackup with File History or Backup Software
Verification of backupsQuarterlyWindows 10 tools or backup software
Backup software updateSemiannualWindows Update or backup software website

Backing up with File History on Windows 10: what it’s for and when to do it

File History is one of the features introduced with Windows 8 and retained in Windows 10, designed to allow users to create backup copies of their personal files. This feature is particularly useful for those who want to have a backup solution built directly into the operating system, without having to use third-party software. If you want to use a more secure option to save your data, read our guide on how to make a Windows 10 backup with EaseUS Todo Backup.

What is the purpose of the File History?

File History is primarily used to create automated copies of files located in the Documents, Images, Videos, Music and Desktop folders. Whenever a file is modified, a copy is saved to an external drive or a network location specified by the user. This means that if a file is accidentally deleted or damaged, an earlier version can be recovered.

Benefits of File History

  • Ease of use: Once configured, File History operates in the background, safeguarding your data without you having to intervene.
  • Recovery of previous versions: If you have modified a document and wish to revert to a previous version, File History allows you to do so with just a few clicks.
  • Ransomware protection: In case of a Ransomware attack, which encrypts your files making them inaccessible, having a recent backup allows you to restore your data without paying the ransom.
backup windows 10

When to back up with File History?

You should turn on File History as soon as you start using Windows 10 and configure it to perform regular backups. The frequency of backups depends on the importance and frequency of changes to your files:

  • Daily use and work: If you use your computer for work and frequently edit important documents, you may want to set the File History to run hourly backups.
  • Occasional use: If you use your PC primarily for browsing or for noncontent creation activities, a daily or weekly backup might be sufficient.

How to enable File History?

  • Connect an external drive to your PC, such as a USB hard drive or network drive.
file history windows 10
  • Go to Settings > Update and Security > Backups.
activate windows 10 file history tool
  • Click on “Add a Drive” and select the drive you want to use for backups.
file history
  • Once you select the drive, File History will automatically begin making backups of your files.
how to activate file history windows 10

File History is a valuable tool offered by Windows 10 to protect your data. Its simplicity and automation of backups make it an ideal solution for those who want continuous protection without complications.

System Image Backup on Windows 10: what it’s for and when to do it

The system image is a powerful feature offered by Windows 10 that allows you to create an exact copy of your entire system, including system files, installed applications, settings, and personal files. This feature is essential for those who wish to have a complete backup and recovery solution.

What is the purpose of the System Image?

The System Image is used to create a “snapshot” of your computer at a given time. Basically, if your system experiences major issues, such as irreparable errors or malware attacks, you could use the system image to restore your PC exactly as it was at the time of the backup, without having to reinstall Windows and all applications from scratch. If you want to try installing Windows 11 on your Windows 10 PC, it is advisable to have a copy of the system image so that you can go back in case of failure. 

image system backup

Benefits of System Image

  • Full restore: Unlike other backup methods, the system image allows you to restore the entire system, not just personal files.
  • Time savings: In case of major failures, restoring a system image is much faster than manually reinstalling Windows and all programs.
  • Protection against malware: If your computer becomes infected with a virus or ransomware, you can use the system image to revert to a clean version of your system.

When to back up the System Image?

The frequency with which to create a system image depends on computer usage:

  • After any major update: It is advisable to create a system image after installing major Windows updates or after making significant changes to the system.
  • Before making major changes: if you are about to install new software that could destabilize your system or are about to make significant changes to your settings, it is a good practice to create a system image first. For example, this is something to do if you have decided to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro or even if you want to upgrade to Windows 11.

How to create a System Image?

  • Connect an external drive to your PC, such as a USB hard drive or network drive.
backup system image windows 10
  • Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
windows 10 backup system image
  • In the left column, click on “Create a system image.”
backup pc windows 10
  • Choose the destination for the image and follow the on-screen instructions.
create windows 10 backup

The System Image is an essential tool for those who wish to have a complete and reliable backup solution. Although it requires more storage space than other methods, the peace of mind it offers in knowing that you have an exact copy of your system is invaluable.

Why use backup software on Windows 10?

Windows 10, while offering native backup tools such as File History and System Image, may not meet every user’s specific needs. That’s where third-party backup software comes in. But why should you consider using external backup software on Windows 10? 

Here are 7 reasons for doing so:

1. Flexibility and Customization

Third-party backup software products often offer more flexibility in terms of what, how, and when to back up. You can choose specific directories, exclude files or folders, schedule incremental or differential backups, and more.

2. Efficiency and Speed

Many modern backup software use advanced algorithms that make the backup process faster and less resource-intensive than native Windows tools.

3. Incremental and Differential Backups

While File History saves versions of changed files, not all native Windows tools offer incremental or differential backups. These types of backups save only the changes made by previous backups, saving space and time.

4. Storage Options

With external backup software, you often have the option of saving your backups in a variety of destinations, including cloud storage, NAS, external hard drives, or even on an FTP server.

5. Encryption and Security

Security is critical, especially when it comes to your personal or business data. Many backup software offer advanced encryption options to ensure that your data is protected from unauthorized access.

6. Easy Recovery

In an emergency, you want to be able to restore your data quickly and easily. Third-party backup software tools often offer intuitive interfaces that make the restoration process easy, even for less experienced users.

7. Support and Updates

By opting for an established backup software, you will have access to customer support, guides, tutorials, and regular updates. This can be especially useful if you encounter problems or need additional features in the future.

Conclusions on Windows 10 Backup

While Windows 10 offers useful backup tools, using third-party backup software can offer significant advantages in flexibility, security and efficiency. If your data is particularly valuable or if you have specific backup needs, it is worth investing in a dedicated solution.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Make a Full Backup of a Windows 10 PC

A full backup is an exact copy of all the data on your PC, including the operating system, applications, settings, and personal files.
The frequency of your backup depends on how often you use your PC. If you regularly make major changes, you might consider a weekly backup. Otherwise, a monthly backup might be sufficient.
You should save your backup to an external drive, such as a USB hard drive, network drive, or cloud service.
The space needed depends on the amount of data on your PC. It is always a good practice to have a backup drive with at least twice as much space as your hard drive occupies.
Yes, with File History you can schedule automatic backups at regular intervals.
If your backup device fills up, Windows may stop the process or overwrite older backups, depending on the settings you choose.
You can restore data through the Control Panel, under “Backup and Restore.” If you use third-party software, you should follow the instructions provided by the software.
If your PC is infected after creating a backup, the backup will remain safe. If the backup is created while the PC is infected, malware may be included in the backup.
Yes, but it is essential to organize backups in separate folders to avoid confusion or overlap.

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