Backing up files easily in Windows

Backing up Files in Windows Ten

Backing up files in Windows is easy. It is necessary and still simple and you can use in built Windows tools only. Even then very few of us actually do it. Unless you have lost files after your disk died, you probably won’t feel the urge to back your data up. Sure you can recover some data (or all) even from a dead drive. But prevention is always better and cheaper than the cure.

There are a couple of methods for backing up files in Windows.

  1. Use the default Backup – Go to Start and type Backup. Open Backup Settings and select any external Drive to back up your data. This cannot be your primary hard disk for obvious reasons.
    Backing up files and their versions using Windows Backup
    Backing up files and their versions using Windows Backup

    You can select some of the files and folders to back up by clicking on ‘More options’.

    Backing up files Windows Backup More Options
    Windows Backup More Options

    This is probably the safest way to back things up. Not only will you have files backed up, but also their some of their older versions. Restoring files is simple as long as you have Windows already installed to your system. You can’t backup your entire system image either.

  2. Backup and Restore: If you are a fan of the older Windows Backup system that existed prior to Windows 10 which is now known as ‘Backup and Restore (Windows 7)’, you can use that too. This tool actually gives you more control over how to restore your entire system, disks or your entire installation.
    backing up files Windows Backup and Restore (Windows 7) Main screen
    Windows Backup and Restore (Windows 7) Main screen

    You can schedule your automatic backups or do them manually by clicking on ‘Back up now’. You can create disk images to restore them right-away, down to the last file and folder. This does take more time but assures you peace of mind.

    Note: Choosing to go with a System Image (included in the default backup option) will take up more time and lot of space. If you are backing up a Drive that is 500 GB in size, your image may be need up to that. Plus, you will be backing up unnecessary stuff like your Windows files or Program Files that you can install afresh anyway. I prefer a more focused Backup Option.  System Images are useful in cases when you are migrating from one PC to another for example.

    Backing up files - Setting up the Backup Drive - it is recommended to use an external device here
    Setting up the Backup Drive – it is recommended to use an external device here

    The default time is usually every Sunday (this may vary). But you can set your custom time for automatic backups.

    Backing up Files in Windows - Setting a time for automatic backups
    Backing up Files in Windows – Setting a time for automatic backups

    Additionally, you can create a System Repair Disk that is separate from your Windows Installation Media. This is ideally installed on a removable DVD drive. Even if your boot order is messed up you can use this to fix them.

    Create System Repair Disk on a DVD drive - backing up files
    Create System Repair Disk on a DVD drive

    A system image itself can be created as well.

    Backing up files - Create system image
    Backing up files – Create system image with Backup and Restore (Windows 7)

    Restoring files and folder is easy. All you have to do is click on ‘Restore my files’ button. Here you can either select the Search option to find out exactly the files you want to restore. Otherwise, you can view them in folder structure as it was in your primary disk.

    Backing up files - Restore files and folders from backed up repository
    Restore files and folders from backed up repository
    Browse for backing up files and folders
    Browse for backing up files and folders

    Select the relevant files or folders and you can restore them to their respective old locations or in any other place of your choosing.