Even if today’s technology is constantly advancing and computers are becoming more and more reliable, hard drives don’t last forever and your precious data can disappear in a flash. It’s always recommended you have at least one backup but obviously, two or more is even better.
Of course, there are dedicated applications that allow you to backup certain folders, or even just files but Windows provides a convenient option to basically clone your operating system (files and folders included) and store it to an alternate location.
This is possible using the System Image Backup utility which makes an exact copy of the operating system that includes installed applications, settings, and personal files. In other words…everything!
Using the image backup you can restore the entire operating system and data stored on your hard drive. It doesn’t allow you to restore individual files, but it’s the perfect solution to restore everything with as little effort as possible. Also, you need to perform regular backups if you want to have all the latest data included.
How to perform an image backup in Windows 10
Simply follow the steps below to perform an image backup in Windows 10. Also, you should know the procedure works in Windows 8.1 as well.
Right-click the Start button and select Control Panel from the context menu.
Click on File History, then on the System Image Backup option located in the bottom-left corner of the window.
Connect an external flash drive or hard drive that had plenty of free space to store the contents of your computer’s hard drive.
Now all you need to do is follow the instructions displayed in the backup wizard. To begin with, you’ll be prompted to save the backup with three location options. For the purpose of this guide, we’ll save it on an external hard drive, but you can use another one. Click Next.
Now click on Start backup to confirm your choice and start the backup job.
How much it takes to complete depends on the amount of data that will be included in the backup image, so it can even take as much as a couple of hours.
Of course, once the backup is finished, you should store your hard drive or flash drive in a safe location, away from humidity, direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.