If you store a lot of important information or just don’t want to lose all your documents or settings, making a backup of both Windows 10 and all those files is key. It is a relatively simple process that too few people seem to do. Let’s change that.

Backups are like insurance. It’s a cost and a bit of a pain right up until you need it. Then it is the best thing in the world. The investment in a good backup is only a little time spend configuring it and then running it. If you want to backup to USB, you will need a USB drive too but they are cheap.

Making your backup

Backing up Windows 10 is very simple. Certainly much simpler than it used to be!

  1. Open Control panel and select Small icons in the top right.
  2. Select File History and then the System Image Backup link in the bottom left.
  3. Set your drive of choice. Better to be an external drive but definitely has to be a separate internal drive.
  4. Select Next and Start Backup.

The backup process can take from a few minutes to a couple of hours depending on the size of the backup, the type of drive you’re backup up to and the speed of your computer. You can use your computer as normal during the process though.

The space required for a backup can be a little bizarre. My boot drive has 60GB in use. Windows backup is set to only keep the latest backup and overwrite older ones and to only back up my C: drive and nothing else. Yet the space required for that backup is 252 GB. I have no idea why this is so but Windows 8 did exactly the same thing.

Restoring from a backup

Once you have your backup, bringing your Windows 10 installation back to life is straightforward.

  1. Boot your computer using your installation media.
  2. Select Repair your computer when you see the Install screen.
  3. Select Troubleshoot and Advanced options.
  4. Select System Image Recovery, then the image and hit Next and Finish.

Your computer will now load the backup and if all goes okay should load into exactly the same environment you had before.