February 6, 2023

Even the most attentive computer user has experienced the worst: a coffee cup spilled on your laptop or an update wiping all your files and photos. Despite your best efforts, accidents do happen. You can avoid any mishaps if you have backup.

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Like flossing, backing up your computer is a routine and vital to your technological health.Although many Know This is important and not many people remember to do it on a regular basis.

Explore below when backups are especially useful to you, along with a step-by-step guide to creating a backup of your Windows computer.

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when you need a backup

Ideally, you regularly back up your computer. For the rest of us, there are critical times when you need to back up your computer, such as:

  • Before updating software programs such as the operating system
  • Before your computer gets a virus or malware

The reason for these moments of truth is that it enables you to secure data before it needs to be saved. You may need to reformat your computer to return it to working condition. If something goes wrong along the way, you’ll safely “hide” a copy of your data through backups.

Where to Back Up Your Data: Cloud vs. External Drives

Before I dive into ways to back up your data, you need to have a place to keep your data.

You have two paths here. The selection is fairly simple: In the clouds or in external drive. Keep your backups in the cloud somewhere other than your own, or to an external drive you control. I lost trust in storing anything of value and meaning on someone else’s cloud a long time ago. I’m still using the cloud disk, Just not for the sensitive and really important stuff. My assumption is that nothing you store on a cloud system is private.

If you’re considering these options, be sure to head over to CyberGuy.com and search for “back up your device” by clicking the magnifying glass at the top of my site.

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How to backup a Windows PC

Changes per OS version, but the instructions below outline Windows 10.

Windows 10 has two main types of backups: image backups or file backups.

  • image backup Copy the entire drive, including partitions and boot sectors. This type of backup is the only one that preserves all programs and settings.
  • file backupMore common is to back up all files and data, such as photos and documents, but it won’t reinstall Windows, programs, or your apps.

Both are great, and image backups are only needed a few times a year, and usually before any major updates or software installations. File backups should be done regularly since you are more likely to change or accumulate individual files such as photos and word documents.

How to create image backups on Windows 10

  • Connect an external drive for backup to your computer
  • On the main desktop, go to the “Windows” icon open menu

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A screenshot of the desktop home screen on a Windows computer.

A screenshot of the desktop home screen on a Windows computer.
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The screenshot instructs you to select Control Panel.

The screenshot instructs you to select Control Panel.
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  • click Backup and Restore (Windows 7) [Don’t let the “Windows 7” specification throw you off]

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Screenshot showing your options to backup and restore.

Screenshot showing your options to backup and restore.
(Fox News)

  • click Create a system image In the upper left corner of the sidebar menu

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Screenshot instructing you to choose to create a system image.

Screenshot instructing you to choose to create a system image.
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  • Connect any device you want and have enough space to store image backups
  • Choose your backup drive (or DVD or network location)
  • Once selected, you can click the Next continue

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Screenshot showing how to select the hard drive to use.

Screenshot showing how to select the hard drive to use.
(Fox News)

  • Confirm that the correct drive or backup method is selected, then click start backup

Please note: Backups may take several hours, depending on the size of the backup. The best practice approach is to choose a time (perhaps at the end of the day) where you can have your computer back up without interruption or slowing you down.

After creating a backup, you will be asked if you want to create a “System repair disc. “

  • If your computer has a CD or DVD drive, create disc.
  • If not, create a recovery drive: Insert a blank flash drive Open the Recovery tool in Control Panel Click on Create a recovery drive and follow the prompts
  • Insert a blank flash drive
  • Open the recovery tool in the control panel
  • Click Create Recovery Drive
  • then follow the prompts

How to Backup File History on Windows 10

File History is a software program that is a component of Windows 10. It is an easy-to-use program that automates regular file backups.

  • Connect an external drive for backup to your computer
  • On the main desktop, go to the “Windows” icon to open the menu

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Windows desktop screenshot.

Windows desktop screenshot.
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Screenshot instructing you to choose settings.

Screenshot instructing you to choose settings.
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  • Scroll down the Windows Settings page and click Update & Security

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Screenshot showing how to choose Update and Security.

Screenshot showing how to choose Update and Security.
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Instructions on how to choose a backup.

Instructions on how to choose a backup.
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Screenshot showing how to select a hard drive.

Screenshot showing how to select a hard drive.
(Fox News)

  • Select an external drive or network location to back up your files

How to set up automatic backups on Windows 10

If you’d like to set up automatic backups for file history or image backups, follow these instructions:

  • Connect an external drive for backup to your computer
  • On the main desktop, go to the “Windows” icon open menu
  • click set up
  • click Updates and Security
  • click backup
  • click Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7) [Don’t let the “Windows 7” specification throw you off] (This is under the “Looking for older backups” section)]
  • click change settings in the timetable section
  • Click without changing the settings (unless you want to) Review your backup settings part
  • click change schedule
  • tick Run backups on a schedule box, then use the drop-down menu to specify the frequency
  • click OK
  • click save settings and exit button

How to backup Windows 8.1

  • Connect an external drive for backup to your computer
  • On the main desktop, go to the “Windows” icon open menu
  • click control panel
  • click System and Maintenance
  • click backup restore
  • choose create backup Then follow the steps of the setup wizard to create a new backup

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How to backup on Windows 11

  • Connect an external drive for backup to your computer
  • On the main desktop, go to the “Windows” icon open menu
  • click control panel
  • search or select file history
  • Select a drive for your device
  • click OK
  • click exclude folder If you want to delete folders from backup
  • If you want to add a folder, click Add
  • click save Changes
  • click advanced settings In the “File History” screen
  • In the drop-down menu, click save a copy of the file how to choose often file history should run
  • click keep saved version how to choose long File backups should be kept
  • Choose your preference and click save Changes wait is over

How to restore a backup on Windows

How to restore your image backups on Windows 10

If you are logged in or able to log in to your computer, you can restore your computer using a system image backup by following these steps:

  • Connect an external drive to your computer’s image backup
  • On the main desktop, go to the “Windows” icon open menu
  • click set up
  • click Updates and Security
  • click recover in the left sidebar
  • On the main menu, under Advanced Startup, scroll down and click reboot now
  • After the computer restarts, click Troubleshooting
  • click advanced options
  • then choose System Image Recovery
  • After the computer restarts, it will start the following process System Image Recovery
  • You will be prompted to select a user account.
  • enter your password
  • click continue
  • Your computer will automatically find the latest system image backup For you
  • click Next continue
  • click Finish Restore your computer from a selected System Image Backup

How to Restore Files Using File History on Windows 10

If a file or folder you backed up is lost, here’s how to get it back:

  • Make sure to connect to backup your external hard drive or network location file history
  • On the main desktop, go to the “Windows” icon to open the menu
  • click set up
  • click Updates and Security
  • click backup
  • click more choices associate
  • scroll down to the bottom file history window and click restore files from current backup
  • Double-click the folder you want, and/or double-click the file you want to view.
  • Once you find the file you want, click the green button at the bottom file history page to restore it.
  • If you want to save the file to its original location, just click the recover.
  • If you want to save it elsewhere, right click recover You will get an option to choose resumed Then you can choose a new location

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How to restore a backup on Windows 8.1

  • Connect external drive with backup
  • On the main desktop, go to “Windows” icon open menu
  • click control panel
  • click System and Maintenance
  • click backup restore
  • click Choose another backup to restore files from Then follow the steps of the setup wizard to create a new backup

How to restore a backup on Windows 11

  • Connect external drive with backup
  • On the main desktop, go to the “Windows” icon open menu
  • click control panel
  • click Backup and Restore (Windows 7) [Don’t let the “Windows 7” specification throw you off]
  • click Choose another backup to restore files from
  • Use backup to select the location of the connected external drive
  • Then follow the instructions to restore your files

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