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How to Use Built-in Windows Backup Tools

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How to Use Built-in Windows Backup Tools
Works with all Windows versions

Dear - -,

Welcome to the 28th week of Solvusoft’s free Windows tips and tricks. Windows OS provides many backup tools that can help you save your precious data in worst case scenarios. This week we’ll show you how to backup your data, using built-in Windows Backup tools.

Using Backup and Restore

To launch the backup utility,
  1. Click Start.
  2. Type 'backup' in the search field.
  3. Select ‘Backup and Restore'.
  4. Plug in your external hard drive and click 'Set up backup'.

Windows Backup will allow you to make copies of data files for all computer users. You can let Windows choose what to back up or you can select the individual folders, libraries, and drives that you want to back up. By default, your backups will be created on a regular schedule. You can change the schedule date, or you can manually create a backup at any time. Once you set up Windows Backup, Windows will keep track of the folders and files that are new or modified and will add them to your backup.

Consider disabling automated backups altogether. For them to work, the backup media must always be available. This is fine if you're backing up over a network or the Internet, but an external drive that's connected to your PC 24/7 is vulnerable to the same disasters that could destroy the data on your internal hard drive. It's best to connect a backup drive only when you need to.
To disable automated backups:
  • Click 'Change schedule'.
  • Uncheck 'Run backup on a schedule (recommended)'.
  • Click OK.

Other Windows Backup Tools
  • System image backup
    Windows Backup provides you with the ability to create a system image, which is an exact image of a drive. A system image includes Windows and your system settings, programs, and files. You can use a system image to restore the contents of your computer if your hard drive or computer ever stops working. When you restore your computer from a system image, it is a complete restoration - you cannot choose individual items to restore, and all of your current programs, system settings, and files are replaced. Although this type of backup includes your personal files, we recommend that you back up your files regularly using Windows Backup so that you can restore individual files and folders as needed. When you set up scheduled file backup, you can choose whether you want to include a system image. This system image only includes the drives required for Windows to run. You can manually create a system image if you want to include additional data drives.
  • Previous versions
    Previous versions are copies of files and folders that Windows automatically saves as part of system protection. You can use previous versions to restore files or folders that you accidentally deleted or modified, or that were damaged. Depending on the type of file or folder, you can open, save to a different location, or restore a previous version. Previous versions can be helpful, but should not be considered a backup because the files get replaced by new versions and will not be available if the drive were to fail.
  • System Restore
    System Restore helps you restore your computer's system files to an earlier point in time. It's a way to undo system changes to your computer without affecting your personal files, such as e-mail, documents, or photos. System Restore uses a feature called system protection to regularly create and save restore points on your computer. These restore points contain information about registry settings and other system information that Windows uses. You can also create restore points manually.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s Secret of Windows. Stay tuned for more!

Talk to you soon,

Jason Grady
Secrets of Windows Newsletter



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