- If you want a method to backup your Windows 10 operating system, you can use third-party software or the built-in Windows tool.
- And in this article, we’ll show you how to do both.
- Find more cool stuff on this topic in our Backup software section.
- Don’t miss out on Windows installation and guides by bookmarking our dedicated Windows system hub.
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Backing up your operating system is crucial in times of emergency such as corrupted system files, BSoD issues, malware infections or various system crashes.
In such cases, a full system reinstall is recommended as the ultimate, but arguably the safest solution.
On the other hand, a system backup ensures that you have your most important system files and settings at hand without worrying about losing them or wasting time restoring them.
You may not know it, but you have a built-in Windows option to backup your operating system. And there are also many third-party tools. Let’s take a look at how to protect your operating system.
How to create a full backup of Windows 10 system image
What is the difference between a system image and a backup?
A system image is an exact copy of your drive. By default, it contains the disks necessary for Windows to function. It also contains your system’s settings, programs, and files. Its use includes a full recovery of your operating system.
A full backup, on the other hand, contains only the data in the folders and files selected for backup. That means it is more selective and, when used, is also a faster recovery medium than a system image. However, this means that you should regularly back up your files.
What is the way to create a Windows 10 system image?
1. Use a third-party program
Acronis True Image is our recommendation as a highly rated backup utility for Windows 10 and other platforms.
In addition to local backup, the tool also offers cloud or hybrid storage to help you keep your operating system image safe.
One of the best things about the utility is that it is very easy to set up and restore a full image backup with it. That said, with just a few clicks you set up the full disk image backup and with a few more clicks you restore it to an alternate drive.
The tool has a wide range of backup and restore options, end-to-end encryption, automatic compression, custom commands, advanced disk tools, automatic backup splitting and disk cloning.
Acronis True Image also comes with a security panel that allows you to track potential cyber threats and identify blocked activities.
Not to mention, it offers some unique backup software capabilities, including mobile backup, Office 365 cloud-to-cloud backup, or Facebook backup.
2. Use Windows built-in tool
- Open Settings.
- Click Update & Security.
- Click Backup.
- In the Looking for an older backup? section, click on the option Go to backup and restore (Windows 7).
5. In the left pane, click the Create a system image option.
6. In Where do you want to store the backup? select the option On a hard drive. At this stage, you should have an external hard drive or USB with enough space to store the image.
7. Click the Next button.
8. Select any additional drives you want to back up (if applicable) and press Next again.
9. Click the Start Backup button.
How to recover your PC using your system image backup
If you are using Acronis as recommended in the first solution, you may want to choose the hybrid backup option. It also allows you to save the image locally, to have it on hand, just in case.
So, there are more recovery options, so use the one that best suits your needs.
Perhaps easiest is to open Settings and go to Update & Security > Recovery. In the Advanced Startup section, click the Restart Now button.
When your PC has rebooted, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > System Image Recovery and follow the instructions to restore your PC from the system image you created.
We hope this article was helpful and that you were able to back up your operating system quickly and efficiently. Hopefully, you won’t have to use the image anytime soon, though.