How to back up a Windows 10 laptop or desktop computer

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It's always a good idea to have a copy of your important files and folders, in case anything happens to the originals. Computer hard drives can fail, computers can become infected with viruses (corrupting your data), and files are sometimes deleted by accident. Backing up your computer helps guard against all of these causing you a problem.

Backing up with File History

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Windows 10 comes with a built-in program called 'File History', which makes a copy of all your important files and stores it on an external hard drive. If anything happens to your computer, you've still got a copy of all your important stuff.

If you're using an external drive to store your backups on, it's a good idea to store it away from your computer.

 
 
 
 
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1.

Connect the external hard drive to your computer.

2.

Click the Settings icon.

3.

Click Update & security.

 
 
 
 
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4.

Click Backup on the left-hand side.

5.

Press +Add a drive.

6.

Choose your backup drive from the list.

 
 
 
 
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7.

You'll see 'Automatically back up my files' turn on after a couple of seconds.

8.

That's it. Your PC will now make regular backups of your files to your chosen drive.

Click More options to change which files and folders are backed up, how often it happens and how long the backups are kept for.

 

Making a system image backup

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A system image is a special type of backup file which is a 'snapshot' of the computer, including all the programs installed on it. If you ever need to reset or restore your computer, using a system image file to do it will also put all of your programs and settings back, instead of just reinstalling Windows and starting afresh.

1.

Attach your backup drive to the computer.

2.

Click Settings in the Start menu.

3.

Click Update & Security.

4.

Click Backup on the left-hand side.

 
 
 
 
windows 10 system image
5.

Click Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

6.

Click Create as system image.

7.

Choose where you want to save the system image - either on a hard disk, some DVDs or in a network location. Press Next to continue.

8.

Check the settings are correct, and press Start backup to begin.

A system image can take quite a while to create, especially if you're using DVDs. They'll take a while to burn, and you'll need to use several to fit the complete image on.

 

Backing up your files online

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Windows 10 computers come pre-loaded with 'OneDrive', Microsoft's online (cloud) storage software. Saving files online in a cloud service works like a backup, at least in the short term, although they're designed for syncing and sharing files.

Cloud storage is very useful if you have more than one piece of kit to back up. Services like our own Team Knowhow Cloud Storage let you backup a maximum of ten different devices in one account, giving you a single place to view of all your important files and photos, no matter which piece of kit they're on.

If you're concerned, bring your laptop to store for a free health check to find out if it's got any problems. Learn more about it here.

That should have your files backed up securely, but if you'd like to talk your options over with a Team Knowhow Expert, you can get hold of us here.

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