How to back up a Windows 10 laptop or desktop computer

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Having a backup of your important files is always a good idea. Windows PCs are a common target for viruses that can corrupt files, and with any computer, there is always the possibility that a system crash or similar event could cause files to be damaged, or worse.

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.

 
 
 
 
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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 with OneDrive pre-loaded, which is Microsoft's online (cloud) storage software. Saving things in a cloud service works like a backup, at least in the short term, although they're designed for syncing and sharing files. OneDrive is usually set up when you first set up your computer, but if no you can open it through the Start menu to set it up.

Cloud storage is also handy 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 through one account, giving you a single view of all your important files and photos.

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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