How to Backup and Restore Your System in 2024 with Windows 11

blog-post-feature-image-of-backup-and-restore-your-system

One of the most important things you can do to protect your data and system is to create a backup. A backup is a copy of your files, settings, and programs that you can use to restore your computer in case of a disaster, such as a virus attack, a hardware failure, or a human error. A backup can also help you migrate your data and system to a new computer or a new operating system.

There are different types of backups, such as file backups, which only copy your files, and system backups, which copy your entire system, including the operating system, the applications, and the settings. In this blog post, we will focus on how to create a system backup to an external USB drive and restore it in 2024.

✅ QUICK ANSWER:

Connect an external USB drive to your PC and open the Control Panel. Go to System and Security > File History > System Image Backup > Create a system image. Select the external USB drive and the drives you want to back up and click Start Backup. Create a system repair disc or use Windows installation media. To restore your system, connect the external USB drive and boot from the disc or the media. Go to Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > See more recovery options > System Image Recovery. Select the system image on the external USB drive and click Finish to restore your system.

What is a System Backup and How to Use it to Protect Your Data

A system backup, also known as a system image backup, is a snapshot of your system at a specific point in time. It includes everything that is stored on your system drive, such as the Windows operating system, the drivers, the registry, the boot files, and the user profiles. A system backup can help you restore your computer to the exact state it was in when you created the backup, without losing any data or settings.

To create a system backup, you will need an external USB drive that has enough space to store your system image. The size of the system image depends on the size of your system drive and the amount of data you have on it. You can check the size of your system drive by opening File Explorer, right-clicking on the drive, and selecting Properties.

How to Create a System Backup to an External USB Drive

To create a system backup to an external USB drive, follow these steps:

#1 Connect the external USB drive to your computer and make sure it is recognized by Windows. You can check if the drive is detected by opening File Explorer and looking for the drive letter under This PC.

#2 Open the Start menu and type “control panel” in the search box. Click on the Control Panel app to open it.

search-control-panel-option-in-windows-11

#3 In the Control Panel, click on the System and Security category.

systems-and-security-setting-in-windows-11

#4 In the System and Security window, click on the File History option.

click-on-the-file-history-in-windows-11

#5 In the File History window, click on the System Image Backup option in the lower-left corner.

click-on-the-system-image-backup-option-in-windows-11

#6 In the System Image Backup window, click on the Create a System Image option in the left pane.

click-on-the-create-a-system-image-option-in-windows-11

#7 In the Create a System image wizard, select the On a Hard Disk option and choose the external USB drive from the drop-down menu. Click Next to continue.

select-the-driver-you-want-to-back-up-option

#8 In the next screen, you can select which drives you want to include in the backup. By default, Windows will select the system drive and any other drives that are required for Windows to run. If you have multiple hard drives, you can also select them here. Click Next to continue.

click-on-the-start-backup-option-in-windows-11

#9 Windows will start creating the system image and show you the progress. Depending on the size of your system image and the speed of your external USB drive, this may take some time. Do not turn off your computer or disconnect the external USB drive until the backup is complete.

When the backup is complete, you will get a prompt asking if you want to create a system repair disc. A system repair disc is a bootable disc that you can use to access the system recovery options and restore your system image in case your computer cannot start normally. You can create a system repair disc using a blank CD or DVD, or you can skip this step and use a Windows installation media instead. Click Yes to create a system repair disc, or No to skip this step.

do-you-want-to-repair-system-disk-in-windows-11

#10 You will see a message saying that the backup was completed successfully and showing you the location of the system image. Click Close to exit the wizard.

you-can-see-the-backup-completed-successfully-in-windows-11

You have now created a full backup of your system to an external USB drive. You can safely disconnect the external USB drive and store it in a safe place. You can also create multiple system images and keep them on different external USB drives for extra security.

How to Restore Your Computer from a System Image Backup

To restore your computer from a system image backup, follow these steps:

#1 Connect the external USB drive that contains the system image to your computer and make sure it is recognized by Windows.

#2 Click on the Start button and then click on the Settings option. Alternatively, you can press the Windows key + I shortcut to open the Settings app.

look-for-the-settings-app-in-windows-11

#3 In the Settings app, go to System and then click on the Recovery option in the left pane.

go-to-system-and-then-click-on-recovery-option-in-windows-11

#4 Under the Advanced startup section, click on the Restart now button. This will restart your computer and take you to the Windows Recovery Environment.

search-for-advanced-startup-option-and-next-to-it-click-on-the-restart-now-option

#5 In the Choose an option screen, click on the Troubleshoot option.

in-advanced-startup-setting-click-on-the-troubleshoot-option

#6 In the Troubleshoot screen, click on the Advanced options option.

and-then-click-on-the-advanced-options-in-windows-11

#7 In the Advanced options screen, click on the See more recovery options option.

click on the see more advanced option in windows 11

#8 In the See More recovery options screen, click on the System Image Recovery option.

then-hit-the-option-system-image-recovery-option-in-windows-11

#9 In the System Image Recovery screen, select the Use the latest available system image option and click Next. This will automatically detect the system image on the external USB drive and use it to restore your computer. If you have multiple system images, you can also select the Select a system image option and choose the system image you want to use.

use the latest available system image option in windows 11

#10 In the next screen, you can exclude any drives that you do not want to format and restore. By default, Windows will restore all the drives that are included in the system image. Click Next to continue.

chooose-additional-resotre-setting-and-then-click-next

#11 In the next screen, you can review the re-image settings and see the warning message. Click Finish to confirm the restore process.

then-hit-finish-button-on-windows-11

#12 Windows will start restoring your computer from the system image and show you the progress. Depending on the size of your system image and the speed of your external USB drive, this may take some time. Do not turn off your computer or disconnect the external USB drive until the restore is complete.

#13 When the restore is complete, you will see a message saying that the re-image is successful. Click Restart to restart your computer.

You have now restored your computer from a system image backup. Your computer should be the same as it was when you created the backup, with all your files, settings, and programs intact.

Conclusion:

Creating a full backup to an external USB drive and restoring it is a simple and effective way to protect your data and system from any disaster. You can use the built-in tools in Windows to create and restore a system image backup, or you can use third-party software for more options and features. You should create a system image backup regularly and keep it on a safe and reliable external USB drive. You should also test your backup and restore process to make sure it works as expected. By following these steps, you can ensure that your computer is always backed up and ready to be restored in 2024.

Imran Khan

Imran Khan

Hi, I’m Imran Khan, founder of Tech Adeptly. I love exploring new technologies and sharing my insights with others who are passionate about tech. That’s why I created this blog, where you can find helpful articles on various topics related to technology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *