Protecting your files and documents is crucial in today’s digital age, and one of the best ways to safeguard your data is by creating a full backup of your Windows 11 system. Whether you’re dealing with hardware failures, upgrade problems, or malware attacks, having a proper backup can help you restore your system and retrieve your files quickly and efficiently.
While there are numerous third-party local and cloud solutions available, Windows 11 still comes with a backup and restore feature that allows you to create a system image of your entire system to an external storage device. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of creating a full backup of your customized settings, apps, files, and operating system setup files using the backup and restore feature.
Step 1: Open Control Panel
First, search for the Control Panel and click on it when the search results appear. Once the Control Panel is open, make sure that the view is set to “Category,” then click on “System and Security.”
Step 2: Open File History Settings
Next, click on “File History Settings,” then click on the “System Image Backup” option from the bottom left corner of the screen.
Step 3: Create a System Image
Click on “Create a System Image” option from the left navigation pane. Wait a few seconds for the system image to be ready. You have three choices for where to store the system image: on the same hard disk, on a DVD, or on a network location. Choose the hard disk if it’s available to you and click “Next.”
Step 4: Select Drives to Include in the Backup
The main drive will be selected automatically, but you can add any drive to include it in the backup. Click “Next” once you’ve made your selections.
Step 5: Start the Backup
Click on the “Start Backup” button to initiate the backup process. Depending on the size of your data, this process may take several minutes. You can continue working during this process.
Step 6: Store the Backup
After the backup is finished, click on the “No” button. Then, click on the “Close” button. You now have system backups on the drive. Go to the location of the backup copy on the hard drive. You can move it to another drive or store it in a safe place. The size of the backup depends on the size of the data that was backed up. If you don’t have enough space to back up your computer, keep it on your computer’s hard drive, or transfer the backup copy to an external hard disk and use it whenever you need it.
Step 7: Restore the Backup
You can use the restore feature if the device fails or if you’re upgrading the system drive. Make sure that the computer is connected to an uninterruptible power source if you’re using a laptop. Then, restart the computer or start the computer if it’s off. Connect a USB bootable drive startup prompt with Windows 11 inside in order to boot. Press any key to continue as if you’re going to install Windows 11 again.
The Windows setup page will appear. Click the “Next” button, then click the “Repair Your Computer” option from the bottom left corner of the screen. Select “Troubleshoot,” then click the “System Image Recovery” option. Click on the Windows 11 option on the “Re-image your computer” page, select the “Use the latest available system image” option, and use the “Select a system image” option to restore an older version of the setup if applicable. Click “Next,” then “Finish,” and then “Yes.” The recovery process will start immediately. The recovery time will depend on the amount of data and hardware configuration of the device.
Step 8: Update the System and Drivers
After completion, click on the “Restart Now” button. Windows will then start working again with the backup you created. It’s always a good idea to periodically back up your computer to have a fresh copy to revert to if the unexpected happens, such as system or hardware failure, malware, ransomware, or hacker attacks. Just remember that this feature has been designed to recover the whole system, not individual files. You also have to be proactive in creating backups because you can only recover until the last backup. Anything after the backup won’t be recoverable.
In conclusion, creating a full backup of your Windows 11 system is essential if you want to protect your data and secure your system against potential threats. By following these easy steps, you can ensure that your files and documents are always safe and accessible, even in the face of unexpected challenges.