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How to backup Windows 11

The built-in backup works just fine.

Published onMay 4, 2022

Backups can be rather helpful, especially if you work with important data and can’t afford to lose any of it. Windows 11 lets you back up your system and restore it as-is. You’ll need an external drive to do it, and the process takes some patience. However, it’s rather easy to do it yourself. Here’s how to backup Windows 11 and restore it.

Read more: The best external hard drives you can buy


To backup Windows 11, use the System Image Backup option in File History under the System and Security settings in Control Panel. You can restore the backup using the system image recovery in the Windows 11 installer repair options.


How to create a backup in Windows 11

For the backup here, we will use Windows 11’s built-in functionality. There are also a few third-party options, but none work as well as the native one.

Open Control Panel by searching for it. In Control Panel, click System and Security.

Windows 11 Control Panel
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Locate and click the File History tab.

Windows 11 Control Panel System and Security
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Click the System Image Backup option located at the bottom of the left pane.

Windows 11 File History
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A new window will open. In the left pane, click the Create a system image option.

Windows 11 create a system image
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The system image creation window will pop up. Click the On a hard disk option. Click the drop-down menu right below it, and select the disk you would like to save the backup to. This should preferably be an external hard disk drive connected to your PC. Once selected, click Next.

Windows 11 system image disk selection
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If you want to back up any other partitions or disks, select them by clicking the checkboxes. Click Next to continue. If you get an encryption warning, click OK.

Windows 11 start backup
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Click the Start backup button.

Windows 11 backup ongoing
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The backup will begin and take some time to finish. Once over, it will ask you if you want to create a System repair disc. Click No.

Windows 11 reapir disk prompt
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Click Close to close the system image dialog. Your Windows 11 backup is complete.

Windows 11 backup complete
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How to restore a backup on Windows 11

Restoring a Windows 11 backup is something you can do while operating the installing system afresh. Say your PC ran into some issues, and you need a reinstall? You can restore a Windows 11 backup using the troubleshooting settings.

You will need a Windows 11 bootable USB or DVD, and the disk with the backup connected to your PC. Boot into the USB or DVD using the boot menu of your PC, which you can figure out by checking the manufacturer’s website. Once you’ve booted into it, you’ll see the Windows 11 installer. Select the language, time/currency, and keyboard layout of your choice, and click Next.

Windows 11 backup restore installation language
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Click the Repair your computer button located at the bottom left of the window.

Windows 11 backup restore repair computer
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Click Troubleshoot.

Windows 11 repair options
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Locate and click the System Image Recovery option.

Windows 11 troubleshoot options
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The system image restore tool will open up and automatically detect the backup folder. Click Next to proceed.

Windows 11 restore backup start
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Next, you’ll get the option to pick the specific backup from the folder by date and time. If you have just one backup, only one option will be listed. Select the appropriate one by clicking it, and click Next.

Windows 11 restore select date and time
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Choose any additional restore options as per your preference. Click Next.

Windows 11 restore additional options
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You’ll get a final confirmation screen listing your options. Verify your settings and click Finish.

Windows 11 final confirmation
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Click Yes on the final restore warning dialog box.

Windows 11 final confirmation warning
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It will take some time, and the backup restore will finish. You can then boot into your PC with Windows 11 just as you backed it up.

Read more: How to install Windows 11

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