How to Backup My Files on a Windows Computer

Introduction

Making sure you have a recent backup of your computer is extremely important. Windows makes this easy with a simple built-in backup system.

This guide will walk you through setting up Windows Backup.

Windows Backup.

1 Media Check

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
    Windows Explorer.
  2. Select This PC on the left.
    Explorer with This PC highlighted.
  3. Using your right mouse button, right-click on the C: drive. A special menu will open.
    C Drive highlighted.
  4. Select Properties.
    Drive menu with Properties highlighted.
  5. On the General tab, look for Used space. Your external drive will need to be at least this size.
    Drive properties with General tab and Used space highlighted.
    It is recommended your external drive have double Used space, or even be as large as the entire capacity of your drive, so you have plenty of room in the future to not only back up any and all files you create in the future, but to keep multiple versions backed up. That way, you can reverse changes easily should something go wrong.

? Do you have an external hard drive of sufficient size available?

  1. Yes
  2. No

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Making sure you have a recent backup of your computer is extremely important. Windows makes this easy with a simple built-in backup system.

This guide will walk you through setting up Windows Backup.

Windows Backup.

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
    Windows Explorer.
  2. Select This PC on the left.
    Explorer with This PC highlighted.
  3. Using your right mouse button, right-click on the C: drive. A special menu will open.
    C Drive highlighted.
  4. Select Properties.
    Drive menu with Properties highlighted.
  5. On the General tab, look for Used space. Your external drive will need to be at least this size.
    Drive properties with General tab and Used space highlighted.
    It is recommended your external drive have double Used space, or even be as large as the entire capacity of your drive, so you have plenty of room in the future to not only back up any and all files you create in the future, but to keep multiple versions backed up. That way, you can reverse changes easily should something go wrong.
  1. Physically connect the USB cable that came with your external hard drive to the drive itself.
    Example of an external hard drive and its supplied USB cable.
  2. Connect the other end of the USB cable to your computer.
    External hard drive being connected to a laptop.
  3. Open Windows Explorer.
    Windows Explorer.
  4. Select This PC on the left.
    Explorer with This PC highlighted.
  5. Your external hard drive should appear in under Devices and drives.
    External drive highlighted.

Windows 10 comes with its own backup software.

To begin you'll need an external drive.

  1. Connect your external hard drive to your computer.
  2. Select the Start menu in the corner of your screen, then select Settings.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
    Windows 10 Settings
  3. Select Update & Security.
    Updates and Security Settings
  4. Select Backup.
    Backup
  5. Make sure your external drive is connected and select Add a Drive.
    Add a drive
  6. Select the drive you want to backup your data to.
    List of drives
    Backups will start automatically, you do not have to make any other changes.
  7. Windows 10 will now make a backup every hour of C:\Users\<your username>.
  8. If you want to change these settings click More Options beneath Add a drive.

We will need an external disk to store the backup on.

Return to this guide when you have purchased an external hard drive.

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