How to backup and restore in Windows 7

By | September 21, 2011

Backup and Restore are two important features of windows. Backup will keep your data files in a secure location so that in case your original data gets lost or corrupted, you will be able to retrieve using the restore operation. Backup can also keep an image of your system, which can be used to restore windows back to its functional state if it stops working properly.

To start off, the backup feature is not turned on by default. So when you get a new computer, you will have to turn on this option manually to have periodic backups of your data, so as to ensure every important document has a duplicate copy in case the original is damaged.

Backup and Restore in Windows 7

The steps involved are –


Go to Control Panel and choose the icon that says “Backup and Restore”. From there, the only option available for now is “Set up Backup”, or you can remotely restore any files from an earlier backup made on an external system.

Control panel for backup and restore

Backup Windows 7

  • Once you click on it, Windows will search for a suitable location to store your backup. If it is on your internal hard drive, choose the one with the maximum space left, as the backup will take up quite a lot. And periodic backups will consume even more space. It is advisable that you don’t keep the backed up files on the same hard disk or the same partition as your operating system; if it fails, your backup will also be lost. Some other options are external hard drives or flash drives which can be connected using USB, or writable DVDs, or any secure network location.

Select location for backup

  • Then you will be prompted to choose the files to backup. The default option will save all documents and files in your library, and will create a system image of your windows. It will also turn on periodic backup after regular intervals, but you can change it later.

Backup confirmation

  • In the manual option, you can choose the particular files to keep, as automatic backup may ignore some of those locations. Check the option to include a system image as it is an important part of the backup.

Windows 7 backup question

  • Finally, you can review your backup settings. There you can choose to change the regular backup schedule to any appropriate time of your choice. You can set day and time, then get back to the previous screen and choose “Save settings and run backup”.

Windows 7 backup review settings

How often to backup

Once your backup is done, your files are safe, and the backup will be regularly updated.

Now if you want to restore your files – You can go to your restore screen using any of the two methods.

  • On the drive you created your backup, there will be a file with your computer name. Double click on it and you will get an option for restore.

Restore backup

  • Alternatively, you can go to the Backup and Restore center from your Control Panel and click on “Restore my files”.

Restore option

At this point, you will be able to search for particular files or folders to restore. Then after clicking on Next, you will be able to choose where you want to restore, either to the original location, or to any new location which you can specify.

Browse location to restore

Restored file location

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