How to configure windows backup in Windows 11 - step by step

How to configure windows backup in Windows 11 step by step

Configure windows backup

Windows 11 introduces a comprehensive backup solution, Windows Backup, streamlining the process of safeguarding files, settings, and more, akin to the integrated backup software in other operating systems. This essential feature not only protects against device malfunctions and malicious software but also ensures that valuable data is not lost to accidental deletions. With the advent of this service, users can now effortlessly back up crucial data, from documents to Wi-Fi information, making Windows 11 a robust platform for data security and management.

Leveraging Windows Backup, along with Microsoft's cloud storage and OneDrive sync capabilities, offers a dual approach to securing data—locally and on the cloud. The article unfolds a step-by-step tutorial on configuring Windows Backup, selecting backup options, and scheduling automatic backups to ensure ongoing protection. It covers both built-in backup features: the traditional Backup and Restore for a full-image backup and File History for selected files and folders. This guidance aims to simplify how users can harness the best backup software features available in Windows 11, ensuring a seamless transition to secure computing.

Setting Up Windows Backup

To initiate the setup of Windows Backup on your Windows 11 system, follow these structured steps to ensure your data is securely backed up, utilizing both local and cloud storage options.

1. Sign In with a Microsoft Account

Ensure you are signed into your Windows 11 device with a Microsoft account. This account should be a personal one (like @outlook.com or @live.com), as work or school accounts are not compatible with Windows Backup features.

2. Access Windows Backup Settings

Navigate to the Windows Backup settings by selecting the Start menu, typing 'windows backup,' and choosing 'Windows Backup' from the search results.

3. Select Backup Options

  • Folders: Choose to back up key folders such as Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Videos, and Music by toggling the options next to each folder.
  • Settings: Opt to save your system settings, including installed apps and Wi-Fi network details.

4. Manage Backup Frequency and Storage

Use the ‘Manage backup’ option in the Backup important PC folders to OneDrive box to adjust the frequency of backups and decide whether you want to use cloud storage or an external drive.

5. External Drive Backup

For additional security, back up to an external drive by connecting it to your device, using File Explorer to navigate to the drive, and copying over the files or folders you wish to back up.

6. Review and Adjust Backup Settings

Make sure everything is current by checking your backup settings regularly. Adjust which folders or settings are backed up as needed through the Windows Settings menu.

By following these steps, you can effectively utilize Windows 11’s built-in backup features to safeguard your data against loss or corruption.


Selecting Backup Options

To effectively manage your data protection in Windows 11, it's crucial to understand and utilize the various backup options available. Here’s how to select the right backup settings to suit your needs:

1. Choose What to Back Up

  • Folders: You have the option to back up key folders including your Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Videos, and Music. Simply toggle the options next to each folder to include them in the backup.
  • Windows Settings: Beyond files, Windows Backup also secures system settings such as installed apps, Wi-Fi network configurations, and even your wallpaper and language preferences.

2. Backup Methods

  • File History: This feature allows for the backup and recovery of selected files and folders. It's ideal for users who need to frequently update or access certain documents.
  • Backup and Restore (Windows 7): Utilize this method for creating a full-image backup of your system, although it’s important to note that it only supports full restores, not selective file recovery.
  • Cloud Backup with OneDrive: Leverage Microsoft’s OneDrive for an online backup solution, which offers benefits like device protection, access from any device, and real-time collaboration on Office apps.

3. Advanced Settings and Tools

  • System Restore: While not a direct backup tool, enabling System Restore is vital as it helps revert your system to a previous state in case of software issues, thereby protecting your data.
  • Third-Party Software Options: For more robust needs, consider third-party solutions like Acronis Cyber Protect or EaseUS Todo Backup, which offer comprehensive backup options and flexibility in recovery scenarios.

4. Implementing the 3-2-1 Backup Rule

  • To ensure comprehensive data protection, follow the 3-2-1 backup rule: keep three copies of your data on two different storage types, with one copy stored offsite, such as in the cloud.

By carefully selecting your backup options in Windows 11, you can ensure your data remains safe and recoverable in various scenarios, from accidental deletions to complete system failures.

Performing the Backup

Backup to the Cloud (OneDrive)

  1. Access Cloud Storage: Click the cloud icon in the taskbar to open the OneDrive menu.
  2. Navigate to Settings: Select 'Help & Settings' and then 'Manage backup' in the 'Backup important PC folders to OneDrive' box.
  3. Select Folders: Choose which folders (Documents, Pictures, Desktop) you wish to back up.
  4. Activate Backup: Toggle on the desired folders to initiate the backup process.


Backup to an External Drive

  1. Prepare External Drive: Connect the external drive to your device via a USB port.
  2. Open File Explorer: Navigate to the files or folders you wish to back up.
  3. Copy and Paste: Manually copy the content and paste it into the external drive for a secure backup.

Use Windows File History

  1. Enable File History: Search for 'File History' in the settings, select it, and verify the correct drive destination.
  2. Activate File History: Turn on File History and click 'Run now' to start backing up current files.

Utilize Microsoft OneDrive to Store Files in the Cloud

  1. Sign In: Click on the cloud icon in the taskbar and log in with your Microsoft account credentials.
  2. Select Folder: Inspect the folder location, adjust if necessary, and click 'Next' to confirm the folder choice or select a new one.

Advanced Backup Solutions

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office: Consider this software for comprehensive backup options, including creating a bootable backup to USB using its Rescue Media Builder with the "Simple" creation method.

Scheduling Automatic Backups

Utilize File History for Regular Backups

Enable File History to automatically back up files from key folders like Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Desktop. Ensure that OneDrive files available offline on your PC are also included. This feature maintains versions of files, providing a straightforward way to revert to previous versions if necessary.

Implementing AOMEI Backupper Standard

For a more robust solution, consider using the AOMEI Backupper Standard. This freeware supports scheduling backups, allowing you to set incremental, differential, or full backups as per your need. It's particularly useful for ensuring that backups are performed regularly without manual intervention.

Workaround for System Image Backups in Windows 11

Since Windows 11 does not support the legacy feature for scheduling system image backups directly, use the workaround found by the user, dworskye. This involves using the "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)" feature, selecting "make a system image" along with a file backup, but deselecting all files. This method focuses on changes made since the last backup, significantly reducing the time required for subsequent backups.

By setting up these automatic backup solutions, you can ensure that your data is consistently protected against loss or damage, adhering to the 3-2-1 backup rule for optimal data safety.

Restoring from a Backup

Using Backup and Restore (Windows 7) in Windows 11

  • Access Backup and Restore: Navigate to Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
  • Initiate Restoration: Click on 'Restore my files' and follow the prompts to browse and select the backup files you wish to restore.

Restoring Files with File History

  • Open File History: Go to Settings > Update & Security > Backup, then select 'More options' and 'Restore files from a current backup'.
  • Select Files to Restore: Browse through the files and folders available in the backup and select the ones you need to restore.

Using Advanced Recovery Options

  • Third-Party Software: If File History does not meet your needs, software like Acronis Cyber Protect or EaseUS Todo Backup can provide more comprehensive recovery solutions.

Recovering Deleted Files

  • Check the Recycle Bin: Recently deleted files that have not been permanently removed can be restored directly from the Recycle Bin.
  • Use Previous Versions: For files that have been altered or deleted, right-click the file or folder location, select 'Properties', and then 'Previous Versions' to restore.

Restoring After a System Reset

  • Reinstall Applications: After resetting your Windows 11 PC, reinstall necessary applications from their original installation files or official websites.
  • Restore Backup Files: Use your backup to restore personal files and reconfigure application settings as needed.

By following these detailed steps, you can efficiently restore your data and applications, ensuring minimal disruption and maintaining continuity in your digital environment.


Through this comprehensive guide on configuring Windows Backup in Windows 11, we've traversed the path from initial setup to selecting backup options, automatic scheduling, and finally, restoring from a backup. The journey has shown the undeniable importance of data security and the robust solutions Windows 11 offers to safeguard against data loss. The integration of local and cloud backup options, bolstered by Microsoft's OneDrive, provides a flexible and secure approach to preserving your essential files and settings, ensuring peace of mind in the digital realm.


As we conclude, it's clear that employing the features and strategies outlined in this tutorial has the potential to significantly mitigate the risks associated with data loss. The emphasis on the 3-2-1 backup rule within the Windows 11 environment not only underscores the best practices in data backup but also highlights the importance of regular backup management. Whether for personal use or safeguarding professional data, the insights gained here are invaluable for navigating the complexities of data protection, emphasizing the critical role of proactive backup strategies in today's technology-reliant world.

No comments
Post a Comment

Post a Comment