Pieter du Plessis

Here I will be posting about some of the things that I learn and some of my experiences

Windows Backup and Restore – Backing Up (File Backup)

Windows has a Backup and Restore feature to assist when creating backups for your files. Backups can be done to internal or external┬áhard drives, USB flash drive, writable DVD/CD drive or backups can also be done to a network location. Backups can’t be done to the same drive.

I will take you through the following steps:
Step 1: Opening up Backup and Restore
Step 2: Setting up Backup (and the vrry first backup)
Step 3: Backup (Recurring)

Step 1: Opening up Backup and Restore

There are three ways of getting to Backup and Restore.

The first way: AutoPlay pop up

After inserting your media device into the computer, the AutoPlay popup will appear.
Select “Use this device for backup”.

The second way: Search in the Start Menu

Click on “Start”.
Type “backup and restore” (As you type it will start searching and show the results, not always necessary to type it all out).
Select “Backup and Restore”.

The third way: Going to the Control Panel

Click on “Start” (Windows Flag) in the bottom left corner (By default).
Click on “Control Panel”.

Depending on your view:

Large Icons View

Category View

Step 2: Setting up Backup

Connect the media device you want to backup to the Computer (If you have not already).

After opening up Backup and Restore, the following window will appear if opening for the first time, select “Set up backup”:

Then it will load for a short while:

Select the media device you want to save your backup to:

In the next screen, select an option:
Option 1 – Let Windows choose: “Windows will back up data files saved in libraries, on the desktop, and in default Windows folders.”
Option 2 – Let me choose: “You can select libraries and folders and whether to include a system image in the backup.”

I will show Option 2 further:

Select what you want to backup:
You can click on the arrows to either expand an item to see the items sub-folders or you collapse an item to not see the sub-folders.

To find your files in default folders, navigate from “C:\Users\#Your Username#\”, there you will find the My Documents, My Pictures, Downloads and many other folders:

To select items you can click on the square box in front of the folder icon:

After you have chosen the folders that you want to backup, select “Next”. This will take you to the following screen tho show all the directories that you have chosen to backup. You can also setup a schedule for when the backups must occur. If you are happy with what you have chosen and the schedule, then you can click on “Save settings and run backup”:

Below is a screenshot of the option for setting up the schedule:

After you have selected to save settings and to run the backup you will be diverted back to the below screen with a progress bar to show the progress of the backup:

After the backup has completed the status bar will go away:

Step 3: Backup (Recurring)

There are 2 ways of backing up after you have setup and done your first backup.

The first way: AutoPlay:

After you have inserted the media you have backed up to initially, the following AutoPlay popup will appear. You can Select “Run backup to this drive”, This will automatically start and do the backup in the background:

The second way: Go to Backup and Restore:

Connect your device and go to Backup and Restore, the following window will appear and click on “Back up now”:

After clicking on “back up now” the following will appear giving you the progress of the backup:

After the backup has completed the status bar will go away:

You can look at the “Last backup:” to view the date and time of the last backup to confirm that the backup has completed.


With technology advancing at such a fast rate and becoming more part of our lives every day and becoming more and more reliable. Do not drop your guard though, since anything can happen at any time, the computer could crash, the hard drive could fail or it could even be stolen.


  • Backups should be done regularly.
  • More frequently for important files.
  • Do not backup to the same drive (Example from Drive: C to Drive: C).


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