We can’t say it enough, backing up your PCs data is one of the most important things you need to do. If your drive crashes or you get hit by malware or even worse, ransomware and you don’t have a backup, you’re out of luck.
You could lose your important documents, pictures, and other files. Windows 10 has new ways to back up and restore your PC, as well as traditional methods, too. Here’s a look at ways you can make sure your data is safe.
Use File History
First introduced in Windows 8, File History is a built-in tool that allows you to recover files you might accidentally delete. Think of it as Time Machine in Apple’s MacOS. To use it you need an external hard drive, large capacity flash drive, or you can use a network location, too.
It will periodically back up your Favorites, Contacts, desktop items, files, folder, etc. You can also configure it to exclude certain folders and set how often it saves copies of files.
For more, read our article: How to Set Up and Configure File History in Windows 10.
Create a System Image
Another built-in tool allows you to create a full system image of your drive. When you create one, it can be used to recover files or restore your entire PC if you’re unable to boot. The ability to create a system image has been a staple in previous versions of Windows.
If you’re still running Windows 10 version 1151 or Build 10586 open the classic Control Panel and select Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
If you’re running Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Build 1607) open Settings > Update & security > Backup and then click on Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
Read our article: How to Create a System Image Backup in Windows 10
Create a USB Recovery Drive
Creating a recovery drive allows you to boot your computer from the USB drive and access the advanced startup options and recover your system. The advanced tools allow you to troubleshoot the issue.
For detailed info read: How to Create a USB Recovery Drive
Create a System Restore Point
You should create a Restore Point before doing a major update or installing a complex program. The System Restore feature is turned off by default in Windows 10 so you need to turn it on before creating a point.
For more read our article: How to Enable and Create a Windows 10 Restore Point
Making sure you have an offsite backup service subscription is extremely important for a solid backup strategy. We recommend using CrashPlan which costs $59.99 per year (1 Computer) or $149.99 a year (2-10 computers). It runs quietly in the background and backs up your entire PC or you can choose specific files and folders.
For more read our review of CrashPlan and how to set it up
Another quality backup service you might want to try is BackBlaze. It’s easy to set up and both services offer free trials. No matter which one you prefer, it’s a vital part of a solid data backup and recovery plan.
Recover Data from a Drive that Won’t Boot
If your hard drive won’t boot, you can still recover the data from it. You’ll need to do a little bit of work and an external hard disk enclosure. You can pick one up from Amazon for under $20 in both 2.5 and 3.5-inch models. This option is much better than taking it to a computer repair place which could cost over $100 for them to do it for you.
For detailed instructions read: How to Recover Data from a Drive that Won’t Boot
Use the PC Reset Feature
First introduced in Windows 8, the PC Reset feature lets you start over if Windows 10 becomes unstable. It gives you three options to keep your files and remove apps and settings, remove everything, and restore to factory settings.
For more read: How to Use the Windows 10 PC Reset Feature