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HOW TO: Windows 7 Backup and Restore

Did you ever have something happen to your computer that makes you wish you could turn back the clock? With backup and restore, you can create copies of your most important files so that if you lose something, your files won't be gone forever. You have a choice to let Windows choose what to back up, or you can pick your own files and select where they are to be stored. Get started backing up your important files by following the steps below.

  1. Click on Start and type backup in the Search bar.
    screenshot windows backup
  2. Once the Backup and Restore tool has opened, select Set up Backup.
    screenshot windows backup
  3. The next step is to select where the backup file will be saved. Removable drives are usable, but you will not be able to save a disk image backup there.NOTE: The drive selected for the Backup cannot contain the data that you wish to backup. Click Next.
    screenshot windows backup
  4. Next choose the way the files will be selected for the backup.
    • Let Windows Choose (recommended) Allows Windows to backup a default set of folders and user setting files as well as a system image.
    • Let me choose Provides options for you to choose which files and folders are backed up and whether or not to include a system image.
  5. Click Next.
    screenshot windows backup
  6. If Let Windows choose was selected, click Save settings and run backup. You can change the schedule for backups by selecting the Change schedule link. There are options for Daily, Weekly, and Monthly as well as the Day of the week and hour of the day.
    screenshot windows backup
  7. If Let me choose was selected, choose the files and folders as well as whether or not a system image is desired. Certain types of media, such as flash drives, do not support creation of system images.
  8. Click Next.
    screenshot windows backup
  9. Verify the selections that are made and select Save settings and run backup. You can change the schedule for backups by selecting the Change schedule link. There are options for Daily, Weekly, and Monthly as well as the Day of the week and hour of the day.
    screenshot windows backup
  10. Windows will show the progress of the backup. View Details will reveal the actual progress and percentage of the backup completed.
    screenshot windows backup
  11. When the backup has completed, click Close to exit.
    screenshot windows backup

Restoring files or folders from a backup

  1. Click on Start and type backup in the Search bar.
    screenshot windows backup
  2. Click on Restore my files.
    screenshot windows backup
  3. If you know the name of the file, click Search. Enter the name of the file in the text field and choose Search. All files matching the criteria will be returned. Select the files you want and click OK. If you want to restore a single file, click Browse for files.
  4. On the left side of the Window, open the backup and navigate through the folders to find the file. Highlight the desired file and click Add Files. If you wish to restore an entire folder, click Browse for folders.
  5. On the left side of the Window, open the backup and navigate through the folders to find desired folder. Highlight the folder and click Add Folder.
    screenshot windows backup
  6. All files or folders selected will be shown in the window. Click Next.
    screenshot windows backup
  7. Now choose where to restore the files. The default option is in the original location. This puts the files back where they were to begin with. You can also select another location to restore the files to. Once you have made your choice, click Restore.
    screenshot windows backup
  8. When the restore is complete, click Finish to return to the Backup and Restore Center.
    screenshot windows backup