Windows 7 Backup Setup And Scheduling [Step By Step Guide]

Windows 7 Backup and Restore tool lets you take periodic backup of all your data (libraries, folders), including creating a system image, automatically. A system image is an exact copy of the drives, that are required for Windows to run, in case you end up with a hard disk failure or your computer crashes.

Here is how you can setup Windows 7 to take automatic and regular backups of your computer. You need to be logged in as administrator in order to perform these steps.

1. Open Control Panel –> Backup and Restore. Click on ‘Set up backup’.

setup-backup-control-panel-windows-7

2. The Set up backup wizard opens up. In the first step, choose a drive where you want Windows 7 to store the backup files. It is recommended that you save your backup on an external hard drive, or a network drive, to prevent loss of data, in case of a failure of your local hard disk. Click ‘Next’ after selecting the backup drive.

choose-backup-drive-windows-7

3. In the next step you can choose between default backup and custom backup. Make your choice and click ‘Next’.

recommended-backup-windows-7

4a. In case you choose the default backup, you will be directly taken to step 5, where you can review the backup settings before going forward. By default Windows backs up your files found in libraries, desktop, default Windows folders, and also creates a system image, which can later be used to restore your PC.

4b. If you have chosen custom backup, here is your chance to choose what all folders and drives you want to include in the backup. You can also opt out of the system image backup. Click ‘Next’.

choose-folders-libraries-backup

5. In this step, you can configure the scheduling of the backups. By default Windows 7 schedules backups on every Sunday at 7:00 PM. Click on ‘Change schedule’ if you want it on another day, or even if you do not want to schedule backup at all. Windows 7 warns you that a system repair disc may be required to restore to a system image. You can go back to Control Panel –> Backup and Restore, and create system repair disc easily by clicking on the ‘Create a system repair disc’ in the left panel.

review-backup-settings-final

Uncheck the ‘Run backup on a schedule’ checkbox if you want to perform manual backups. In case of automatic backups, you can choose how often you (daily, weekly, monthly ), which day of the month or week (depending on your ‘How often’ setting), and also at what time (hour of day).  Click ‘OK’ to return back.

setup-backup-schedule-settings

6. Click ‘Save settings and run backup’ on the ‘Review your backup settings’ screen of step 5.

7. Windows 7 will perform a backup for the first time, and show it’s progress in the ‘Backup and Restore’ applet of Control Panel. You can also view the backup size, and the left over space on your backup drive.

backup-in-progress

That’s it. Now you no longer have to worry about losing your precious data.

Any time you want to turn off backup or change schedule settings in Windows 7, click on ‘Change settings’ and go through the wizard again.

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5 Responses

  1. Wilmer says:

    Hi, I’m just going to honest with you I’m a completed “noob” about this topic, but is this really nesesary?? to do all this backup thing??? If not, how can I avoid this?? because is kind of anoyying me plus I play games and it makes my system run really slow. So I’m looking for a way to avoid this without making my computer run more slowly, or is this just for safety reason for the system?? and is not really nessesary??. “If” I have no otherway than just to do this, do I need one of those things a “freeAgentDrive”? or I can just do it in a DVD??

    Please I need answers as soonest as possible.

    • dkszone says:

      @Wilmer
      You can backup to either external hard drive, or a DVD. It’s up to you to decide if you really need an automatic backup.
      In case you want to manually backup your stuff without Windows 7’s help, then turn off scheduled backup from the Backup and Restore page (above article describes everything related to backup). This will stop slowing down your PC.

      Another reason your computer is running slow could be the background indexing done by Windows 7. You may want to remove some folders from indexing locations.

      • Wilmer says:

        I did turn off the scgeduled backup from the restore page, but like I said before I play games, so this messages still make me run slow in the game. Now I see that I have no other choice other than backup this. Can you do me a huge favor?? reply me all the steps (step by step) on how to backup to the external hard drive??.

        thankz for all your help.

  2. Ian says:

    Is there no way I can set this to backup twice a week instead of once a week? Also can I set it to alternate between two different external hard drives each backup?

  3. juicy-and-coffee says:

    Windows in-built backup utility is good.
    But I prefer another utility, Easeus ToDo Backup. Its home version can freely back up my system state and files, also with many schedules.