How to Create an Image Backup in Windows 10 and Restore it if required?

Have you ever come across a situation when you find your Windows messed up, useless or unbootable?

The only reliable and sensible solution is to reinstall it. You can always reinstall Windows OS at any condition even from scratch.

But the piles of tasks after reinstallation of Windows, like reinstalling the programs, configurations, internal drive partitions, settings, all that has to be done freshly one more time. And undoubtedly that is a hell of a cumbersome.

Now if you have already had an image backup of Windows prepared, you can recover Windows previous configurations, programs, settings in a few minutes.

So firstly you need to know what this image backup is. For that continue reading………..

What is the Difference between Image backup and File backup?

Before you embark on creating a Windows image backup you need to know what it means in reality.


When I say everything, I mean it, for instance, partitions, boot sector, programs, configuration settings, etc. To be precise, this is the only practical way of reinstalling Windows OS properly.

Whereas, mere file backup means copying data files, documents, images, worksheets, etc.

File backup is undoubtedly very important, but in comparison, image backup saves you the major hassle of reinstalling everything from the beginning.

In my personal opinion, you should create image backups at least 4 or 5 times a year on an external hard disk for any unprecedented downs.

Now, this article primarily focuses on the job on Windows 10 OS. So we will discuss everything regarding image backup in concurrence to Windows 10s interface.

How to Create Image Backup in Windows 10?

You will need an external hard drive and make sure it has enough space to hold everything in your image backup.

Next, follow the guideline step-by-step below:

Step 1. Plug-in your external hard drive to your PC or laptop with free space available. The Windows should be able to access the drive, make sure of that.

Step 2. Now head to “Control Panel” and select “Backup and Restore( Windows 7)”. Here don’t worry about the Windows 7 tagline.

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Step 3. Click on the “Create a system image” option from the upper left side option list.

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Step 4. On the next working Windows, ensure that your target backup drive is particularly selected where the image file is to be stored (here hard drive).

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Step 5. Finally, click the “Next” button and make sure to select the drives that you want to back up from the next operating Windows. Make sure C:/ drive and all the other drives requiring image backup are chosen.

Step 6. Click the “Start backup” button and then the process of creating an image backup of all the drives chosen begins.

The procedure may take 1 to 2 hours depending upon the volume of contents you are backing up.  Meanwhile, you will be asked to create a System Repair Disc. If your system has an optical drive you can create the disc if you wish.

If you don’t want to create the System Repair Disc, plug a blank flash drive, go to “Control Panel”, then “Recovery Tool” and then click “Create a Recovery drive”. Follow the on-screen prompts and you are good to go.

How to Restore the Image Backup?

Now let’s just consider that your system is severely damaged or in a seemingly hopeless condition than you first need to enter the Recovery Environment to restore the image. You can do this in three ways.

  • If you can still boot into your Windows 10 (Optional):
    Go to Start> Settings> Update and Security. Click on the “Recovery” button on the left side panelist and then choose “Restart now” button to begin the restoring process.
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  • If Windows 10 Does not Boot and you have System Repair Disc:
    Firstly insert your loaded repair disk with the image back up into your system optical disk and start your PC. Follow the prompt “Press any key” and then pick up a language.
  • If Windows 10 Does not Boot and you have Recovery Drive:
    Simply insert the recovery drive which is usually a USB into any working port of your PC or laptop. In case your system skips the USB drive and proceeds to boot the operating system, reboot and try to enter the setup screen.
    NOTE: You can try that with F2 or any other hotkey, it differs from brand to brand.
    set the boot order to make the flash drive as the priority device so that the system can load from it. After you are successfully booted, choose a language.

Once you are in the Recovery Environment, choose “Troubleshoot” option. Next, select “System Image Recovery” and continue to follow the on-screen instruction to complete the image restoring process.

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The above-mentioned methods are all tried out methods, so prefer to stick to them instead of trying out something hopelessly yourself. That may mess up things to an extent beyond recovery.

Files, settings, programs, are very important and should not be tampered with recklessly. So if you have any doubt or fear to pursue it, I suggest don’t go for it. Rather seek an expert to do the job for you.

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