How to Use Windows Backup to Save Files and Settings

Backing up your Windows PC has never been an easy task for general users. With Android and iOS, you can simply back up apps, media, contacts, messages, passwords, and more to your Google or Apple account and restore everything with a single tap on a new phone. Microsoft is trying to deliver the same seamless experience with the Windows Backup app.


Thanks to a new Windows Backup app, you no longer need to use the default Settings menu to back up your PC. The software giant now offers a convenient app to manage everything in one place. Before we start, make sure to install Windows 11 version 23H2.  

Install Windows 11 23H2 2023 Update

Windows backup tool is available in the latest Windows 11 23H2 update. If you don’t see the tool in the Apps menu, update your PC or laptop to the latest version.

Step 1: Press the Windows + I keyboard shortcut to open Settings.

Step 2: Select Windows Update button from the right pane.

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Step 3: Download and install the latest Windows 11 build.

If you face issues with installing Windows 11 build, check our troubleshooting guide to fix the problem.

What Is Windows Backup

As the name suggests, the Windows Backup app delivers a native app to back up your PC data. As expected, Microsoft uses OneDrive to store your data and give you the option to restore everything when you set up a new PC from scratch.

If you already use the Windows Backup function from the Settings app, you may see some of your stuff back up to your account. Our guide will mostly focus on the built-in Windows Backup app.

Which Items Does the Software Back up

Here’s everything you can back up with the default tool on Windows.

  • Local PC folders like Desktop, Documents, and Pictures.
  • Installed apps and pinned app preferences.
  • Windows settings and preferences, including personalization, accessibility, language preferences dictionary, and other Windows settings.
  • Saved Wi-Fi networks and passwords.

Why Do You Need to Use Windows Backup

Here are some of the reasons for using the Windows Backup tool.

  • Protects your important data on the OneDrive platform.
  • Offers a seamless experience when switching to a new Windows device.
  • Give you access to your data on all your devices.
  • Have a peace of mind when something happens to your PC.

Since Microsoft uses OneDrive to back up your PC data, you need to have enough space on your OneDrive account to store the info. The company only offers 5GB of free space, which could be insufficient for the most. We recommend getting a Microsoft 365 Personal or Family plan that unlocks 1TB of OneDrive space and offers native Office apps on your PC. Without further ado, let’s get started and back up your essential stuff.

How to Back Up Your Windows PC

Taking a backup of your data on your Windows computer is very important. But you don’t have to waste hours by dragging and dropping file. Instead, you can use the Windows Backup tool on your Windows PC.

Step 1: Press the Windows key, search for Windows Backup and hit Enter to launch it.

Step 2: Windows Backup shows OneDrive space on your account. Let’s check the available options to save your data:

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  • Folders: You can expand the folders menu and back up your data from the Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Music, and Video folders. It’s good to see the system showing an approximate folder size in the same menu. Simply enable the toggle beside a relevant folder, and you are good to go.  
  • Apps: The option remembers your installed apps and pinned app preferences and lets you access apps on any Windows device.
  • Settings: Saves your Windows Settings preferences so that you don’t have to dig through dozens of menus to make tweaks on your new PC.
  • Credentials: Saves and transfers your important credentials like Wi-Fi networks and passwords to a new PC.

Note: If you already use these functions from the Settings menu, you may see a ‘Backed up’ message beside relevant items.

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Step 3: Click Back up. The process may take a few minutes based on the amount of data.

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How to Restore Backup on a New Windows Device

When you set up a new Windows PC and sign in for the first time, the system shows an option to restore your data. You can check your previous PC name, backup time and data, and follow on-screen instructions to restore data quickly.

Switch to a New Windows Device in No Time

Microsoft has been providing a backup tool on Windows for a long time. However, it’s tucked inside in the Settings menu. It’s good to see the software giant offering a dedicated app to backup your computer data to the cloud platform. What are you waiting for? If you are a Microsoft 365 subscriber, utilize your OneDrive’s 1TB storage and start backing up your PC.

Last updated on 29 November, 2023

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