best free backup software for windows 10
For many of us, valuable family photos, important work papers, or important papers are stored digitally. You cannot afford to lose them due to a computer hardware or software failure.
Using good backup software can save you when the unthinkable happens, but professional system backup software isn’t cheap and often has features that most users never use. Luckily, you can bundle a lot of fantastic free Windows backup solutions with your Windows 11 PC.
The word “backup” can refer to many different practices. For example, Time Machine on macOS backs up your entire hard drive. This allows you to completely restore your computer or even restore data to a new computer.
This is what’s known as disk imaging, and it’s what you need when you’re worried about a total hard drive failure, theft or loss of your entire computer. These days, full backup solutions like this one are a lot smarter than they used to be, and only require a backup of daily changes to your hard drive image, known as incremental backups. This saves a lot of time, but it means you need a backup medium that is at least as big as your entire hard drive!
The truth is that most of the data on your computer can be easily replaced without a backup. Your operating system and applications may have been reinstalled from official sources. What really matters is your data files and, in some cases, configuration files. If you only focus on backing up your irreplaceable data, you’ll save time and storage space.
You can also back up data to almost any medium, but external hard drives (HDDs) and cloud storage backups on internet servers are the best options these days. Of course, if you want to use an external SSD or flash drive, nothing stops you! As long as you have enough disk space for this.
It’s always better to have a backup of your data in two independent ways. This is mainly due to the ransomware threat, which is easily countered by cloud backups that offer a sliding window for file recovery.
- Tightly integrated with Windows for easy online backup.
- No configuration is required to back up important files.
- Lots of storage space if you subscribe to Microsoft 365.
Free users get 5 GB of storage space, which is enough for photos, documents, configuration files, and other important personal information. Windows 11 should come with OneDrive pre-installed, but it’s not part of the operating system. If you don’t have it, you can find it in the Windows Store.
Once you install the app and sign in with your Microsoft account, there’s almost nothing you need to do. Your personal OneDrive folder will appear in File Explorer, and anything you save to that folder will be copied to the cloud during sync.
OneDrive also automatically syncs key folders in Windows, such as the Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders. Suppose you ever need to reinstall Windows or get an additional Windows PC. In this case, you can easily restore your personal information and settings by simply logging in and using the restore feature. Learn how to automatically back up files to Google Drive or OneDrive to prevent data loss if you’d like to see how it works.
Most users who rely on Google Drive for their daily work probably don’t think of it as a place to store files that aren’t native Google files from apps like Docs or Sheets. However, you can store any type of file in your Google Drive. Even those that the platform cannot read.
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