June is Backup Awareness Month, so let’s talk backups! Imagine you come home to your computer one day and everything is gone. Important business documents, years’ worth of family pictures, notes, invoices, important information, just gone. If only you had a backup – which is precisely what this article is about.
If you are looking for the best backup software for Windows 10 or Windows 11 to save your files, we’ve got 7 of them right here. Anything from simple cloud solutions to premium cloning programs. So, without any further ado, let us get right into it!
Note: Though we talk about Windows PC backup below, you might also be interested in taking a look at some of our other lists of backup tools for Mac and iPhone.
Do I really need to backup my PC?
It depends. If all you are using your computer for is browsing social media and playing online games, maybe not.
But, for everyone else who has any sort of important files in it, having a backup, or, in some cases, several backups, is a must.
And you also don’t necessarily need the most expensive backup program there is out there. If you only have a gigabyte’s worth of family pictures, for example, a free cloud backup in combination with an external drive may be all you need.
So, your average person definitely needs backups. Usually, it’s only the degree that changes.
Does Windows have backup software?
Yes. Windows uses Microsoft’s cloud solution, One Drive. By default, you get 5 gigabytes for free and all you have to do is sign up for a Microsoft account.
Also, if you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you get a terabyte (1000GB) of One Drive storage for free. That’s way more than enough for most people.
Just keep in mind that it doesn’t offer some of the more advanced features that other backup programs come with. Things like cloning, encryption, etc.
And it’s also not the best tool to use if you are on a very slow internet connection. Cause if something ends up going wrong, you are going to have to wait a long time to restore all your data.
Then there’s also another tool that’s called File history. All it does is backing up all your files to a secondary drive. The only problem that a power outage or anything similar, really, can potentially damage both connected drives – which effectively makes that method risky.
That’s why you should also consider one of our top backup software for Windows instead!
Top 7 Windows backup software to try
- Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office
- EaseUS Todo Backup Home
- Genie Timeline Pro
- AOMEI Backupper Professional
- O&O DiskImage
Disclosure: We sometimes use affiliate links which means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn a commission if you buy something through our links.
Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office (formerly Acronis True Image) is an easy-to-use and robust backup solution for protecting files and all your internal hard drive in the disk mode or cloud.
To set up a backup, first you need to decide whether you want to protect your entire hard drive—the default—or only specific folders and files. Next comes the choice of destination. The most obvious option is Acronis Cloud, but you can also select an external drive or a local folder. After you select a source and target, simply click the green Back Up Now button or delay it until a specified time.
Before you run the process, you can also choose a backup schedule, such as Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Nonstop backup options. With the Nonstop option, the software detects updates to files and uploads them automatically. You can create as many Nonstop backup tasks as you like, except for those that use the Entire PC option as the source.
Acronis isn’t just a backup program. You can also use it to protect your PC from viruses or creating a split image of your operating system as it is right now.
This comprehensive cyber protection can be particularly useful for the work-from-home parent, the IT expert, the remote student, the freelancer who works remotely, and all home users.
Then you also have a few more tools at your disposal such as:
- Remotely getting files from another computer that’s in your possession
- Creating a bootable thumb drive to save files in case something goes wrong
- Free-up disk memory with the clean-up tool
- Get anywhere from 500 gigabytes of storage up to 5 terabytes
- And more
One of the few things we personally don’t like about it, though, is that it can slow down weaker computers. Our cheap notebook struggled to keep up with it – most likely due to the built-in Antivirus. Needless to say that our desktop computer, on the other hand, doesn’t feel a thing.
Last, but not least, you can get Acronis anywhere from $49.99 up to $99.99 per year – depending on what kind of functionality you need. The cheapest package, for example, doesn’t offer any cloud storage at all.
The good thing is that there is a 30-day trial. So, it’s not like you have anything to miss.
- Local and cloud backup options
- Plenty of features in one package
- Cloning works great
- 3 pricing options to choose from
- The installer is large, and it takes several minutes to run through its process
- The cheapest variant doesn’t offer cloud storage
- Yearly subscription instead of a one-time purchase
Not everyone needs the advanced features that Acronis brings to the table. If you are a casual home user, chances are you can get away with something simpler – such as EaseUS Todo Backup. It has long been one of the most popular backup programs out there and for a good reason.
One of the main reasons to consider this instead of Acronis’ offering is because it’s much simpler and easy to use while still offering all of the basic backup utilities. In terms of features, you can expect to find:
- System backups
- Disk/Partition backups
- Backups on multiple kinds of storage at once (FTP, external HDD, etc)
- Backup image compression
Not to mention that there is also a free version that you can use for basic backups. It just doesn’t offer most of the other tools.
And speaking of pricing, the home version of EaseUS Todo Backup starts from $20 and can go as high as $60 if you wish to get a lifetime license.
We personally like how it provides all the backup options in the home screen and how easy it is to navigate through. Not to mention it didn’t seem to slow down our weak, Windows notebook.
- Offers a free version
- Good value
- Not as feature-rich as some of its competitors
#3 Backblaze: Best Cloud Backup Solution
Backblaze is a bit different than most of our other picks. This is a sort of service that’s dedicated to cloud backups – much like Google Drive, One Drive, or other cloud solutions like these.
The main difference is that this is not cloud storage. This is a cloud backup solution. All you have to do is login, press a button, wait until the upload is finished, and you are done.
After that, all it takes is the press of a button to restore everything in case something goes wrong. But with that said, it’s worth keeping in mind that if you are using multiple drives, you’ll have to individually select which ones need to be backed up.
- Unlimited cloud storage (For a monthly subscription)
- Scheduled cloud backups for all your files
- Continuous backups
One of the few things we personally don’t like about Backblaze, apart from the dull-looking UI, is the fact that it fully relies on the internet for backups. We’d like having an option for local, scheduled backups as well. After all, uploading and downloading files to the cloud is always much slower than local backups. Though, your mileage is obviously going to vary depending on the internet connection.
Backblaze is free to try for two weeks. After that, you need to pay either $6 a month, $60 a year, or $110 per two years. And that’s to be expected since we are not just dealing with software – but also with servers that need to be maintained.
- Can’t get any easier to use
- Unlimited cloud storage
- One-click backup and restore
- You need a fast internet connection to use it
- Recurring subscription (Which is to be expected when you are dealing with a cloud-based service)
If even our most simplistic picks are too complicated or bothersome for you, chances are you are going to love Genie Timeline Pro. All it asks for is 3 simple steps:
- Pick the backup drive
- Select the kind of data you want to keep (Office files, pictures, etc)
- Finish up with some optional choices (Password protection and encryption)
And that’s about it.
No other piece of backup software on this list is going to take you by the hand like that. So, that’s one unique aspect that we like about Genie Timeline Pro. The occasional pop-ups/reminders to buy do annoy us a bit. But that’s a one-time issue to deal with until you are done with the trial anyway.
The only downside is that it asks for $74.34 – which is higher than average and we can probably all agree that it’s also a bit too much for what you get in return. But, then again, if you are not too experienced with tech and want something that can do everything almost automatically, this may be a one-way road.
- Setups almost everything for you automatically
- Extremely small and lightweight
- Encryption, backup compression, and backup password protection are all welcome additions
- Maybe a bit overpriced for what it offers
AOMEI Backupper Professional is another full-fledged backup program. You can use it to backup individual files, whole disks, the Windows OS with everything in it, or even separate partitions.
If you are dealing with multiple computers, there is also the option of syncing everything between them. You can:
- Restore the backup from another computer as is
- See in real-time what’s being added and keep what you need
- Make it so that both computers always have the same files (Deleting something from the local computer also deletes it from the remote one)
So, one of the main reasons why AOMEI may be worth considering compared to other backup software is due to the sheer amount of features that you get for the price of a $49.95 lifetime purchase.
We personally love the UI. Not only it’s one of the best-looking UIs we’ve seen in backup software, but it’s also extremely easy to navigate through and easy to understand.
There are so many things to check out that listing everything can be mind-boggling. There are tools for backing up data, syncing, restoring, cloning, creating bootable drives, and more. But the great thing about AOMEIO is that it’s so neatly organized that you can find everything you want with little to no effort.
Overall, if you are willing to pay for the lifetime package, it’s really hard to go wrong with this one.
- Tons of features to choose from
- Comes with some advanced tools that may save a ‘dead’ PC.
- One of the most beautiful and neatly organized UIs we’ve seen in a while
- Lifetime purchase
- Doesn’t offer much in terms of cloud solutions
NovaBACKUP is one of the most straightforward backup programs you can find at this point in time. If you are looking for something with tons of features and tools, feel free to skip this one. But if you want something that’s extremely easy to use and ‘just works’, check it out.
As you can see, all we really get is some basic features like:
- Simple backups
- Image backups
- Cloud backups
- And scripts (You can create your own)
You also have the option of scheduling backups and uploading up to 5 gigabytes of data to Nova’s clouds. But that’s about it.
The only downside to NovaBACKUP is UI. While it gets the job done, it also looks extremely outdated. It has a sort of Windows 95/XP vibe to it – which is something that some of you may like. But we don’t.
NovaBACKUP starts from $4.16 and is being billed annually. So, that’s almost $50 per year. For the same price, you can get a lifetime license of AOMEI and use a free cloud solution for cloud backups.
So, at the end of the day, Nova doesn’t offer the best value. Far from it. But all you are after is something simple that gets the job done, it may be worth checking out.
- Doesn’t get any easier to use
- Option of creating scripts – if you are into that
- Cloud storage is a welcome addition
- Not the best value
- Lacks a lot of features
As you probably already guessed by the name O&O DiskImage is a program that you can primarily use for backing up entire drives. This is pretty useful if all you care about is being able to bring back your system in working order within minutes.
And it’s not just about a single drive. You can also backup multiple drives. However, that’s obviously going to ask for a lot of space.
- Disk cloning
- Drive imaging
- Backup all drives in one backup image
- Option for creating recovery media (DVD Discs, thumb drives, external HDDs/SSDs, etc)
- Individual file backups and scheduling
We’d personally like if there was also an option for cloud backups. And while that would require a monthly subscription, it’s good to at least have the option.
Unfortunately, there is no option for cloud backups – but maybe that’s also why we can just grab a permanent license without subscribing to anything.
Speaking of licenses, after the free trial, O&O is going to cost you 49,90 euros—which is about $58 or so—give or take.
- License is a one-time purchase
- Comes with just about all the necessary backup tools
- The image burner is a welcome addition
- A bit pricier than most of the competition
Are there any free backup programs?
Of course there are. EaseUS Todo Backup has a free version, then there is also Cobian Backup, AOMEI Backupper Standard, and lots of other options.
The thing is that as you’d probably expect, these only allow you to perform a backup without other features like cloning, encryption, creating bootable media, etc.
So, pick your poison. You either pay for something that offers a more complete package or you make do with freebies.
How does backup software work?
If we are talking about simple file backups, the answer should be pretty self-explanatory. All a backup program does at that point is that it takes your files from one drive and puts them in another. That’s why if anything happens to the main drive, you don’t lose any important files.
Most backup programs perform backups on a regular schedule. Meaning they update the database with your new files every day, week, month, or whatever manual you may have set-up as well.
And if you are willing to pay for a premium offering, backup software can also encrypt files, password protect them, clone your entire drive with the Windows OS, and more.
You can also backup files manually without using any software. But if you do that, you are also losing all of the premium functionality which, in some cases, is an absolute necessity.
How many backups do I need?
Ideally, you want at the very least two backups:
- Locally in an external drive
- Remotely on the cloud
And you need that as a fail-proof option. If something happens to one of the backup drives, you still have a last resort.
Also, the reason we recommend using an external drive instead of an installed one is because if anything happens to your computer, all of the connected drives can go down with it. And that can be a power outage, a ransomware infection, a power supply failure, or anything like that.
Should I use file backup or cloning?
Ideally, both. Clone the main Windows drive with all of the necessary apps to one drive, and then also use another one to regularly backup all your files.
If you don’t add files regularly, there is also the option of using a single cloned drive and be done with it. But, as we mentioned above, you should ideally have two separate backups in case something happens to one of them.
These are our top backup software picks for now. Each one of them has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of UI, pricing, features, etc. So, all you can do is go through them and find the one that suits you best.
And if you wish to use a free variant, keep in mind that you are missing out on a lot of features that may be life-saving.
Also, for more tips, take a look at how to backup your Windows PC. And if you have a Mac, feel free to check our other guide that’s all about Mac backups! We’ve got everything from the best backup programs to how to use them and why you should use them.