Configuring Windows to Do Backups on a Schedule

by Barry Dysert
(last updated February 23, 2015)

You've probably heard stories of people losing files because of accidental deletion, a computer virus, or a system crash. Inevitably, the first advice offered to the victim is to restore the lost files from a backup. Unfortunately, the story usually ends with the victim confessing to not having taken any backups.

Performing regular system backups should be considered an essential system management task. That way, should you ever need to recover files, it's just a matter of restoring them from the backup. Backups can be done manually or automatically. (Performing a manual backup is covered under another tip.) To start, go to Start | Control Panel and click the Back Up Your Computer link under the System and Security heading. Windows displays the Backup and Restore dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Backup and Restore dialog box.

You first need to indicate where you want your backup to reside. Click the Change Settings link near the middle of the dialog box. The Backup wizard starts, which allows you to select the location that should hold your backup and to designate what files get backed up. The last step of the wizard (See Figure 2.) is where you can specify what schedule should be used for your backups.

Figure 2. The last step of the Backup wizard.

Notice that my backups are on a schedule, to be run automatically every Sunday at 7:00 PM. If your backup is not on a schedule, or if you want to change the existing schedule, click the Change Schedule link. This takes you to a window where you can indicate whether you want to run the backup on a schedule and you can set the parameters of frequency, day, and time for when the automatic backup is to start. Once you've done that, click the OK button and then on the Save Settings and Exit option.

 This tip (12264) applies to Windows 7.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

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