How to create full backup with Veeam on Windows 11

Are you looking for a good and free alternative backup app for Windows 11? Veeam provides all the features to create a full backup for free, and here's how.

Veeam Windows 11 full backup
Veeam Windows 11 full backup

On Windows 11, in addition to the built-in tool, you can create a full backup to an external USB storage using different third-party applications, such as Veeam.

Veeam is an enterprise-level backup solution, but the company also offers a free edition of the app for Windows 11 users. Although the app is limited, it includes the necessary features to create a full backup on the entire system, including primary and secondary drives, allowing you to recover the setup and files in case of hardware problems, malware attacks like ransomware, or when replacing the system’s hard drive.

This guide will teach you the steps to create a backup of the entire computer using Veeam on Windows 11.

Create Windows 11 full backup with Veeam

Before using Veeam to back up your computer to an external USB drive, you have to download and install the application.

Install Veeam on Windows 11

To download and install the Veeam on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Veeam download page.

  2. Click the Download now button.

  3. Confirm your information (as necessary).

  4. Click the Download free button.

  5. Click the Download button for the “Standalone Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows” option.

    Veeam download

  6. Check the option to agree to the terms.

  7. Click the Accept button.

  8. Open the download location.

  9. Select the “VeeamAgentWindows_X.X.X.XXXX.zip” and click the Extract all option in the command bar.

    Veeam extract installer

  10. Click the Extract button.

  11. Double-click the VeeamAgentWindows_X.X.X.XXXX.exe file to launch the installer.

  12. Check the options to agree to the terms.

  13. Click the Install button.

    Veeam install on Windows 11

  14. Connect the USB hard drive to create the full backup.

  15. Click the Next button.

  16. Click the Finish button.

  17. Click the Close button.

Once you complete the steps, you can proceed with the creation of a backup job.

Create full backup on Windows 11

To create a full backup with the Veeam app, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Veeam and click the top result to open the app (if not already open).

  3. Confirm a name for the Windows 11 backup. For example, “Windows 11 full backup to USB.”

    Veeam create new Windows 11 backup

  4. (Optional) Enter a description for the backup.

  5. Click the Next button.

  6. Check the Entire computer option.

    Veeam full backup option

  7. Click the Next button.

  8. Select the Local storage option to create the full backup to a USB or secondary drive.

    Veeam backup destination

  9. Select the storage to save the Windows 11 backup.

    Select external USB for backup

    Quick note: The app will save the file in the “VeeamBackup” folder, but you can specify a different folder as necessary.
  10. Click the Advanced button.

  11. Click the Backup tab.

  12. Check the “Create active full backups periodically” option.

    Veeam enable periodic backups

  13. Check the “Monthly” or “Weekly” option.

  14. Configure the day of the week or month to create a full backup.

  15. (Optional) Click the Maintenance tab.

  16. Under the “Storage-level corruption guard” section, check the “Perform a backup files health check” option and configure the schedule.

    Veeam backup health check option

  17. (Optional) Click the Storage tab.

  18. Under the “Data reduction” section, select the compression level to minimize storage usage when creating backups.

    Quick note: The default option should be enough for most cases, but you can still choose a different compression level at the cost of more processor usage.
  19. Under the “Encryption” section, check the “Enable backup file encryption” option.

  20. Confirm an encryption password that you will remember to unlock the backup.

    Veeam enable full backup encryption option

  21. Confirm a hint to remind the backup password.

  22. Click the OK button.

  23. Select the days to keep a backup. (The default setting should be good for most cases.)

  24. Click the Next button.

  25. Under the “Periodically” section, check the Daily option and confirm the schedule.

    Veeam schedule full backup on Windows 11

  26. Choose the “Backup once powered on” option in the “If computer is powered off at this time” setting to wake the device automatically to perform the backup.

  27. Choose the Sleep option in the “Once backup is taken, computer should” setting to turn off the device after the backup is complete.

  28. Click the Apply button.

  29. Click the Finish button.

After you complete the steps, the full backup of your computer running Windows 11 be created on the schedule you specified. When the job runs for the first time, it’ll make a full backup, and any subsequent run will be an incremental backup. Veeam will delete the files when the backup retention expires and create a new full backup on Windows 11.

You can always open the Veeam from the Start menu or system tray to access the backup job to edit the settings.

Since this is the free edition of Veeam, you can only create one backup job and cannot change the backup type (for example, from incremental to differential).

Restore Windows 11 full backup using Veeam 

After a system error, hardware failure, or hardware replacement, you must create a recovery media that you can use to start the computer to recover the system.

Create recovery media

To create a Veeam recovery media, connect a USB flash drive to your computer, and use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Veeam Create Recovery Media and click the top result to open the app.

  3. Under the “Available bootable media type” section, choose the USB flash drive from the list to create the recovery media.

    Veeam create recovery media

  4. Click the Next button.

  5. (Optional) Click the Browse button to select the location to store the media.

  6. Click the Next button.

  7. Click the Create button.

  8. Click the Finish button.

Once you complete the steps, the Veeam recovery media will be created.

Restore backup 

To restore your computer with a Veeam backup, use these steps:

  1. Start PC with Veeam recovery media.

  2. Press any key to continue (as directed on the screen).

  3. Click the Bare Metal Recovery option.

    Veeam bare metal recovery option

  4. Click the Browse button.

    Veeam browse recovery backup

  5. Select the backup file from the external USB drive.

    Choose full backup to recover

  6. Click the Open button.

  7. Confirm the encryption password (if applicable).

  8. Click the Next button.

  9. Select the restore point to recover.

    Backup restore points

    Quick note: If you select the “Increment” option, Veeam will restore the full and incremental backups. If you select the “Full” option, only the original backup will be restored.
  10. Click the Next button.

  11. Select the Entire computer option.

    Entire computer recovery mode

  12. Click the Next option.

  13. Click the Restore button.

After you complete the steps, Veeam will restore the backup on the computer.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me. Email him at [email protected].