Windows 7 full backup process

How to create system image backup on Windows 7

A full backup of your device should always be part of your recovery strategy — Here's how use Windows 7's System Image Backup tool.

On Windows 7, System Image Backup is a feature that allows you to create a copy of the entire system (also referred as “full backup”), including everything from the Windows installation files, device drivers, applications, settings, and personal files.

It’s always extremely important to have a full backup of your computer as it could help you to recover from any system failure, errors, malware, or after installing a bad update or driver on Windows 7. Also, it can help you roll back to previous version if the upgrade to Windows 10 doesn’t complete successfully.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to create a full backup to protect your installation and personal files on Windows 7.

How to create full backup on Windows 7

To create a full backup of your Windows 7 device, use these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel.

  2. Click on System and Security.

  3. Click the Backup and Restore option.

  4. Click the Create a system image option from the left pane.

  5. Select the On a hard disk option.

  6. Select the external hard drive to backup your device.

  7. Click the Next button.

  8. Click the Start backup button.

Once you complete the steps, the backup process will begin, and at the end, you’ll be prompted to create a recovery disk, but you can ignore the option as you can use a Windows 7 bootable USB media to access the recovery settings if needed.

How to restore full backup on Windows 7

To restore a backup to rollback to a previous Windows 7 installation, use these steps:

  1. Start device with Windows 7 USB media.

    Quick note: To start your device with a bootable media, you may need to change the BIOS or UEFI settings. This process usually requires pressing one of the function keys (F1, F2, F3, F10, or F12), the ESC or Delete key. For more accurate instructions, visit your PC manufacturer’s support website.
  2. Click the Next button.

  3. Click the Repair your computer option from the bottom-left corner.

  4. Select the “Use recovery tools” options and “Windows 7” from the list.

  5. Click the Next button.

  6. Click the System Image Recovery option.

  7. Select the Use the latest available system image option.

  8. Click the Next button.

  9. Click the Next button again.

  10. Click the Finish button.

After you complete the steps, the device will go back to the previous installation fixing virtually any problem you were having.

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 15 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 21 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 Email him at [email protected].