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How To Backup Files on Computer/Laptop? Here Is The Guide

Updated by Jean on May 07, 2022
Written by Tracy King

Do you know how to back up files on your computer in Windows 10/8/7? And what is the best way to backup files on a computer or laptop? On this page, we'll provide a complete guide to show you how to select the best method to backup computer files on your own. 

Let's start now.

Where to Back Up Files - Choose the Backup Destination

The first thing is to select the destination - where you want to backup files from your computer. The reason is that the ways of backing up files to different locations vary. 

So, now, you need to select the backup destination:

#1. How to Back Up Files to A Local Computer Drive

To backup files, the easiest and simplest way is to apply Microsoft's File History, follow the tutorial guide to back up your files now:

Method 1. Back Up Files on Computer with File History

Step 1. Click Windows start icon > "Settings" > "Update & Security".

Step 2. Click "Backup" > "Add a drive".

Back up files on computer using file history

Step 3. Select an empty drive on your computer to save the file backups.

Select drive to back up files

Step 4. Click "More Options" > Under the Back up these folders to check what will be backed up on your computer.

You can also click "Add a folder" to select files on your computer to be backed up.

Select folder to back up using file history

Step 5. Click "Back up now" to start backing up files.

#2. How to Back Up Files to External Hard Drive

Here, we collected 2 ways to back up files to your drive:

File History Manual Copy & Paste

Pros:

  • Free
  • Automatically back up files

Cons:

  • External hard drive must connect to PC all the time.
  • Not available in Windows 7/XP/Vista

Pros: Free

Cons:

  • Backup may take up big space.
  • The backup process may take a long time if the files were too large.

Which is the best way? For beginners who look for a secure and efficient way to back up files to an external hard drive, File History is recommended.

Follow the desired method to start backing up files now:

Method 1. Back Up Files to External Hard Drive via File History

Note that, to use File History to back up files to your external hard drive on a computer, you must keep the external hard drive connected to the PC all the time. 

Step 1. Click Windows start icon > "Settings" > "Update & Security".

Step 2. Click "Backup" > "Add a drive".

Step 3. Select your external hard drive marked as "Removable disk" and click "OK".

Back up files to external hard drive using file history

Step 4. Click "Advanced Settings", set the frequency to back up files to the external hard drive. Click "Run now".

Confirm to back up files to external hard drive

Method 2. Manually Copy and Past Files to Back Up to External Disk

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to your computer.

Step 2. Double-click This PC, open the external hard drive and create a folder named "Backup".

Step 3. Open folders or hard drive volumes to copy files, folders that you need to back up and paste them all into the external disk.

Wait patiently and the process could take longer if you have too many files to backup.

#3. How to Back Up Files to Cloud Drive

As cloud storage allows users to share and make use of backups at any time, many people prefer to save their file backups into Cloud. And here we collected two ways that can back up files to Cloud dive.

File Backup Software Cloud Drive

Pros: Safe, Easy to Use, back up all computer files to the cloud.

Cons: Not free

Pros: Sync files to the cloud, easy to use

Cons: Only some desktop files and user folders can be backed up to the cloud.

Which is better? For a complete solution to back up computer to cloud, file backup software - EaseUS Todo Backup is more recommended.

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Support Windows 11/10/8/7

Method 1. Back-Up Computer Files to Cloud using Backup Software

Step 1. To begin the backup process, click the Select backup contents button.

create file backup step1

Step 2. Four data backup categories are listed: File, Disk, OS, and Mail.

create file backup step2

Step 3. Lists of both local and network files are shown on the left-hand side of the screen. Expanding the directory so that you can choose the files to back up.

File backup

Step 4. Follow the guidance on the screen and choose the place where you want to store the back up.

File backup step4

Make sure that the backup is encrypted and set the backup schedule by clicking Options in Backup Options. You can also choose to start the backup at a certain time in Backup Scheme by clicking Options. There are many other customizable options that you can look into.

Backup options

Step 5. You can store the backup file either on your computer, in EaseUS's cloud service, or on a network-attached storage device (NAS).

file backup step4

Step 6. EaseUS Todo Backup enables customers store backup copies of their files on a third-party cloud drive or on the company's own cloud storage.

If you want to back up your data on a third-party cloud drive, select Local Drive and scroll down to add Cloud Device. Then fill in your account information.

Backup to cloud
Click EaseUS Cloud, then sign up and log in with your EaseUS account if you wish to store backup files to EaseUS' own cloud storage service.

backup to easeus cloud

Step 7. Click on Backup Now to start a backup.  When the backup process is done, it will display as a card on the left-hand side of the screen. A right-click will let you see more about how to handle the backup job in more depth.

File backup step7

Method 2. Upload and Back Up Computer Files to Cloud

Using OneDrive:

Step 1. Click OneDrive icon on your PC, select "Help & Settings" > "Settings".

Open OneDrive settings

Step 2. At the Backup tab and click "Manage backup".

Manage to select files

Step 3. On the Manage folder backup window, select folders to backup to OneDrive. And click "Start backup".

Select files on computer to backup

Using Google Drive:

 Step 1. Open Google Drive > Log in with your account > Click "Storage" to check the available space.

If your storage is not sufficient, click "Get more storage" to upgrade your plan.

Check Google Drive storage

Step 2. Download and install the Backup and Sync app.

Visit https://www.google.com/drive/download/ > Click "Download" > Click "Agree and Download" on the popup window.

Download Google Drive backup and sync app

Step 3. Choose files and folders to backup from the computer to Google Drive. Click "Next" to continue.

  • Launch Backup and Sync > Sign in with your account.
  • At the My Computer section, Desktop, Documents, Pictures folders are selected by default.
  • You can also click "CHOOSE FOLDER" to select more folders and click "Select Folder" to add to the backup list. 
  • If you need to backup photos and videos from the computer to Google Drive, check "High quality".

Step 4. Uncheck "Sync My Drive to this computer" > click "Start" to back up selected folders from computer to Google Drive.

Set Google Drive as computer file back up destination

Using Dropbox:

Step 1. Download and install the Dropbox desktop app. 

Step 2.  Launch Dropbox, click "Backups" > "Set up".

Step 3. Click "Add folders" to select folders and files to backup and click "Save" to confirm.

The Desktop, Documents, Downloads folders are selected by default. 

Select files to back up

Step 4. Click "Set up" to start back up files from the computer to Dropbox.

start back up files from computer to dropbox

What Is The Best Way to Back Up Files? File Backup Software + External Disk

On this page, we provided different solutions for you to back up files on a computer. You can back up files on your computer drive, or save the backup files to an external hard drive, or even a cloud drive.

So what is the best way of backing up files? Here is Editor's Choice:

  • Select File Backup Software as the backup tool. 
  • Choose an external hard drive as the backup destination.

By doing so, you can back up all computer files to an external hard drive at once without taking much storage space on the disk. 

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Updated by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

Read full bio

Written by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 47 reviews
  • Taking everything into consideration, we can say that EaseUS Todo Backup Home can offer you a little extra sense of security with a set of advanced tools. The interface provides quick adaptation, every process guiding you all the way through so you don't get stuck or further damage your system rather than keeping it safe.

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  • EaseUS Todo Backup Free lets you create backups of your important files or your entire computer through its streamlined interface. Just choose the backup type you'd like to get started, and let the program do the reset.

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  • EaseUS includes all the features I expect from backup software like versioning, incremental backups, and scheduling. For more advanced users, EaseUS allows you to install a pre-boot environment onto your hard drive so you can use it to restore files without burning a CD or putting it on an external USB drive.

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