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How to Automatically Backup Files to An External Hard Drive in 3 Ways

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Brithny updated on Mar 04, 2021 to Backup Utility | How-to Articles

What is the best strategy to retain data from a severe system crash, hardware failure, or virus attack? Creating a backup of your computer data is the best way out. Usually, an external hard drive is recommended to save the backup.

Here, we collected 3 backup tools to protect your files from various disasters effectively:

Here, you may pick up backup software as your first choice to protect your data with ease. It's reliable and easy.

Which to Choose? EaseUS Backup, Backup and Restore, File History

Some of you may have the same question here, which backup tool should I choose? EaseUS Todo Backup, Windows Backup and Restore, or File History? Based on the above-provided information, here, we listed a brief comparison table to help you decide which tool suits you the most:

EaseUS Todo Backup Windows Backup and Restore File History
Back up files, folders, hard drive partition, and OS. Back up files, folders, hard drive partition, and OS. Back up files and folders under C:/ user folder.
Support Windows 10/8/7, Windows XP and Vista Support Windows 10/7 Support Windows 8/10
Easy Complex Complex

Basically, if you are a Windows beginner or prefer an easy way to create an automatic backup plan of your files to an external hard drive, EaseUS Todo Backup worths a try. 

  Free Download

Support Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP

How to Automatically Backup Files to External Hard Drive - 3 Tools

How do I automatically back up files to an external hard drive in Windows 10, 8, or 7?  Follow the respective tool recommendation and tutorial guidelines, you'll fully back up your computer data with ease.

#Tool 1. Use Windows Backup Software

To automatically back up computer data to an external hard drive with ease, you can pick up a reliable Windows backup software for help. Third-party Windows backup software - EaseUS Todo Backup can help. 

Pros: Multiple file backup features, fast and small image size, and portable.  Cons: Not 100% free.

What you can back up with EaseUS backup software:

  • Back up specific files to internal or external HDD/SSD, cloud drive.
  • Back up hard drive partition to internal or external HDD/SSD, cloud drive.
  • Back up Windows OS to internal or external HDD/SSD, cloud drive.

EaseUS backup software enables all Windows users to back up their files to the desired device with ease. It offers two options to help you automatically backup files to an external hard drive:

#Option 1. Automatically Backup Files to External Hard Drive by Daily, Weekly, or Monthly

Preparations:

  • Connect your external hard drive to your computer.
  • Download EaseUS Todo Backup

Step 1. Launch EaseUS backup software and choose the File option on the main window.

click file bakup to back up files to external hard drive

Step 2. Select the files or folders you want to backup. Then click "Destination" to select the external hard drive as the backup storage location.

You can also enter "Plan name" and "Description" for specifying your file backup.

set the destination to save your backup

IMPORTANT NOTE:  

Click "File Type" if you want to specify certain types of files to backup. Here, multiple types of files including Documents Files, E-mail, Financial Files, Music Files, Picture Files, and Video Files, etc can be selected. 

select the file type

You can also click Add to add a new file type, in Add New Type window, you input Type Name and corresponding file type.

Step 3. Click the "Schedule" option to open the Backup Scheme window, here you can create a scheduled backup plan to backup files later, daily, weekly, monthly or upon event.

automatically back up files

The schedule is to create an automatic backup plan. It is not a prerequisite for backup. 

Step 4. Click "Proceed" to back up folders or files to the external hard drive.

#Option 2. Automatically Back Up Files to External Hard Drive When Plugged In

This smart backup program also offers a unique feature that enables you to automatically backup to USB drive when plugged in.

  Free Download

Support Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP

You can also do this to your external hard drive:

Preparations:

  • Connect your USB to your computer
  • Download EaseUS Todo Backup

Step 1. Launch EaseUS backup software and choose "File" on the window to make USB auto copy files when plugged in.

click file backup

Step 2. Decide a backup image location to save your files. Be aware of the "Schedule" part, and go to start a scheduled backup plan by setting "Upon event".

choose a location to save data

Upon event

The backup is to be automatically executed in the event of:

  • System startup - Backup runs automatically when the system starts up.
  • System shutdown - Backup runs automatically when the system is shut down.
  • User logon - Backup runs automatically when Windows logs in.
  • User logoff - Backup runs automatically when Windows logs off.
  • USB device plugged in - Backup runs automatically when the USB device is plugged in provided that it is set to be the destination.

Step 3. Choose start at "USB device plugged in..." and click "Save". Note the warning message, the automatic backup or copying will only happen to the exact device on which you created the task.

set a schedual to start to back up to usb automatically.

Step 4. After saving all changes, re-plug or reconnect your USB drive. Then when your computer recognizes the USB drive, the automatic copying and backup process starts.

Note: every new automatic backup plan requires the backup image saved at the last time, or else the backup software won't work as planned even it detects the same USB device.

Once the auto savings get done, each time you connected the backup drive to your computer and launch EaseUS Todo Backup, it will automatically run backup according to the schedule you set. In addition, you can change the previous settings at any time.

#Tool 2. Use Windows Backup and Restore

Windows Backup and Restore (Windows 7) program is a native tool for users to back up or restore files as necessary. With it, you can manually set up the backup plan to create file backups, including a system image to an external hard drive based on a fixed time interval. 

Pros: Free, fast, and portable. Cons: Huge image size, nearly the same as the source files.

See what you can backup with Windows Backup & Restore:

  • Back up files to an internal or external hard drive.
  • Back up partition to an internal or external hard drive.
  • Back up Windows system to internal or external HDD/SSD.

Tutorial: How to Set Up Automatic Backup Plan to Back Up Files to External Hard Drive

Note that this operation requires you to keep your external hard drive connected to your computer all the time, as a result, which might put your backup image in danger. The backup can be vulnerable to be deleted or infected by viruses and false operations.

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

Step 2. Go to Settings > System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

Step 3. Click "Change settings", select the external hard drive ("Removable Disk") to save a backup, and click "Next".

Select external hard drive as backup destination

Step 4. Then click "Let me choose" and "Next" to specify files that you need to back up.  Click "Next".

Select files to automatically back up to external drive

Step 5. Click "Change schedule", set to run backup on a schedule by daily, weekly, or monthly, and click "OK".

Set up auto backup plan

Step 6. Click "Set settings and run backup". 

Wait patiently to let Windows Backup and Restore to complete the process. 

#Tool 3. Use Windows File History

Like Windows Backup and Restore, Windows File History is another built-in tool that allows you to create an automatic backup plan of specific files on computers. 

Pros: Free, and fast. Cons: Huge image size, can't back up non-system drive files.

See what you can backup with Windows File History:

  • Back up Desktop files.
  • Back up Documents, Pictures, Music, Downloads。
  • Back up Once Drive in the user account.

Tutorial: How to Automatically Back Up Files to Your External Hard Drive via File History

You need also always keep your external hard drive connected to the PC all the time so as to allow File History to back up computer data to your drive automatically.

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive to PC.

Step 2. Open Control Panel, select "File History".

Step 3. Click "Select drive" on the File History window.

Step 4. Select your external hard drive "Removable disk" and click "OK" to continue.

Select external hard drive to automaticlly backup files

Step 5. Click "Advanced Settings", you can set how often to save copies of your files by minutes, hours, or daily.

Set up back up plan

Step 6. Click "Run now".

File History will automatically back up all folders under C: /Users/account name to your external hard drive.

It's Your Turn. Take Steps to Automatically Back Up Your Files Now

On this page, we showed you the best strategy for protecting your personal data on Windows PC. To protect your computer data in Windows 10/8/7, it is smart to automatically backup files to an external hard hard drive.

And we collected 3 tools to help you out. Among these tools, EaseUS Todo Backup with its schedule backup feature seems to be the easiest and most efficient solution. No matter which tool you decide to use, take action to back up your valuable files now.

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EaseUS Todo Backup

Smart backup tool for your files and entire computer in Windows 10/8/7.

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EaseUS Todo Backup

Download to start your backup and protect all data quickly.

  Free Download

Support Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP

100% Secure