[Solved] How to Backup Laptop to External Hard Drive on Windows 10/11

In this post, we will provide a full guide on how to backup a laptop to an external hard drive on Windows 10/11. We recommend EaseUS Todo Backup to you as it is easy to use and works on both Windows 10/11.

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Tracy King

Updated on Nov 17, 2023

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How Do I Backup My Entire Computer to an External Hard Drive?

Before you face performance issues on your laptop, factory reset your device, fall short on storage, and screen freezes, you should create a backup to an External Hard Drive. Backup on an external drive ensures that you can retrieve it whenever you want to restore your files and media. It would have been lost if the backup was on the same drive.

If you are wondering how to backup a laptop to the external hard drive on Windows 10/11, we have you covered!

Reasons to Backup Laptop to External Hard Drive on Windows 

Data crashes can happen anytime. It can be an electronic failure, Windows OS BSOD, or an electronic issue where the hardware fails. These are some of the reasons why you should always have a backup. 

On top of this, the backup mustn't be in the same place where your data is.  Here are some more prominent reasons:

  • Hard Drive Failure: Hard Drive is a physical device susceptible to damage. Even an SSD can fail as it ages. Backup on it means it will be lost.
  • Immediate availability: Backup on an external drive means you have it immediately. You don't need to download or get it from somewhere. You connect it, use the right software, and restore it. 
  • Faster Restore: Local backups are faster to restore. Since you save time on the download and don't need to set up a network connection, restoration can happen rather quickly.

These are a few reasons, but it is essential to automatic backup laptop data regularly on External Drive.

How to Backup Laptop to External Hard Drive on Windows 10/11?

Various methods are available when you want to back up a laptop to an External Hard Drive on Windows 10/11. You can backup using EaseUS Todo Backup, File History, or Control Panel Backup and Restore. You should know which one to select per your prerequisites as everyone has its pros and cons.

Method 1. Backup Laptop to External Hard Drive with EaseUS

The best method to backup the laptop to External Hard Drive is with EaseUS Todo Backup. It is because it is easy to use and automatic, and you are unfamiliar with its technology. There are several benefits of using EaseUS Todo Backup.

The main features of EaseUS Todo Backup are listed here:

  • Good for Beginners
  • User-friendly interface
  • Automatic backup
  • Lossless transmission
  • Creates a system image
  • Partitioned backup

Here we have listed three more features about EaseUS Todo Backup that you may be interested in. Just check the link page below:

Though you need to download it for use, the restore is worth it! Here we will provide a step-by-step guide to help you backup your laptop to an external hard drive. 

Step 1. To initiate a backup, click the Select backup contents option.

create file backup step1

Step 2. There are four data backup categories, File, Disk, OS, and Mail, click File.

create file backup step2

Step 3. On the left, both local and network files will be shown. You may extend the directory to pick the backup files.

File backup

Step 4. Follow the on-screen instructions and choose a location to store the backup.

File backup step4

Click Options to encrypt the backup with a password in Backup Options, then click Backup Scheme to specify the backup schedule and start the backup at a certain event. There are also other additional choices you may choose to tailor the backup process to your requirements.

Backup options

Step 5. The backup may be stored on a local disk, EaseUS' online service, or NAS.

file backup step4

Step 6. EaseUS Todo Backup enables customers to back up data to a third-party cloud drive as well as its own cloud drive.

If you want to back up data to a cloud drive provided by a third party, choose Local Drive, scroll down to add Cloud Device, and then add and log in to your account.

Backup to cloud
You can also choose the EaseUS cloud drive. Sign up for an EaseUS Account, then click EaseUS Cloud and log in.

backup to easeus cloud

Step 7. Click Backup Now to begin the backup process. The backup job will be presented as a card on the left side of the panel after it has been finished. Right-click the backup job to handle it further.

File backup step7

windows 11 backup to external drive

Windows 11 Backup to External Drive

This post provides three options for backing up Windows 11 to an external hard drive: Windows Backup and Restore, dependable backup software, and File History. Continue reading to find out how to secure your Windows 11 computer.

Method 2. Backup Laptop to External Hard Drive with File History 

You can simply backup the laptop to External Hard Drive with File History provided by Microsoft to Windows Users. However, the drawback is that the method is not automatic. Hence, computer novices cannot nail it. If you are well-versed with technical skills, then only you should try it! 

Follow the steps given below to create a laptop backup to External Drive with File History:

Step 1. Press Win + S to open Windows Search and type File History. Once it appears in the result, click to open it.

Step 2. You will need to configure the backup location and files you want to backup. You can select folders and then run the backup.

Step 3. Click on "Advanced settings", and then you can configure how often to save files and how long you plan to keep the files. 

File History Advanced Settings

File History backup only backups your file and any modification in it. It comes in handy when you lose a file or want to restore it to a version where the data was as expected.

Method 3. Backup Laptop to External Hard Drive with Control Panel 

Apart from File History, you can even backup the laptop to External Drive with the Control Panel of your Windows OS. It will backup your laptop and files to a secondary storage device on your laptop. 

This method needs a bit of understanding, and hence beginners might find it difficult at the start. Take a slow approach on this one.

Also called Backup & Restore, you can create a complete backup of your laptop and system files using System Image. This image will be saved to the external hard drive. Further, you can use this image to recover your Windows OS, Settings, and files! 

Follow the steps below to Backup Laptop using Control Panel:

Step 1. Open Control Panel by typing control in the Run prompt and pressing the Enter key.

Step 2. Go to "Backup & Restore", and click to open it. 

Backup Restore Files Windows

Step 3. Select "Set up backup", and then follow the wizard to set up backup on an external drive. During this process, you can schedule backup files and create a system image of the driver.

According to the size of data and your system's memory, the backup would take variable time. After completing it, you can remove the external hard drive and store it wherever you want.

Choose the Best Method to Backup Laptop to External Hard Drive 

Since you know three methods you can use to Backup and Restore, you need to know which would work best for you. Let's compare all of them! 

Comparison Backup with EaseUS Todo Backup Backup with File History Backup with Control Panel
1. Backup speed 53.33 Mbps 30 Mbps 5 Mbps
2. Pros Backups even apps, programs, updates, and Settings Quick to use Cloud-drive support provided safe and Reliable Offline software available Saves previous versions. Completely free Specify a frequency to backup Creates a system image Completely free
3. Cons Need to download the file and install it on the PC Only file history data will back up Does not Create a system backup Difficult to access and restore
4. Best for Beginners, large backups System files Internal Disk
5. User-friendliness High Low Low

Comparing the three, you should use EaseUS to backup data on your External Hard Drive. The third-party tool backs up data faster and has several benefits over Windows File History and System image backup. Besides, it is user-friendly and saves all your portals, files, and configurations.

Pro Tip: Recover Laptop Backup on Windows 

Recovering data is an equally important aspect, like a backup. Many of us don't face the data loss problem; hence, we have never tried to restore. So if you have never tried it, how do you know the backup will work? This section will share how you can recover laptop backup on Windows.

Recover Laptop Backup with EaseUS 

If you have backed up your laptop to an external drive with EaseUS and your data gets corrupted, you should recover it! With boot partitions, program files, and operating systems, you can safely, securely, and reliably recover the data in an easy-peasy manner. Besides, you do not have to face a hassle and will restore every inch of your data. You do not have to face much struggle while accessing the backup files as it has a friendly user interface.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Todo Backup, click "Browse to Recover".

Click Browse to Recover

Step 2. Guide to your backup destination, choose the backup file you want to recover. (The backup file created by EaseUS Todo Backup is a pbd file.)

Choose the backup file

Step 3. Choose the recovery location. You can recover data to a specific location or to original location.

File recovery step3

Step 4. Click "Proceed" and the recovery would start.

Recover Laptop Backup with File History

When you upgrade your system or find any files missing, the backup data helps! You can connect your external hard drive to your PC and restore whatever you want. However, you will have to follow a long-form procedure. 

Follow the steps given below to recover the laptop backup with File History:

Step 1. Enter Restore File on your Windows Taskbar, and click on the "Restore your Files with File History" option.

Step 2. Choose the files you want to retrieve and if you want a specific version, click on the arrowhead and select a version you want to restore.

File History

Step 3. Further, click "Restore" and select a location where you want to save the backed-up file.

Recover Laptop Backup with Control Panel 

If you backed up your data on an External Hard Drive using the Control Panel feature, you could restore it! Though it will retrieve all your files but will not restore any app, drivers, or updates! 

Follow the steps given below to Recover Laptop Backup with Control Panel:

Step 1. Click on the Windows icon to open the Start Menu. Head over to the Control Panel.

Step 2. In the search box, type Control Panel for Recovery and navigate towards it.

System Recovery

Step 3. Go to "Recovery", and choose the "Open System Restore" option. Click on the "Next" button. Follow the restore wizard, where you will need to choose the date to which the PC will restore. 

Select System Restore Date

The process will bring back any lost files, but the new files will also be missing. Ensure you have a copy of the new data somewhere on the PC.

Wrap Up 

You would have gotten your answer if you were thinking about how to back up your laptop to the external hard drive on Windows 10/11. You can backup your laptop using the File History Feature of Windows 10, use the Control Panel for creating a system, or, most preferably, use EaseUS for a legitimate full backup of your laptop to the hard drive. 

Several queries would pop up in your mind! 

1. How do I backup my computer?

Creating a computer backup is equally essential. You can do so using the Backup and Restore feature. Head to the Start Menu, search for "Backup and Restore", and click "Open". Then choose to backup your entire computer, and you will be prompted to start the process. You can proceed to save it to an external drive or cloud server computer to restore it later. 

2. How do I backup Acer's laptop to an external hard drive?

You can backup Acer's laptop by connecting an external hard drive. Navigate to my computer, copy-paste all your data, head to the external drive, and paste it there. However, it will not create a system image. To create a system image, you should use a Control Panel if you have good technical skills and time or go for credible backup software.

3. What is the best way to backup a laptop?

The best way to backup a laptop is to use the EaseUS Todo Backup Software. You can save the backup to an External hard drive or cloud storage. With more incredible speed and more security, you can quickly backup your laptop. 

4. How to automatically backup files to an external hard drive on Windows 10?

You can automatically backup files on an external hard drive on Windows by enabling the File History feature.

  • Step 1. Head over to the "Settings", and move to "Update and Security".
  • Step 2. Select "Backup and Restore" and enable the "backup" option.

Consequently, the backup speed is slow, making the interface difficult to use. Here too, there's a more straightforward method. You should download EaseUS Todo Backup, which automatically backups your data without hassle. It creates a system backup and is available for laptops and computers using Windows OS.

EaseUS Todo Backup

EaseUS Todo Backup is a dependable and professional data backup solution capable of backing up files, folders, drives, APP data and creating a system image. It also makes it easy to clone HDD/SSD, transfer the system to different hardware, and create bootable WinPE bootable disks.

  • Updated by


    Larissa has rich experience in writing technical articles. After joining EaseUS, she frantically learned about data recovery, disk partitioning, data backup, and other related knowledge. Now she is able to master the relevant content proficiently and write effective step-by-step guides on computer issues.…
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  • Written by

    Tracy King

    Tracy became a member of the EaseUS content team in 2013. Being a technical writer for over 10 years, she is enthusiastic about sharing tips to assist readers in resolving complex issues in disk management, file transfer, PC & Mac performance optimization, etc., like an expert.…
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