How to Backup Computer to External Hard Drive?

This page offers the solution about how to backup your computer to external hard drive.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Sep 08, 2021 • Filed to: Take Data Backup • Proven solutions


When you have stored your data on a computer, it is vulnerable to a number of risks and jeopardies that might take it away from you within no time. Your computer might come across some sort of physical damage due to a fall, power surge, or some other issues. There might be a cyberattack, a natural disaster, theft of physical devices, or any other incident that might free you of all your important data. Therefore, the best way to ensure the possession of everything you have been rooting for is to backup your computer. There are numerous means to take a backup of your computer files. Some of them are discussed below.

On Windows: Backup Windows Computer to External Hard Drive

    1. The first step when you are looking to back up a computer to an external hard drive is to get a drive for backup. You may get a USB device or some external hard drives for that purpose. It is recommended to get one that almost doubles the size of your original hard drive so that you might be able to get multiple backups easily.
    2. After you plug in the external hard drive, Windows would generate a prompt menu asking you if you are willing to use this device as a backup device or not. You can say yes or you can close the prompt and go to the Start menu and look for "backup and restore".

backup windows computer to external hard drive

  1. When you have opened up the "backup and restore" menu, you need to hit the "Set up backup" button in order to initiate the process of backing up the computer. Select the external drive you want to back up on and keep on pressing "Next".

backup windows computer

  1. When you come across the final screen, select the "Save settings and run backup" option and Windows will start taking all the required backups of your computer. Do not turn off the computer in the middle of this process so that it might be completed properly.

backup computer

Part 2: On Mac: How to Backup Mac to External Hard Drive

  1. The first step required in the process of backing up your Mac device requires you to buy a new drive for backup purposes. You may get yourself a USB device or an external drive in this regard. Care to buy a drive with enough room to store more than one backup at the same time.
  2. Upon plugging in your device, you would be prompted by Mac saying if you want this drive to serve as a backup disk. You can say yes or you may do it manually by going to System Preferences > Time Machine.

backup mac to external hard drive

  1. After opening the Time Machine app, you need to hit the "Select backup disk" option in order to select the external hard drive you want to take your backup on.

backup mac

  1. When you have selected the backup disk, the Mac OS would start performing the backup operations. It is important to keep the computer on during this process. Otherwise, the backup might be interrupted and stay incomplete.

After the process is done, you can turn off the computer as per your requirement. When there is a need to restore the data, you can open up the Time Machine app and carry out a system restore by selecting the backup device.

Part 3: Backup Windows Computer to External Drive with AOMEI Backupper

Windows Backup function is a simple and understandable way to help you do data backups, but it might not satisfy your various needs including file sync and differential backup. Therefore, third-party backup software like AOMEI Backupper may be what you really want. AOMEI Backupper is a fully free backup and recovery software with automatic, full, incremental, and differential backups available. It offers more options to configure a backup than Windows Backup does, and allows you to only backup new and changed files, which will save backup time and storage space. Moreover, its intuitive interface makes everything you do with it really simple.

data backup
  • Allows you to take automatic, full, incremental, and differential backups of system, disk, partition, and files.
  • Supports system restore, disk restore, dissimilar hardware restore, partition restore, and selective file restore.
  • Supports disk clone, partition/volume clone, flexible clone, system clone, and command line clone.
  • Can schedule file sync for real-time data backup to internal hard disks and external hard drives.
  • Offers additional essential utilities - PXE boot tool, merge backup images, encrypt image, etc.
  • Supports Windows 10, Windows 8.1/8, Windows 7, Vista, and XP (all editions, 32/64-bit)

Part 4: Some Important Tips Regarding Backup of Important Data

When you are looking to back up the computer, a few tips that might come in very handy are listed below for your convenience and understanding.

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