How to back up to an external hard drive

Backing up to an external hard drive using Windows Backup


If you plan on using Windows Backup instead of the manufacturer’s pre-installed backup software for your external hard drive, I would recommend that you firstly reformat the drive.

To do this, take the following steps:

(1)    Click Start Menu (bottom left corner)

(2)    Right click ‘Computer’

(3)    Click ‘Manage’

(4)    Click ‘Disk Management’. This displays a list, which will include your hard drive, detailing the volume, layout, type, file system and status of each device.

(5)    Select your hard drive

(6)    Right click this device in the pane under the list

(7)    Click Format…

(8)    Change to NTFS in the dropdown box for ‘Change the File system’.


You can then start to use the external hard drive to back up your files:

(1)    Click Start Menu (bottom left corner)

(2)    Click 'Help and Support'

(3)    Type 'Back up your files' into the bar at the top

(4)    Click 'Back up your files' in the list of topics

(5)    Click 'Click to open Backup and Restore’

(6)    Click 'Set up backup' and follow steps in the wizard, specifying where the files are to be stored (the connected external harddrive) and the files to be backed up (either 'Let Windows choose' or choose individual files yourself)

(7)    You can change the scheduling of the backups on the 'Review your backup settings' page under 'Change schedule' (Default schedule is 19.00 on Sunday)

(8)    Save settings and exit. The computer will now perform the first back up and then backup up according to your schedule.

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