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How to Back up Your Personal Data in Windows 10

A backup is a second copy of all your important files. For example, your document, email, password and so on. Instead of storing it all in one place, like your computer hard drive, you can keep another copy of everything somewhere safe. This article describes 2 ways to back up the data file in Windows 10.

Tips: If your Windows 10 fails to boot, see How to Backup Your Data without Booting into Windows 10.

Option 1: Back up Data using USB drive

You’ll need an external hard drive and plug it into your computer.

Step 1: In Windows 10, go from Start > Settings > Update & Security.

Do backup in Windows 10

Step 2: Select Backup tab, then click Add a drive and select your external hard drive from the list.

Add a drive

Step 3: Click Turn on button. Windows will back up all your files automatically from now on.

Turn on automatically back up

Make sure to plug in your hard drive regularly so it can save your files!

How to Back up via OneDrive in Windows 10

A simple way to start saving your files to the internet is by using OneDrive. OneDrive is free online storage that provides 15 GB of free cloud space for you to store photos, music, documents, and other files. These files can be synced among multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets, and PCs.

To use OneDrive to keep most important documents safe, here's how:

Step 1: Open OneDrive in Windows 10 PC.

Press Windows+E on keyboard, OneDrive is in the Navigation Pane of File Explorer.

Step 2: Select a OneDrive folder(ex: Picture) from the list of save locations. Then drag or copy the file you want to save on to OneDrive folder.

Back up data via OneDrive

File Explorer icons show you the sync status of your offline folders and files.

Sync status of offline file and folder

To configure OneDrive to sync only certain folders in Windows 10, here's how:

Step 1: Right-click on OneDrive icon on the taskbar notification area, and click Settings.

Open OneDrive Settings

Step 2: Click on the Account tab, click on the Choose folders button under the top OneDrive section.

Choose folders to sync

Step 3: Uncheck Sync all file option, go on to uncheck folders you don't want to sync. When done, click OK.

Sync only folders you selected

Files you save to OneDrive are available online at and offline on your PC.