Should you backup Program Files?
We all know the importance of backup. We were asked to backup files before reformatting or any operation that may cause data loss. We also were told to backup important files to external storage like external hard drive, USB flash drive, NAS or network shared. Once the source file been damaged or lost, we can get it back with the backup image. Since we backed up so much stuff, is there a necessary to create a Program Files backup?
Actually, it is based on your needs. As we know, Program Files and Program Files (x86) folders are a place used to store software programs installed on the computer. If you just want to make a backup image for these files to avoid reinstalling next time, just create a system image and all of them would be included. By the way, you have two Program Files folders because the x86 version is there for backwards compatibility so that you can run 32-bit applications on a 64-bit OS.
However, some downloaded files of the program and the status of the program could be saved to these folders, such as game progress, account information, browser bookmark and so on. To keep them up-to-date, backup Program Files folder only could be the best way and saving destination backup storage at the same time. That could be one of reasons to do this kind of backup. Other situations like backup it and restore to another place is also a possible reason.
Program Files backup software for Windows 10/7/XP
Someone may wonder: does Windows 7 backup Program Files when running Backup and Restore utility? As a matter of fact, it will backup data of the selected drive. It states that program files, files stored on hard drive that formatted to FAT, files in Recycle Bin and temporary files that are less than 1GB will not be backed up. As a result, we need to turn to powerful third-party files and folders backup software say AOMEI Backupper Professional.
AOMEI Backupper provides File Backup feature that will help you backup Windows 7 Program Files folder, so does to Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows XP. During the backup, you have option to set password to protect the backup image, so that you can prevent the image from unauthorized access. You are allowed to backup files in incremental backup or differential backup, which would save destination storage and avoid repeated backups. Download 30-day free trial to have a try.
How to backup Windows Program Files to external hard drive?
AOMEI Backupper allows you to backup files to OneDrive, NAS, USB flash drive, and portable hard drive and so on. To backup Program Files to external hard drive, please first connect it to your PC and make sure it can be detected by Windows.
Step 1: install and run AOMEI Backupper. Click Backup and then File Backup.
Step 2: click on Add Folder > Browse > Computer or This PC > C drive > Program Files to add the source folder. Repeat the path to add Program Files (x86) folder if the need ever arises.
Step 3: click the second box to select the external hard drive as the destination path.
Step 4: click Start Backup.
* Backup Options: you can set Compression, Splitting, Password Protection etc. in this option.
*Schedule: you can set to backup in Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event-trigger modes and incremental & differential backup settings here.
*Scheme: a great backup storage manager which allows you to delete old backups automatically.
When you need these program files back, just perform file restore with the image. AOMEI Backupper is actually a great alternative to Windows 7 Backup and Restore utility. It provides many advanced backup option that the built-in utility does not have. You can create a bootable USB drive just in case.