How to Automatically Backup File Using Task Scheduler?

Posted by @Cody

October 12, 2018

Task Scheduler is a built-in Windows features with multiple options to trigger a task. Learn 3 ways to backup file using Task Scheduler.

The schedule settings in Windows Backup is not adequate

There are several ways that can cause your data loss, like system crash, hard drive failure, virus infection, theft, etc. Windows provides many backup and recovery options to help you protect your data.

In Windows 7, you can create System Restore Points to protect your system state and previous versions of files, and Backup and Restore to create image backup including system image and files. In Windows 8, Microsoft has introduced File History to backup multiple versions of your personal files. In Windows 10, Microsoft adds OneDrive that allows you to backup data to cloud drive.

Some of these backup options support automatic scheduled backup, but the schedule options are limited, which you may not content with. In that case, you can use the help of Task Scheduler, a built-in tool allows you to automatically perform routine tasks, to run scheduled backups in a more flexible way. 

Configure Auto backup folder with Task Scheduler

Besides run a backup at a specific time daily/weekly/monthly, task scheduler allows you to initialize a task a trigger chosen is met. There are a lot of triggers that you can choose like when a specific system event occurs, when the computer is in an idle state, when the system is loaded, when a user is logged on.

Sounds good? Then you can follow the steps below to set up a scheduled backup to backup full sytem system:

1. You can press Windows + R to open a Run window. Type “taskschd.msc” in the Run box and press Enter to open Task Scheduler. You can also access Task Scheduler from Control Panel\System and Security\Administrative Tools.

2. Click Create Task to begin the settings.

Create Task

3. In General, set a task name and write a description.Check the option Run whether user is logged on if needed.

Run Whether User Logged On

4. Under Triggers tab, click New to create a new trigger. You can add whatever trigger you want. If you want to trigger the backup at computer startup, just select At startup and click OK.

At Startup

5. Under Actions tab, Click New to add. Type “wbadmin” in the Program/script box, and type “start backup -backupTarget:F: –include:C:\Users\My documents” (without quotes) in Add argument (optional). If you need to include other files in the backup, just change the WBadmin backup command parameter. For example, if you want to add system image into the backup, just add the switch “-allcritical” (without quotes).

Edit Action

6. Click OK and type in your user password. Then you can see the task in the Task Scheduler Library.

Besides System image backup, your files are also important. In Windows 10/8/7, System Restore Points not only backup your system state, but also save file versions so you can restore them to previous version.

If you think the time gap between each restore point is too long, you can also use Task Scheduler to take system restore points.

Custom previous versions frequency with task scheduler

Once you have enabled System Protection in Windows 7/8/10, the task to perform system restore points has been added to Task Scheduler. You can find it through Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > SystemRestore. Locate the task named “SR”, and double-click to edit it. You can either change the trigger or add new triggers.

Advanced way to automatically backup files with Task Scheduler

Although Windows already provides many backup and restore features, they all have some limitation. For example, Windows Backup can only protect volumes formatted with NTFS . If you do like the built-in backup features, then free backup software AOMEI Backupper Standard is recommended.

AOMEI Backupper allows you to backup files, system and entire hard drive or SSD drive into a compressed image file. It already provides you enough options to schedule a custom backup. What’s more, you can also use Task Scheduler to run the backup. 

Follow the To set up auto backup folder in Windows 7/8/10:

1. Download this free backup software and run it on your computer. Select “File Backup” under “Backup” tab.

File Backup

2. Under Step 1, click “Add File” to include the files or “Add Folder” to include folders in the backup.

Add Folder

3. Click “Step 2” to select a location as receive the image backup file. In the Schedule Settings, you have many options including daily, weekly, monthly, event triggers. Here, let’s set up the backup as an example. Just select the Event triggers, check the System Startup option.

Event triggers in advanced version, Professional.

Schedule Backup Setting

4. If you like to use this freeware to handle the scheduled backup, you can just click OK and go to the next step. If you want to Task Scheduler to run the backup, click on the Advanced tab, and check the option Use Task Scheduler to run this backup.

Use Task Scheduler

5. Click “Start Backup” to start this file backup.

Start Backup

6. Go to Task Scheduler to find this task and edit it if need be.

After that, you can create a bootable media under Utilities, so you can restore files when you can unable to boot into Windows. Besides backup and restore, the advanced version of this software also allows you to create real-time sync task, schedule backup to cloud drive, or clone hard drive to another one to protect your data.

Above are three methods to backup file using Task Scheduler. Which one do you prefer? If there any other good methods or tool to automatically backup files? Leave your thought in the comment section.