Use Wbadmin to Create Specific Files and Folders Backup

Posted by @Cody

December 10, 2015

Learn how to use Wbadmin command line to backup files and folders with a certain exclusion. Also you can use free backup software for file backup from GUI.

Can I use Wbadmin to backup files and folders?

Although you can create file backup using Backup and Restore in Windows 10/8/7, you cannot specify a path to a file to be included in a backup with Wbadmin. Including files or folders into a backup is also impossible using WBadmin in Windows Server 2008 or earlier version of Windows Server. Luckily, Started with Windows Server 2008 R2, WBadmin enables you to add items including files, folders, or volumes into a backup. Likewise, you can also exclude some files, folders, and volumes from a backup. What’s more, the wildcard character (*) is supported to be used when specifying a path to a file.

How to use Wbadmin for file backup?

Wbadmin utility allows you to create a file/folder backup with a certain exclusion from command line. To use subcommand to perform backups, you must be a member of the Administrators group, or you must have the appropriate privileges.

To use wbadmin start backup folder:

1. Install the Windows Server Backup in Server Manager on your Server if you haven’t.

2. Right-click Command Prompt in the Start menu and then click Run as administrator to open an elevated command prompt.

3. Input a proper command to run the file backup. For example, wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:F: –allcritical –include:C:\Users\My documents –exclude: C:\Users\My documents\*.doc. This subcommand is to backup C:\Users\My documents to F: drive excluding all the .doc files.

File Backup

If you do not want to be prompted to enter Y to continue, you can add the –quiet switch, and then it will run the backup without prompt. Note that you can only specify a volume formatted with NTFS as target location when using command line backup files, and the next backup will overwrite the previous one if you do not change the target location.

Advanced way to run file backup

Despite the flaws of Wbadmin, it somehow just fails with an error message and can hardly be fixed. In this case, you may want to consider another way around to backup files. Windows Server backup software - AOMEI Backupper Server provides AMBackup.exe utility for users to run backups from a batch (.bat) file or directly write commands with an elevated command prompt. It also comes with an intuitive graphic users’ interface (GUI), so you can easily create file backup even for the first time to try.

To backup files on Windows Server using AOMEI Backupper Server:

1. Download, install, and launch AOMEI Backupper Server. Then select “File Backup” under “Backup” tab.

Backup Tab

2. Click “Add File” to include the file(s) or “Add Folder” to include folders in the backup. You can also edit the task name there. If you add folders in the backup, you can set a filter to exclude subfolders or files from the backup. Wildcard character can be used when specifying folder name of file name.

Add File

3. After selecting folders or files, click “Step 2” to select a location as the destination path. You can also set this as a schedule (automatic) backup by clicking “Schedule Off”. More options like email notification, compression, and encryption are available under “Backup Options”.

Select Location

4. Click “Start Backup” to run this file backup.

Besides specific files and folders backup, AOMEI Backupper supports System Backup, Disk Backup, System Clone, Dissimilar (Universal) Restore, Create Bootable Media, and Incremental/differential Backup