Why should you backup user profile in Windows 10?
As you know, it takes considerable time to customize a new Windows 10 computer to exactly the way you want it. When it finishes, you probably do want to do the annoying process again when you buy a new computer or fresh install Windows on a new hard disk drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD).
To avoid that, you can backup user profile in Windows 10 and then move it to another computer or new installation of Windows. Having a copy of user profile is also a good practice to prevent data loss.
When you perform a Windows 10 update, there are chances that some folder will get re-written abnormally. Besides, some unexpected issues like ransomware virus may prevent you from accessing the user profile. Therefore, in any matters, you should have your users’ data backed up.
Backup user profile using Windows Backup
In Windows 10, you can use the old Backup and Restore (Windows 7) tool to backup your data including user profile. It is recommended to backup to network drive, external hard drive or other offsite location.
To backup user profile with Windows Backup and Restore:
1. Click on Start and then navigate to Settings > Update&Security > Backup > Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7) to open it.
2. In the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) window, click “Set up backup” on the right.
3. Select the location to save the Windows 10 user profile backup and click “Next” to continue. If you want to backup computer to external hard drive in Windows 10, select the external drive at this step.
4. In the next screen, select “Let me choose” and click “Next”.
5. By default, it has selected all the of created users profiles and system drive(s). If you only want to backup user profile, uncheck the option “Include a System Image ”.
6. In the next screen, it will give you a summary of this backup operation. If no issues, click Save settings and run backup.
If you need to move this user profile to another Windows computer, you can copy the backup to that computer and restore it within Windows 10. You can also restore it from Windows 10 recovery drive.
Backup user profile from Advanced System Properties
If you do not need an image file and just want to copy the user profile in Windows 10 to another hard drive or computer, you can use the second method, which is much simpler. Windows provides a built-in tool copy, delete or move a user profile.
1. Right click on This PC and select Properties, and then select “Advanced system settings”.
2. Click the Settings button under User Profiles.
3. In a popup window, all the user profiles will be listed. You can select any user profile to copy to another location by clicking “Copy To”.
Backup user profile with free backup software
If you want to continuously backup user profile without taking much disk space, you can use free backup software AOMEI Backupper Standard. It allows you to perform incremental and differential backups, get notified by email when a backup is completed, and more.
To backup user profile with AOMEI Backupper:
1. Download and install this free backup and restore software.
2. In the main interface, click “Backup” and select “File Backup”.
3. Under “Step 1”, click “Add Folder ”to include the user profile folders into the backup.
4. Click “Step 2” to specify where you want to save the image backup.
5. Click “Schedule” to configure a time if need be. Under the Advanced tab, you can specify how the backup to be performed, incremental, differential, or full backup. You can also set it to use Windows Task Scheduler to run the backup.
6. Click “Start Backup” and choose a way ("Add the schedule and start backup now" or "Only add the schedule") to run the backup.
After the first full backup, all the continuous scheduled backup will be performed as incremental backups by default to save disk space.
If you need to move the entire hard drive including the operating system and everything to another hard drive or SSD, you can use its Disk Clone feature. It allows you to clone large disk to smaller disk as well as clone MBR disk to GPT disk.
If you need to move customized system including user data to another computer, you can create a full system backup of the current computer and then restore to your new computer with AOMEI Backupper Professional.