How to Use Windows 8/8.1 WBadmin Backup Utility?

Posted by @Cody

April 14, 2016

Tutorial about how to use Windows 8/8.1 WBadmin to start backup and use free backup software - AOMEI Backupper, which works with Windows 10/8.1/8/7 and removes the restrictions of Windows 8 command line backup.

Backup options in Windows 8

In Windows 8/8.1, Microsoft has removed the Backup and Restore, a system utility can be used to backup your computer in Windows 7, which users have been complaining about a lot. As a compromise, Windows bought back System Image Backup in Windows 8, and even Backup and Restore in Windows 10. Fortunately, the WBadmin works the same as that in Widows 7. Therefore, if you want to create image backups besides system image backup, you can either use Windows 8 WBadmin or third party software to create bare metal backup from command line.

Start backups with WBadmin command

To create backup with WBadmin command in Windows 8, you can either use Command Prompt or PowerShell. Let’s take PowerShell as an example:

1. Type “powershell” in the search box, and run Windows PowerShell as administrator.

2. In the PowerShell window, type the backup command and press Enter.

For example, if you want to backup the C: drive including all critical volumes (containing operating system's state) to the E: drive no prompts, you can use this command script “WBadmin start backup -backupTarget:E: -include:C: -quiet-allcritical”.

“-backupTarget:” specifies the storage location to store the image backup by specifying the drive letter, volume GUID-based path, or shared folder address. ”-include: “specifies the items to be included in the backup. “-exclude:” specifies the items to be excluded from the backup. “-quiet” means to perform the backup without prompts

Create Image

3. The backup will start right away. Just wait till the process finishes.

This is how it works to create Windows 8 command line backup. You can also change the parameters according to your needs. To be able to restore this image backup, you need to prepare a Windows installation disc or create a recovery drive. To access the System Image Recovery option, boot the bootable media and go to Repair your computer—Troubleshoot—Advanced options.


1. The partitions included in the backup and the target partition have to be formatted with NTFS.

2. You can only keep one backup task running.

Create backups with free third party backup software

AOMEI Backupper Standard, completely free backup software for windows 8, allows you to create multiple types of backups without the restrictions that built-in backup tool has. It has many powerful features to guarantee the backup runs smoothly and efficiently. With its specialized design, you can easily perform backups with a few clicks; With scheduled differential/incremental backup, you can backup only changed and added files to save space while keeping your data backed up; With bootable media created by Backupper, you can restore your computer even if it is unbootable .

To create backups with AOMEI Backupper:

1. download and launch this free backup software.

2. Under Backup tab, choose one type of backup from System Backup, Disk Backup, Partition Backup, and File Backup. Let’s take System Backup as an example.

Backup Tab

3. Click Step 2 to select the backup destination. For System Backup, the program will include automatically the partition(s) that contains system files and boot file in the backup.

Step 2

4. Click Start Backup to run this backup.

While the backup is running, you can still use your computer to do other things. Besides backup and restore with its graphical interface, you can also try to run backup, restore, or clone from command line with the paid version of AOMEI Backupper. It works the same way as that of Windows 8 Wbadmin. You can type"AMBackup.exe /?" in a command prompt to see all the command-line utility parameters of AOMEI Backupper.