Tutorial to Make a System Image Backup on USB Drive in Windows 10

Being a passionate user of Windows 10, I’m always looking for some great solutions that can help me out in establishing a better user-experience with my Windows. Though the Windows 10 itself gives you the best features out of it, but most of you might not have used the “System Image” utility. Today, in this post I’ll be explaining to you what is a system image and how you can create it without using any third party software. But, first let me tell you more about a system image, and why you must create it.

System Image or Image Backup

The system image or image backup is a feature of Windows 10 that lets you create an entire copy of your system. This means that you will have a full installation copy of your operating system including the desktop programs, Windows applications and other files within your computer. In short it’s a Windows 10 backup but it’s a native feature, you can use this tutorial if you want to take backup with a free tool.

Benefit of Creating Image Backup

One of the major advantages of system image is that you will have a restore solution which you can use in the event of a hardware failure or other viruses. One thing that you must note is that you cannot choose to restore individual files, instead it makes a bit-by-bit image onto the same hard drive partition.

In simple, it is an effective backup solution for you. I recently used this feature and thought of creating a guide for you people so that you can do the same. Check out the below guide with images that shows you how to create a system image.

Creating a System Image [Definative Guide]

1: Head over to your desktop, right-click on the Windows icon and click on “Control Panel”. To get control panel shortcut on desktop check this post.control panel

2: From the Control Panel click on “File History”.file history

3: Now, fetch an external USB flash drive. I recommend using a minimum of 8GB or a 16GB flash drive because we need enough space to store the system image. Connecting the USB drive is also necessary because you cannot “turn on” the File History without it.turn on file history

4: Once the file history is set to “on”, see on the bottom left corner of the box, you can see a “System Backup Image” link. Click on it! I removed the USB for some reason, as you can see in the image below, but it’s not necessary. You USB must be connected with your machine.system image backup

5: A new window will open. Here you have to click on “Set up backup” option, and wait while the Windows starts the backup.set up backup

6: Once the Windows executes the backup process, it will ask you to select a drive to save the backup. From the available options, choose the “Removable Storage” USB drive.select drive

7: Next, Windows will ask you to review the backup settings. Choose the below options as shown in the image. run backup

backup in progressThe average time for system back is somewhere between 10 minutes and up to 2 Hours. It all depends on the amount of data in your system, as it is a bit by bit backup, and will obviously take more time.

But, once the it creates a system image on the USB Drive, be sure to keep it in a safe place or inside a locker. In case you experience a hardware failure or a virus attack, you’ll always have a backup option 🙂

Let me know if yo were successful creating the system image. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog, and do leave your feedback in comments. 


  1. How you can get the whole system on a tiny flashdrive is beyond me. I use the system image function. It takes 12 hours and 1.5 TB…..

    What you get on the flash is only the system repair files, not the files themselves.