How to Create a System Image Backup in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to create a complete system backup in Windows 11. When you create a system image, it takes a complete backup of everything on your PC’s hard drive – similarly to take a snapshot of your entire drive, system files and everything.

Doing a system image backup is useful in cases where you’ll want to restore your complete PC at a point in time when the image was created. Usually, a complete system image is taken once after the PC has been tested and in full working order.

Taking a complete system backup isn’t the best solutions for all situations. For most users, simply backing up important documents should be enough.

If you’re worried about losing important documents that are difficult to replace, then doing a complete system image backup shouldn’t be your backup strategy. A system image backup is ideal for situations where an important PC with critical applications and complicated setup and settings that are difficult and time consuming to rebuild. In this case, doing a complete backup of the system and stored somewhere is a best case in this situation.

For majority of users, the backup strategy in this post below should be considered.

How to Backup and Restore in Windows 11 – Website for Students

For complete image backup, continue below:

How to create complete system backup in Windows 11

Windows 11 comes with a built-in backup solution that can backup the operating system, applications and files at a certain point in time, and save to an external hard disk in case of system failure.

As mentioned above, system image backup isn’t ideal for most situation. System images are very large, and contain many files you really don’t need.

Windows 11 has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating Windows, all can be done from its System Settings pane.

To get to System Settings, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click on Start ==> Settings as shown in the image below:

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and search for Settings. Then select to open it.

Windows Settings pane should look similar to the image below. In Windows Settings, click System, select Storage on the right pane of your screen shown in the image below.

On the Storage settings pane, under Storage management, select Advanced storage settings to expand more storage options.

Next, select Backup options

Toggle the button to enable File History backup.

Then click Add a drive to select the drive to backup the system image to. System image can only be saved on an external drive, CD/DVD disc or network location.

Next, click the link to go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7). Doing that will open another windows in Control Panel.

Click on Create a system image.

Next, select the destination to save the system image. For this post, we’re going to be saving on an external hard disk.

Finally, click Start backup to begin the backup process.

Wait for the process to complete. Depending on the size of your hard drive, this could take hours.

Once the backup is complete, remove the drive and store in a safe place. The image on the drive can be used to restore your PC to the date and time of the creation.


This post showed you how to create a system image backup in Windows 11. If you find any error above, please use the comment form below to report.