Since data can be lost or corrupt by various means — viruses, power failures, inexperienced users, etc. — it is very important, for even home users, to back up their files. By performing a simple backup, a home user can easily restore their files should they become corrupt or mysteriously disappear.

Windows 7 makes it easy for you to create a backup of your files through the Windows Backup program that lets you make copies of your files or create a system image. Although it is not an elaborate program, it has all the necessary features for home users to back up their important files.

To create a backup in Windows 7:

  1. Click Start and click Control Panel.
  2. Click System and Security.
  3. Click Backup and Restore Center.
  4. Click the Set up backup button.
  5. Select where you want to save your backup and click Next.
  6. Windows prompts you to select what you want to back up. You can let Windows choose or you select the files to include in the backup. Most people likely want to choose their own files so click the Let me choose option. Click Next.
  7. Select the drives and folders you want to backup. Click Next.
  8. Click the Save settings and run backup button.

Given that home users often overlook their backup plan, you should schedule Windows Backup to run automatically, say on a weekly or monthly basis depending on how critical your files are. You can change the default backup schedule by selecting the Change Schedule option in step 7.

Be sure to read part 2 of this article series, where we show you how to verify your backup configuration is working properly.