Backup and Restore

Backup and Restore
Component of Microsoft Windows
BackupRestore logo.png
Backup And Restore.png
Backup and Restore in Windows 11
TypeBackup tool
Included inWindows Vista and later
Replaced by
File History

Backup and Restore (formerly known as SafeDocs in build 5098 to build 5219) is a component of Microsoft Windows. It is the primary backup tool of Windows Vista and Windows 7. It can create file and folder backups, as well as system image backups that can be used for recovery in the event of data corruption, hard disk drive failure, or malware infection.

It replaced the legacy NTBackup tool that was present from Windows NT 3.51 to Windows XP and unlike its predecessor, it supports using CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs, but does not support tape drives as backup media.

Backup and Restore was deprecated in Windows 8 in favor of File History and was removed completely in Windows 8.1. However, it returned in Windows 10 to provide compatibility for backups that were made on the legacy tool, as "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)".

A server version of Backup and Restore called Windows Server Backup exists in Windows Server 2008 and later.

History[edit | edit source]

Windows Vista[edit | edit source]

Backup and Restore was initially introduced in Windows Vista as "Backup and Restore Center" and it gives users the ability to schedule periodic backups of files on their computer, as well as recovery from previous backups.

Backups are incremental, storing only the changes made each time, minimizing disk usage. It also added the ability to perform a Complete PC Backup (available only in the Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise editions), which backs up an entire computer as an image onto a hard disk or DVD. Complete PC Backup can automatically recreate a machine setup onto new hardware or hard disk in case of any hardware failures. Complete PC Restore can be initiated from within the operating system or from the Windows Vista installation disc if the computer cannot start normally from the hard disk.

However, it did not allow users to choose specific files, locations, or users to back up; instead, it backs up content from all users based on pre-set categories which includes audio tracks, compressed files, documents, email, photos, recorded television shows, videos, and additional user files. Users could only choose whether to perform a backup of a certain category.

Windows 7[edit | edit source]

In Windows 7, Backup and Restore Center was renamed to simply Backup and Restore and added the ability for users to choose specific folders and libraries to back up and Complete PC Backups were renamed to System Images. It also received many performance improvements and the UI was streamlined.

Windows 8 and later[edit | edit source]

Backup and Restore was renamed to Windows 7 File Recovery in Windows 8 and all links that directed users to the tool were removed, making it harder to access the tool as File History replaced it. The functionality of Backup and Restore was unchanged aside from a minor UI revamp like with the rest of the Control Panel applets in Windows 8.

Backup and Restore was later removed entirely in Windows 8.1 with the system image backup functionality moving to the File History Control Panel applet.

Windows 10 readded the feature under the name, "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)" but it is largely the same as its Windows 8 counterpart.

Deprecation[edit | edit source]

With the release of Windows 8, Backup and Restore was deprecated in favor of File History. Though it retained all of its functionality for users who relied on it; the feature was moved to a Windows 7 File Recovery Control Panel applet and all previous points of access were removed. In Windows 8.1, all interface functionality with the exception of system image creation, which is in a System Image Backup option in File History, were removed. Scheduling system image backups is not supported either. WBAdmin, however, remained available.

With the release of Windows 10, the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) Control Panel applet was made available again to provide compatibility for backups that were made on the tool.

The system image functionality was deprecated with the release of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and Microsoft recommends that users use third-party backup software.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Windows Backup and Restore[edit | edit source]

SafeDocs[edit | edit source]