Which backup method saves copies of all important files and data at each backup? Which type of backup takes the least amount of time? From this post on the MiniTool website, you know 3 common types of backups including full, incremental, and differential, as well as the answers to these questions.
A sudden power outage, virus attack, wrong operation, Windows update, etc. can trigger data loss. In computing, continuous data backup is an ideal solution for you to keep data secure. Once data loss comes out of the blue, the files can be quickly got back from the created backup.
In terms of backups, it is necessary to decide what to back up and which backup storage device to choose. In addition, you should also determine how your data will be processed. To be specific, which backup type to choose is important. In this post, you can find three commonly-used types of data backup.
3 Common Types of Backup
Backup types are vital to choosing the right backup strategy. In short, the most common backup types are full backup, incremental backup, and differential backup. Let’s see details about these backups.
What is a full backup? It is the most basic and complete type of backup operation. As its name implies, this type can make a copy of all the data including files, folders, settings, applications, and more on storage devices like a hard drive, SSD, HDD, etc.
If you create a full backup every time, all the folders and files will be created completely once again including the previous data and new data. That is to say, many redundant data copies will be made. This way is time-consuming and takes much disk space.
From this part, you know the answer to “which backup method saves copies of all important files and data at each backup”. In most cases, a full backup will be made in combination with other types of backup, either incremental backups or differential backups.
It refers to backing up all the files that have changed since the last backup operation of any type of backup. For example, you create a full backup on Sunday. Then, the incremental backup performed on Monday only backs up the changed files since Sunday. And, the incremental backup on Tuesday will back up the changed files since Monday…
Does Windows 11 do incremental backups? How to create Windows 11 incremental backups automatically for only new or changed files? 2 ways are for you.
Differential backup refers to backing up the only changed files or newly added data since the last full backup. For instance, a full backup is created on Sunday and a differential backup on Monday will only back up the changed files since Sunday. The differential backup on Tuesday will back up all files that have been changed since Monday and Tuesday…
Incremental VS Differential Backup
After knowing these three types of backups, then here comes a question: what’s the difference between incremental and differential backup? Let’s see a simple comparison:
- Incremental and differential backups help only back up the added or changed data. However, an incremental backup is created based on the last backup (full or incremental backup) while a differential backup is based on the last full backup.
- An incremental backup takes a long time to do a restoration than a differential backup.
- An incremental backup takes up less storage space and needs less time during the backup process.
- For an incremental backup, a full backup and all incremental backups are essential for restoration. While for the differential backup, only a full backup and the last differential backup are required for restoration.
To learn more details about incremental vs differential backups, you can refer to our related post - Full vs Incremental vs Differential Backup: Which Is Better. Then, you can decide which type to choose for data backup.
After knowing so much information about these three common types of backup, how can you make these backups to protect your PC data protection? Is there a piece of professional and free backup software to satisfy your needs? Of course, MiniTool ShadowMaker can be a good assistant. Let’s move to the next part to find details.
Use MiniTool ShadowMaker to Create 3 Types of Backup
As a reliable and professional PC backup software, MiniTool ShadowMaker enables you to create backups for the Windows operating system, disks, partitions, files, and folders with ease. During the backup process, the backup source is compressed to an image file, which can save disk space.
It allows you to create three types of backups – full, incremental, and differential, which lets you protect data well. Besides, you can set up a backup scheme to enable disk space management by deleting old backup versions.
To make these backups, now don’t hesitate and download MiniTool ShadowMaker. Then, install it on your Windows 11/10 PC for a free trial.
How to Perform a Full Backup
Step 1: Double-click the installed program to open it and then tap on Keep Trial to go on.
Step 2: As mentioned above, you can run MiniTool ShadowMaker to back up files, Windows system, partition, or the entire disk. Here, we take how to make a full backup for your crucial files as an example.
Just go to SOURCE > Folders and Files, check the items you want to back up, and click OK.
Want to make a hard drive image backup? How to image a hard drive in Windows 11/10/8/7? MiniTool ShadowMaker can easily do this thing.
Step 3: Choose one location as the backup image storage path. Here we choose an external hard drive.
Step 4: Click the Back Up Now button to begin the backup at once. Via these steps, a full backup has been created.
How to Perform Incremental or Differential Backup?
How to create the other two types of backup – incremental and differential backup? There are two ways: one is to use the Backup Scheme feature and another is to choose Incremental or Differential in the Manage tab.
#1. Backup Scheme
Go to Options under Backup > Backup Scheme. By default, this feature is disabled, so turn it on. Then, you see it brings you three common types of backup: Full, Incremental, and Differential. Meanwhile, it allows performing disk space management by deleting certain backup file versions.
Do this setting before you start to back up your PC.
How to delete backup files in Windows 10/8/7 when your backup disk is full? Here are ways to remove Windows backup files on 2 aspects.
MiniTool ShadowMaker also allows you to create an automatic backup by specifying a time point. Usually, it is used in combination with an incremental or differential backup. Just go to Options > Schedule Settings for this task.
Want to create automatic file backups in Windows 10/11? This post shows you how to automatically back up files to an external hard drive with ease.
#2. Via the Manage Page
If you don’t choose a backup scheme and turn on Schedule, after the full backup is completed, you can configure the other two types of backup like incremental backup and differential backup in the Manage page. Just locate the backup task and click Incremental or Differential from the drop-down menu.
To know more details, you can refer to our previous post – Best Free Incremental Backup Software for Windows 11/10 for Data.
Now, all information about how MiniTool ShadowMaker works is told to you. Just create the common types of backup by following the above steps.
After finishing the PC backup, we recommend you to create a bootable disc (CD/DVD), USB hard disk, or USB hard drive with the Media Builder feature in MiniTool ShadowMaker. Once your computer fails to boot properly, the created disc or drive can be used to boot your Windows OS to MiniTool Recovery Environment and then perform a recovery.
How to ghost Windows 10/8/7? Now, use the professional ghost image software, MiniTool ShadowMaker to create a ghost image of Windows OS.
Backup and Restore for PC Backup
When it comes to backup, some of you may choose to use the Windows built-in backup tool to create a backup of the system. Is it available for those three common types of backup? To be specific, full backup and incremental backup are supported. Let’s see the details.
Step 1: Go to Control Panel > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
Step 2: Tap on Create a system image to go on.
Step 3: Determine where you want to save the backup, for example, a hard disk, one DVD, or a network location. Here, we choose an external hard drive.
Step 4: The drives that are required for Windows to run are checked. Also, you can manually choose data partitions to create a system disk image.
Step 5: Confirm the backup settings and start the backup.
How to backup only new or changed files in Windows 11/10? In this post, you can find 2 ways for this – Windows built-in tool and MiniTool ShadowMaker.
When reading here, a question appears: which type of backup does Window Backup and Restore tool employ? From the above steps, you find there is not any information implying the specific backup type. In this way, a full backup is created. What’s more, no option is offered to create incremental or differential backups.
MiniTool ShadowMaker VS Backup and Restore
After learning so much information about these two backup tools, it is likely that you want to know which one should be used for PC backup. Here are two obvious differences between them and then you know the answer.
As to backup types, MiniTool ShadowMaker can support full backup, incremental backup, and differential backup. However, the Windows built-in backup tool doesn’t provide the option for incremental or differential backup.
Compared to the built-in tool, MiniTool ShadowMaker is powerful:
- It can back up not only Windows OS, but also files, disk, and partition.
- To delete the specified backup versions, its Scheme feature runs flexibly.
- MiniTool ShadowMaker enables you to manage your backup, for example, browse, mount, locate the image, delete the backup, etc.
- MiniTool ShadowMaker allows you to back up the entire disk by the disk-cloning method.
- Sync file is supported.
To sum up, MiniTool ShadowMaker is worth a shot for PC backup.
What are the types of backup? After reading this post, you know these 3 backup types – full, incremental, and differential. Just run MiniTool ShadowMaker to create these backups to keep your data safe. If you have any questions, you can leave a comment below to let us know. We will reply to you as soon as possible.