How to create a system image in Windows 10

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A system image is a copy of your system disk that allows you to quickly restore your computer should something catastrophic happen. Usually, the image only contains the drive containing Windows, but can be configured to include other drives should you wish. If you depend on your computer, you will want a backup of your system. Here’s how to create a system image in Windows 10.

To make this work you will need a separate hard drive or network location with several GB of free space. The space required is usually equal to the space taken up by your Windows install, plus a couple of GB.

Create a system image in Windows 10
1. Type or paste ‘Control Panel’ into the Search Windows box.
2. Navigate to System and Security, File History and then System Image Backup in the bottom left corner.
3. Select Create a system image.
4. A new window will appear as Windows searches for a suitable backup location. Select the most appropriate one when the search is complete.
5. Select Start backup.
6. Wait for the process to complete. It will take a while.
7. Once complete, make a note of where the file is located. While System Restore should find it when you’re restoring, personal experience has taught me that it isn’t always the case!

To restore from a system image in Windows 10
Once you have the system image, you will need to know how to use it to restore your machine. Here’s how.

1. Navigate to Settings, Update and Security, Recovery and Select Advanced Startup. Note, this is a command, not a setting so once you click it, your system will reboot.
2. Once rebooted, select Troubleshoot and then Advanced Options.
3. Select System image recovery when prompted. Your system should now rebuild and then reboot into the desktop.

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