By Jonna twitter/ Last Updated April 23, 2023

Why Do You Need Cloud Backup?

  • Are you afraid of accidentally losing the data stored on your hard drive?
  • Are you anxious that there is not enough space locally for backup?
  • Are you panicked that you have lost all local backups due to local accidents?
  • Backup all your data to the cloud offsite, never lose data and recover them from any PC.

Eliminate all your concerns with the Best Cloud Backup service - CBackup

Get Started

Why Should You Backup Data Before Formatting PC?

When your computer hard disk is full, the computer is infected with a virus, or the system fails to work, you may think of formatting. Formatting is an operation that initializes a disk or partition, which usually results in the erasure of all files on the existing disk. So, backing up data before formatting PC is important.

Do you know what to backup before formatting PC? If not, you have reached the right page. We will elaborate on what to backup before factory reset on Windows 11/10/8/7 and introduce two ways on how to backup data before formatting PC with ease. Please keep reading.

What to Backup Before Formatting PC

What to Backup Before Formatting PC in Windows 11/10/8/7?

What to backup before factory resetting PC? Is it enough to just backup C drive? Actually no, you can consider the following aspects to back up the data you need to prevent the loss of important data after formatting.

  • Save all important personal data for all hard drives that need to be formatted, including files, photos, videos, etc.
  • Back up important user folders, such as the Download folder, Documents folder, Pictures folder, and so on.
  • Back up all hardware drivers in case the drivers cannot run or are incompatible after formatting, such as audio, graphics, keyboard, etc.
  • Create a backup of the installed programs, including their local data and configuration files of them.
  • Back up your browser accounts, passwords, and settings.
  • Back up the operating system disk and the original operating system.
  • Back up the product key you need to re-login after the format.

What to do before formatting laptop? These are the common important things that need to be backed up before format. You can also create backup lists for your own as needed.

Two Ways to Backup Data on Your Computer Before Formatting

After knowing what to backup before formatting PC, let’s get into how to backup PC before formatting. Here we are going to cover two free Windows computer backup software - Backup and Restore and a third-party backup utility for you and offer detailed guides on how to backup files in PC before formatting.

Way 1. Backup PC Before Formatting using Backup and Restore

Backup and Restore is Windows built-in backup tool that allows you to create Windows system backups and computer files and folders backups to a local disk, external hard drive, and network location.

Given the current need to format the PC, we recommend that you back up your data to an external hard drive or a network drive. Here, we take using an external hard drive as an example. Here is how to backup files before formatting on Windows 10/8/7 using Backup and Restore:

Step 1. Connect the external storage device that you want to backup your files.

Step 2. In the search box on the taskbar, type “backup”, and select Backup Settings from the list of results. Then, click on “Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7)”.

Go to Backup and Restore

Step 3. Tap the “Set up back-up” button

Set up Backup

Step 4. Select the connected external disk and click Next.

Select Backup Destination

Step 5. Select “Let me choose” on the What do you want to backup screen and click Next. Then, pick files and partitions to be backed up and tap Next.

Let Me Choose

Step 6. If you want to create PC automatic backup, click Change schedule to set up a backup schedule. If not, confirm your backup settings and click “Save settings and run backup” directly.

Start Backup

How to Restore Backups from Backup and Restore after PC Format

Step 1. Navigate to “Backup and Restore (Windows 7)” and tap “Restore my files” under Restore.

Restore My Files

Step 2. Click on “Browse for files” for restoring individual files and click on “Browse for folders” for restoring folders, then select items for restoration. Then, click Next.

Restore File Browse

Step 3. Choose to restore the files or folders to their original location or a new path and hit Restore.

Way 2. Backup Files Before Formatting PC Using CBackup

In addition to backing up data before formatting to external disks, you can choose to backup to cloud using CBackup. This is a free cloud backup service that can help you back up Windows to multiple cloud drives for free.

  • It enables you to backup files, folders, hard drives, whole computers, system files, and external hard drives, as desired in simple three steps.
  • You can use it to back up computer to Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, CBackup Cloud (with 10GB of free backup space), and more.
  • You can run a PC backup task daily, weekly, or monthly flexibly.
  • It has no limits on backup file types, file sizes, and file backup speeds, allowing you to quickly complete all data backups.

Follow the steps of how to backup before formatting PC via CBackup below to save PC backups to cloud with ease!

Step 1. Download and run CBackup. Sign up for an account for free and log in.

Download CBackupWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Select Backup and click Backup PC to CBackup Cloud.

Backup PC to CBackup Cloud

Tips: If you wish to backup PC data to public clouds, like Google Drive, click Storage > select the cloud drive > grant CBackup access to it. Then, choose Backup PC to Public Cloud on the Backup page.

Select Cloud Drive

Step 3. Select the items you need to back up and specify the backup destination. Then, press the Start Backup button to begin an instant backup.

Select Source Files

How to Restore Backups from CBackup after PC Format

Step 1. Click on the three-dot button of the backup task on the Tasks page and click Restore.


Step 2. Select target items for restore and choose a restore location. Then, hit Start Restore.

Start Restore


That’s all about what to backup before formatting PC and how to backup files before formatting Windows 11/10/8/7.

If you wish to backup data to an external disk or network drive, you can use the Backup and Restore tool. If you intend to backup files to cloud, CBackup is a one-stop solution that can help you backup Windows to OneDrive, Google Drive, and various clouds.

Get Unlimited Cloud Storage for Free to Protect Files with CBackup

Learn More