The Best Incremental Backup Software for Windows 10/8/7


Summary: Facing the risk of data loss? Decide to make a backup for your computer, but find it takes much time to do a full backup each time? Here, the best free incremental backup software – MiniTool ShadowMaker can help you to create incremental backups for changed files since the last backup with ease.


As is well known, ransomware attacks always spread widely. For example, two severe ransomware in 2017 including WannaCry and Bad Rabbit brings irretrievable loss to many computer users. To avoid being the next victim, backup is the best way. Additionally, wrong operations, accident shutdown, disk failure, etc can also cause data loss or system corruption. In all these cases, a backup is still important for the restoration in the event of unexpectable things.

In a nutshell, a regular backup is done commonly, which enables you to have copies of important data on a regular basis and ensure the most recent backup file versions are available. Generally, regular backup has three common types: full backup, incremental backup and differential backup. A full backup contains copies of all files and folders every time, which is time-consuming. Incremental backup and differential backup include files that have been changed.

Hot article: 3 Types of Backup: Full, Incremental, Differential

Why Choose Incremental Backup Windows 10/7/8

From the above part, you know both incremental backup and differential backup are created for the only changed files. Here comes a problem: why choose incremental backup? It is created on the basis of the most recent backup and only copies a small amount of data each time. Namely, unlike full backup and differential backup, this type won't create any duplicate copies of files. This takes up the least backup storage space and minimizes the time that backup process needs. Hence, incremental backup becomes the most efficient backup type.

Well then, is there any way to create such a backup in Windows 10/8/7? Usually, a piece of incremental backup software is helpful here. Let's see the following part.

Windows Incremental Backup Software

To create incremental backups well, choosing a proper backup tool is required. Which one should you use? Here, MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Edition can be recommendable. As a complete backup solution, it enables you to back up Windows operating system, partition, and disk. Meanwhile, all selected data is compressed into an image, saving much storage space. Besides, as to an ideal backup solution, the tool you use should allow creating three backup types in Windows 10/8/7. Thankfully, this free and dedicated backup software supports not only incremental backup but also full backup and differential backup, protecting your system and data well. Most importantly, this incremental backup freeware can help to perform a deletion of the certain backup image file versions with its Scheme feature. Moreover, a scheduled backup is also supported.

Are you looking for such a backup tool for computer protection? Why not download and install MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Edition on your computer right now?

The following is the step-by-step guide on how to back up your computer in Windows 10/8/7 with this free Windows incremental backup software.

Guide on Computer Backup

You know an incremental backup is made based on the last backup. Thus, please make sure you have created a full backup or an automatic backup in advance. If it is the first time you use MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Edition, how can you create incremental backups? Here, two ways are put forward here by this professional incremental copy software.

① Configure Incremental Backup in Manage Menu

This way demands to create a full backup or an automatic backup and then begin an incremental backup creation. More details are here.

Step 1: After double-clicking MiniTool ShadowMaker Free icon on your computer running Windows 10/8/7, the following small window will appear. Here, you need to click Connect button in the Local section to the next operation.

Perhaps you ask us a question: why not choose the Remote backup section? Actually, The Free Edition 1.0 of MiniTool ShadowMaker only supports managing the local computer. As to the remote backup, its Beta 3.0 is available.

Step 2: Then, this Windows incremental backup software will enter the Home page. If no backup exists, this tool will prompt you to start a backup for data protection.

Step 3: Then, you will go to the Backup page. See! You are asked to choose the backup source and storage path.

  • In this interface, you can find system drives for Windows 10/8/7 to run have already been selected. Actually, MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Edition backs up Windows operating system by default.
  • To back up the entire disk or other partitions, enter the Source section, select a disk from the combo box and check the needed partitions, as shown below.

  • Enter Destination section, and you see two types of storage paths are offered: the local backup and NAS backup.

In This Computer window, all the detected partitions are displayed. Note that you had better not back up system or disk to the partition on the source disk for a successful restoration.

In Shared Folder window, you are allowed to input network path, user name, and password to back up your computer to NAS.

Step 3: Click Schedule feature on the Backup page. Then, switch this feature from to and set a regular backup.


1. Only Daily, Weekly and Monthly are included in the Free Edition of this incremental backup software. On Event is available in the Beta 3.0.

2. If you don't need an automatic backup, just skip this step and go to the next one.

Step 4: After finishing all the sections, this free Windows incremental backup will go back to the Backup interface. Click Back up Now button to enter Manage page.

Step 5: Then, the backup process will be performed. After the backup is completed, just choose Incremental feature from the list menu.

1. If you have configured a certain time point for your backup with Schedule feature, incremental backups will be created since the specific time point.
2. If no automatic backup setting is chosen, after clicking Incremental option, only one incremental backup is created.
3. To protect your computer, we suggest setting a regular backup and then configuring incremental backup.

② Set Incremental Backup in Backup Page>

In Backup tab, you can see an option called Scheme. Click this feature and then you will find it is disabled.

Then, turn it on. By default, the Incremental backup scheme is selected. Next, click OK button to return Backup page.

This feature can help you to create an incremental backup, meanwhile, disk space management will be performed by setting the value of the reserved backup image files.

For instance, you want to keep the latest 3 versions of the backup image file, the backup scheme will be performed, as shown below:
FULL1→INC1→INC2→FULL2→INC3→INC4(delete FULL1, INC1, INC2)→FULL3→INC5→INC6 (delete FULL2, INC3, INC4)…

Similarly, you had better make a scheduled backup so that incremental backups can be automatically made for changed files since a certain time point. After completing all the sections, please click Back up Now to continue.

Tip: Actually, incremental backup belongs to a method of the backup strategy. See this post The Best Practice: 3-2-1 Backup Strategy for Home Computers

To sum up, you know how to create incremental backups in Windows 10/8/7 with the professional incremental backup software – MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Edition. If you are looking for such a piece of Windows incremental backup freeware, don't hesitate to download it now and try it out. Or, you can choose to share this tool on your twitter to let more people know it.

Windows Backup and Restore for Incremental Backup

In Windows 10/8/7, there is an embedded tool offered by Microsoft and it is Backup and Restore. With it, you can back up operating system and files on your current system disk. Sometimes, some of you will choose this built-in backup tool for incremental backup creation. Well then, how can you use it to back up for computer protection? The following is the user guide.

Here take Windows 7 as an example.

1. In Windows 7, you need to enter Control Panel to find Backup and Restore tool under System Security.

2. Then go to the following interface. Here, you can click Set up backup option on the right side which supports incremental backup creation.

3. Please select the storage path you want to save your backup. Usually, Microsoft recommends you to back up to an external hard drive.

4. What do you want to back up? There are two methods for you to choose, as shown below. Here, we check Let Windows choose and then click Next.

5. Review all your backup settings you have configured. Here, a schedule setting has been made by default. You can also click Change schedule and decide how often you want to back up according to your needs. Finally, click Save settings and run backup button to start the backup.

6. Go back to the main interface of this tool and then click Back up now.

MiniTool ShadowMaker VS Windows Backup Tool

When reading here, some of you may have a doubt: the professional free incremental backup software or Windows backup tool, which one is suitable? MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Edition is not only free incremental backup software but also differential backup program. Namely, it enables you to create a full backup, incremental backup and differential backup with ease, which can satisfy your demands.

But, the embedded backup tool in Windows 10/8/7 adopts incremental backup mode by default without any option for you to modify. Besides, depending on user experience, Windows backup tool often goes wrong with some errors like no enough disk space to create the volume shadow copy, 0x8078004F and more. Thus, we recommend using the third-party software developed by the MiniTool team. Download MiniTool ShadowMaker for a try now.

Further Reading: Incremental Backup VS Differential Backup

In this article, we only simply mention backup types including full backup, incremental backup, and differential backup. Generally, you know what full backup is but don't know what's the difference between incremental backup and differential backup. Thus, we will walk you through something.

1. As you know, these two backup types are chosen to only back up the newly added or modified files. However, you should know incremental backup is created since the last backup but differential backup is on the basis of the last full backup.
2. Incremental backup takes up less disk space and needs less time to perform the backup operation than differential backup.
3. As to a restoration, incremental backup takes more time than differential backup.
4. A full backup and all incremental backups are necessary for the restoration if you choose the incremental backup mode. Once one incremental backup is lost, the restoration will fail. If the differential backup mode is adopted, only a full backup and the last differential backup are used.

What You Have Learnt

Now, we come to the end of this post. In this page, we show you much information. Firstly, we simply introduce the intention of backup and types of backup. Then, you know why choose incremental backup. Next, a piece of professional and free incremental backup software – MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Edition is told as well as how to use this tool to make incremental backups. And then, you also know how Windows snap-in backup tool creates incremental backups. Finally, the further reading about some differences between incremental backup and differential backup is for you.

Should you have any doubts when using MiniTool ShadowMaker to back up your computer, you can tell us. At the same time, any suggestions are welcome. Two methods are offered to you: leave a comment in the following area or write your ideas in an email and send it to Thanks in advance.