Windows 11 File History

How to back up Windows to Synology NAS

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Backing up your PC should be one of the most important tasks in your weekly routine, especially if you create and work with files daily. Having data stored in one location is a recipe for disaster. A Synology network-attached storage (NAS) enclosure can make this process incredibly painless and I’ll show you how to do it on the latest release of Windows.

Why backing up Windows is important

Synology DiskStation DS223j
Synology DiskStation DS223j. (Source: NM)

No one wants to be in a position where they lose data, especially irreplaceable vital data. That’s where regular backups come into play. By backing up your devices, including a Windows PC, you can have peace of mind that should a device or drive fail, you won’t lose anything.

The most basic form of backing up a device is manually copying data, usually folders, to an external drive. This can be achieved using a Synology NAS and a web browser, but it’s not automatic, meaning you’ll have to dedicate some time to carry out the process.

A Synology NAS makes it easy to back up Windows as the OS can handle everything automatically. By following a few steps, you can have Windows back up various folders to the Synology NAS without human intervention. Just like Windows Update, you’ll enjoy some degree of automation.

How to back up Windows to Synology NAS

Before Windows can automatically back itself to a Synology NAS, we must configure the OS to see the enclosure as a network drive. I’ve written a quick guide that takes a few minutes but will be worth it in the long run.

With the Synology NAS mapped to Windows, we can run through two methods for backing up Windows.

File History

Fire History was introduced in Windows 10 and copies specific data to external destinations. It can be part of our automated Windows backup strategy and takes a few seconds to configure.

  1. Press Windows Key + Q.
  2. Search “backup” in the search field.
  3. Click File History.
  1. Click Select a network location.
  2. Click Add network location.
  1. Choose a folder on the network drive.
  2. Click Select folder.
  3. Click OK.

Backup and restore

File History is a good way to protect some files on your Windows PC, but it won’t save you from every failure, which is where Backup and Restore can take over. Here’s how to configure it:

  1. Follow the above steps to open File History.
  2. Select System image backup in the lower left.
  3. Choose set up backup.
  1. Select Save on network.
  2. Hit Browse and choose a location on the Synology NAS.
  3. Enter your username and password.
  1. Hit Next
  2. Choose whether or not you want Windows to handle everything.
  3. Hit Next.
  4. Click Save settings and run backup.

Windows will now handle backups automatically, saving them to the Synology NAS. It’s the most basic form of data safeguarding but is incredibly important and should be worked into a routine.

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