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Creating a Backup Image Using EaseUS Todo Free

Apparently, Microsoft has decided to pull the plug on image backups (known as the “Windows 7 Backup” tool in Windows 10). My current understanding is that it is at least “deprecated”, and will likely actually be removed from a future Windows 10 update. This will leave Windows 10 with no built-in image backup capability of its own.

The official word from Microsoft is that third party utilities should be used instead. This doesn’t break my heart, as I was never a fan of the tool. I had hoped, however, that they would improve, rather than remove, the facility.

EaseUS Todo is a backup program whose free edition is superior to Windows’ built-in tool. I’ll show you how to create an image backup using it. The bonus is, this is not limited to Windows 10 at all; as of this writing, the free edition works with Windows XP, Vista, and all versions of 7, 8, and 10.

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EaseUS Todo

EaseUS Todo can be downloaded from their website. (As always, I strongly recommend avoiding “download sites” and getting software directly from the manufacturer whenever possible.)

There are three things to note about the download and install.

Backing Up In Windows 10

Backing Up in Windows 10

This article is excerpted from Backing Up In Windows 10, available now. Top-to-bottom, end-to-end, Backing Up In Windows 10 will walk you through all the steps you need to keep your data safe, using Windows 10's built-in tools, as well as a free alternative.

First, you will be repeatedly offered the opportunity to choose their retail product, or a trial version of their retail product. These products are not free. They’re also not needed for what I’m about to show you. Sometime later, you can return and upgrade to one of their paid offerings if you like. Be very careful, and make sure you always and only choose the truly FREE version of EaseUS Todo.

Second, you will be asked for an email address. In a sense, this is the “cost” of the free edition. I have no complaints with EaseUS email, and you can always unsubscribe later. They do frequently offer discount codes for their retail product, so if you think you might be purchasing at some point in the future, it’s worth getting on their list.

Finally, like most free software, be on the watch for PUPs. EaseUS does not hide the additional software offered with Todo, but it is selected by default. Be sure to deselect it during the install process.

Creating an image

Run EaseUS Todo, and on its main screen, click on Disk/Partition Backup.

EaseUS Todo - Disk / Image backup

I choose this over “System Backup” or “Smart Backup” because it provides explicit control over the disks and partitions included in the backup image.

On the resulting screen, check the box to the left of the disk that contains your system or C: partition. This will ensure that the entire hard disk that contains your system, including any additional partitions (such as recovery partitions), will be included in your backup.

Select the Disks to be Backed Up

Next, click on the small folder icon to the far right on the “Destination:” line.

EaseUS Destination Selector

This will open a folder selection dialog box. Use that box to select the destination: the folder, typically on your external hard drive, into which the image backup is to be placed.

EaseUS Browse For Destination Folder

Click OK to accept your selected destination folder.

Click Proceed to begin the backup.

EaseUS Underway

Naturally, this will take some time. Exactly how long will depend on the speed of your system, the speed of your hard disks, the amount of data to be backed up, and more. I will point out that EaseUS Todo’s “Estimated time remaining” indicator is notoriously inaccurate.

Your backup image

Eventually, the backup completes.

EaseUS Task Completed

Open Windows File Explorer and navigate to your previously selected destination, and you should find a “.pbd” file.

EaseUS Todo Image File

That file contains the image backup of your system.

Do this

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More for Patrons of Ask Leo!

Silver-level patrons have access to this related video from The Ask Leo! Video Library.

Downloading and Installing Easeus ToDo Backup Free   Downloading and Installing Easeus ToDo Backup Free

Creating a Backup Image Using Easeus ToDo Free   Creating a Backup Image Using Easeus ToDo Free

38 comments on “Creating a Backup Image Using EaseUS Todo Free”

  1. Hi Ask Leo

    I have just finished reading how to create a backup image with EaseUs Todo that I found very informative ( I have been using
    Windows 7 backup for 8 years.) Can you explain how to restore the Image backup after one has been made.
    Thank you Maggie.

    • Have patience. It’ll come. The most important step is to create the backup. Once you’ve created the backup, it’s there ready to be restored when needed.

    • Maggie,
      Leo has a book pdf document Backing Up in Windows 10. It is a minimum cost doc that he included chapters on using EaseUS Todo to 1) create an emergency disk (probably to a USB) for restoring a disk image backup and 2) do an image restore. You can (if you haven’t) create an account at Ask Leo and purchase it through your account. It has good detail, and you also can google articles on how to change the boot order under Windows 10 which will have to be changed to use the USB emergency disk USB) unless you have already done this. Hope this helps.
      Dave Sparkman

  2. Hi,
    As always, an excellent helpful presentation. I note that Sector by Sector has not been activated. Do you recommend activating it for a Disk Partition Back up? & if you do, what function does it actually undertake?
    Thanks & Regards, Alan.

    • In previous articles, Leo has recommended a system image backup over a sector by sector backup (AKA clone). A system image has everything you need to restore your system and takes up much less apace as it only copies data necessary for restoring your system, and it compresses the data.

      A sector by sector backup would be useful if you wanted to be able to swap in the backup copy instead of performing a system restore. That wouldn’t be practical if you use an external drive. You’d need to back up to something like a hard drive in a USB enclosure for that.

  3. Leo,
    Great article as always.
    I been using MacriumReflect free edition as you recommend and now I see other application EaseUs Todo.
    My question to you is, do you still recommend MacriumReflet?
    Thank you in advanced

    • Leo hasn’t dropped his recommendation for Macrium Reflect. EaseUS Todo is an additional recommendation, because it allows incremental backups with the free edition.
      Leo’s response to a similar question:
      “They each have strengths and weaknesses but overall I consider them roughly equivalent. I have seen each fail on some machines so I generally choose whichever one works.”

  4. Howdy Leo!

    My main gripe is that you have to provide an e-mail address just to be able to download the free version. Is there a way around this, or am I stuck?

    If not, I can always continue with Macrium, even though *that* can get hairy, especially when it decides to do two different things on two laptops that are as much alike as can be (same brand, model, RAM, HD, video and almost the same serial number) and only the same folders are backed up on each. ;>



    (Yes, I know that I am whining about a free product, but my e-mail address is pretty important to me and I don’t want the hassle of, maybe, having to delete message after message of “upgrade” offers, or marking some as spam, or some other such thing(s). And no, I really don’t want to go thru the hassle of getting a “throw-away” e-mail address, either – I would consider that a slam against them(!) (and me).)

    • Providing an email address is perfectly legitimate, and should not be a concern for any good business, such as EaseUS Todo. Asking for the email address does two important things:

      1. It is a great tool for websites to rule out spam. Very often a site asks for an email, and then requires the owner to verify that they own the email. This makes sure only real people are requesting the service, and it eliminates bots.
      2. It gives the legitimate business a way to communicate with you. If you are using their free service then that’s not too much to ask. If it is some sort of software then it allows them to let you know when upgrades are available, or if there are any issues. A legitimate business will always provide a way for you to opt out of receiving emails, later, if you decide you don’t want that.

    • It’s not a bad idea to use a separate email address for free offers. I opened one as a throwaway address years ago and I still haven’t had to ditch it for spam. It’s not an insult to the company. It’s my dedicated email account for free offers and newsletters. It also serves as an additional recovery email address for other accounts.

    • a) EaseUS actually behaves properly. You can opt out later.
      b) nothing that says the email address has to be legit
      c) As Mark said, it’s also good practice to have a separate throw-away account for just this kind of thing.
      d) there’s no such thing as free. Providing an email is the price. If that’s not a price you’re willing to pay, that’s OK, and you might consider looking for a different product.

  5. This is a variation on Alan’s note. I have a multi TB drive and have partitioned 30Gb of that to a “C” drive. It’s physically located at the front of the hard drive. I wish to create several images of the C drive to smaller (60 GB) hard drives. Can I specify the “C” partition to be backed up to the smaller drive with a sector by sector backup so the back up drives are usable as system drives?
    If not with EaseUS Todo, can Macrium Reflect or another backup program do it?


  6. My version of Macrium has expired so looking for something a bit less costly. Been testing EaseUs but there is one thing I just can’t figure out. When I am backing up files I choose a destination such as “z:\backups\images” which is a NAS. When the process kicks off it adds my PC name to the path so instead of just dumping the backup to the images folder, it is now “z:\backups\images\pc_name”. This may not be a big issue when actually backing up files from my local machine but if I am backing up files from a different source that I have a mapped drive of, then it makes things a bit confusing (for example, NAS to NAS). Just wondering if someone else has ran into this issue and got around it, or if adding the pc name is hard coded and it is what it is?

  7. I want to replace the 10 GB IDE hard disk in an OLD laptop, which is running Windows XP. The new hard disk is an 80GB IDE drive. I have a (one only!) USB to IDE cable (with external power) to connect the new drive to the old laptop for disk cloning.

    I have tried to install the free version of EaseUS Backup on the old laptop, but it won’t “initialize” when I try to run it. I will try to uninstall the re-install the software, but it still may not work. The laptop may be just too slow and too short on memory to run the software.

    Alternatively, I might be able to do a “Two Step” disk backup and restore procedure as follows:
    1. Install the EaseUS software on my desktop PC. (A much newer and more powerful computer with a 1 TB hard drive).
    2. Remove the 10 GB drive from the old laptop, and connect it to my desktop with the USB-to-IDE cable.
    3. Make a backup image of the old laptop drive as described in your article, and save it as a file on my desktop PC.
    4. Disconnect the old drive from the desktop PC and connect the new 80 GB drive.
    5. “Restore” the backup image to the new drive.
    6. Install the new drive in the old laptop.

    Do you see any problem with doing a two step disk backup and restore as described above?

    Any advice will be appreciated.

    • It’d be the approach I would attempt. Be sure to check and possibly resize the partition to take advantage of the full 80GB once the restore is complete.

  8. Results of trying the “two-step” process I described in my previous comment, above.

    Everything worked fine until I installed the new hard drive into the ‘old’ laptop. It then became apparent that the ‘Master Boot Record’ had not been copied onto the new drive during the backup and restore. As a result, the old laptop wouldn’t boot. I’m sure that there are ways to load the boot record(s) onto a new hard disk in Windows XP, but I couldn’t get the ones I found on the internet to work. (I’m sure it was my fault, somehow.)

    So, I went back and reinstalled a free version of EaseUS Backup on my ‘old’ laptop. (Actually I installed an old version of Easus Backup that I had downloaded several years ago to try out, not the newest and latest version available on their website today). This older version installed properly on my ‘old’ laptop, and then I simply cloned the old drive to the new drive. The new drive booted and worked fine after the cloning.

    And, as you mentioned, I had to ‘extend’ the partition on the new drive to make the extra space on the drive usable. I used “diskpart.exe” to do this from the command prompt.

  9. I am running Windows 10 Pro on a HP Envy Phoenix desktop. I would like to move everything (files, programs, etc) to a new desktop. How do I do that?
    NOTE: When I bought my desktop it was running Windows 8. How do I get rid of all traces of Windows 8 when I migrate to the new desktop?

    • The best way is to:

      • Take an image backup of your existing machine
      • Install Windows 10 on your new machine
      • Install the applications you use on your new machine from their original downloads or media
      • Copy over your data from your backup image, or from other more convenient sources

      There’s simply no way to copy everything “except” the operating system — it’s too embedded in everything.

  10. I have used Acronis True Image for many years and I have seen many improvements over time. I now consider their product to be the gold standard for backup systems I have also used their technical support system, both by chat and by telephone. In recent years I have experienced excellent support from them.

    I use Acronis to back up three different computers; two Windows machines and one iMac. I used the free unlimited cloud backup plus backing up to local backup hard drives. In the last year, the free unlimited cloud backup was terminated, and I had to switch to a paid plan. I looked at many other cloud services, but in the end, their price was competitive and the ease of use unmatched. So I now subscribe with a 4TB limit that is sufficient for all three computers. The price is very reasonable.

  11. Hi Leo, 1st, your instructions were to the point and easy to follow, however, I believe a Critical piece of information ℹ️ was overlooked. It’s simple to do. You might want to mention that the software will always select “F://My Backup (replace drive designator, etc., with your designation)” which will cause the previous backup to be overwritten unless you intervene. I for example, prior to starting my backup create a new folder something like “F://My Backup 2… ” thereby allowing for a second standalone backup to be created without stepping on the original. The remainder of this caution is easilly finalized so I’ll stop here.
    Thank you.

    • Actually I don’t believe that to be the case. You can place all backups into the same folder, the specific files will be named appropriately to distinguish between the various backups and backup sets.

    • I have the same experience as Leo mentions in this article. The file name of the backup contains the date of the backup so it’s impossible for it to overwrite an older backup.
      For example, her is the name of my latest backup:
      System Backup_20191115_Full_v1.pbd
      As you can see “20191115” is the date of the backup which is part of the name.

  12. A few questions. I’ve just bought a new laptop Dell windows 10 64bit home. I haven’t started it yet, as I want to know the best way I should back up/clone/image the drive.
    1. It has a 1TB m.2 ssd drive installed. Should I go out and buy another 1TB m.2 SSD remove the SSD from laptop and hook both drives into another computer (via a USB to m.2 cables) and clone the drives before I even start running the laptop? This way I can just pop in the new drive fresh like the day I bought it.
    2. I read somewhere (can’t seem to find it) EasUS Todo backup free is now a trial version which afterwards won’t have the clone option. I think it mentioned the last available version of EasUS Todo Backup free no trial version that has the clone option was version 12.0? Can you verify that?
    3. Should I first turn on the laptop and set everything up and use the windows 10 backup setup (ie use the suggested (at least) 16GB thumb drive. Then download all the windows 10 updates, and after that either clone the drive to a 500GB m.2 SSD or just image the drive incrementally to some external hard drive say a 5TB external HD to hold all my images and incremental images?
    I’ve heard when you clone a drive for backup, to switch and continue to use the cloned drive for reasons to see if it actually works – you would hate to clone a drive then one day run into a problem and your cloned drive doesn’t work.

    • You don’t need “clone”. Making an image backup is sufficient. Either EaseUS Todo or Macrium Reflect will do. I tend to do minimal setup of Windows, and install the backup utility at that point. It’s possible, but probably overkill, to create rescue media on another computer using the backup tool of your choice, then boot the new machine from that media and create a backup image of the hard disk before you ever use it. In all cases backing up an image to an external drive is fine.

    • 1. If you take a system image backup, restoring from it will restore it to the state it was in when you backed up it up. If you really want a clone instead of a system image backup, you can place the extra SSD into a USB drive housing or adapter and clone it. If you want it to be exactly in the state it was in out of the box, you can create a rescue disc on another computer using Macrium Reflect or Easeus Todo, boot from that disc, and select the clone option. This is overkill and unnecessary as cloning with a backup program installed should be just as useful.
      Can I create a true factory fresh image without even the initial customizations?
      2. Easeus Todo free continues to work and continues to create clones. If you install the trial version, the extra paid features stop working but the program will continue to work.
      3.That’s probably overkill.

      • Ok, thanks for the answers. I thought it might have been a bit overkill. I think I will do the windows 10 backup, then use easus todo for the image backup of my system after I’ve done an initial setup, and then one after all the updates have been added.
        Now it seems more people are using Macrium reflect than easeus todo. Is there one you would suggest over the other? The only difference I’ve read is Macriums interface is a little more difficult.

        • The feature set is slightly different in the free versions — Macrium doesn’t do incremental (only full and differential), and EaseUS doesn’t do dynamic disks. Each also has a couple of other limitations in their free versions.

          Easeus version comparison:
          Macrium version comparison:

          EaseUS is from China, Macrium’s out of the UK. That matters to some.

          Macrium feels a little more professional, EaseUS is less expensive to purchase.

          I’m equally happy with either.

          • 1 – I would be worried about information gathering scripts. Is it possible these scripts would avoid detection? This is why I would likely stick with macrium.
            Now I did install Aomei which also like Easus from the same place. So I uninstalled it, but before I could uninstall it asked me why – so obviously sending information back to Aomei about why I’m uninstalling, then it asked me to restart to complete the uninstall process (which is normal) and when I did so I go some blue screen with a bunch of text that flashed (not normal) and then started .. normally? So scary stuff, I really don’t like it when I don’t know exactly what software is doing behind the scenes. Aomei software looks great, and so does Easus .. just not sure what’s going on behind the scenes. Everybody says they’re safe but I’m not so sure. Macium looks like the winner.
            2 – Easus todo free 10.6 looks like it’s not available anymore (someone had an issue mounting images when they upgraded to 11- so he went back to 10.6 and it worked like a charm) but it looks like they’ve gone back and updated all their old software to trial versions. I can’t believe it, is this true?

          • As for the dangers of using Chinese software, I can’t guarantee they don’t include spyware but I’m willing to take the risk. EaseUS and Aoemi are both large companies and if it were discovered they were installing spyware, it would put them out of business in a day.

  13. I am not fluent in computer ins and outs, but I do want to protect against a potential HDD crash. If I experience a crash due to a drive failure I will have to replace the drive, but it will not be an exact replacement. Chances are it will be an SSD with a smaller capacity. Do I not have to clone in order to move everything including the OS to the new drive and expect it to function immediately without entering the pesky Win10 license key along with other software keys?

    I ask because the EaseUS free version specifically states it does not include a clone feature.

    Thanks in advance…

    • Restoring from a system image backup will produce the same system as restoring from a clone. Clones are useless for most people. The only advantage of a clone that I can think of is that you can swap the clone in for your system drive and start working right away. This would be practical in some situations where you’d have to be back up and running quickly.


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