You can use the Backup Schedule Wizard in Windows Server Backup to schedule backups that run automatically once or more per day.

  • You can save scheduled backups to one or more attached disks (either internal or external)—or, new in Windows Server 2008 R2, you can save a scheduled backup to a volume or a remote shared folder. If you use disks, they must be available and online for the schedule to be configured and for you to complete the wizard. However, later when you start running scheduled backups, if you are using multiple disks, we recommend that you only connect one at a time so that backups will keep being saved to the same disk. Then, when you want to move that set of backups offsite, attach another disk in the series.
  • You can choose multiple volumes to store backups. However, we recommend that you only do this if the disks that contain the volumes can be moved offsite (as with using multiple disks). You may also choose to store backups on volumes if you do not want to format the disk before the first backup is created. For example, if the disk that you want to use to store backups also contains other data or another server’s backups, if you store backups on a volume contained on the disk, instead of dedicating the entire disk for backups, the disk will not be formatted before the first backup is created.
  • If you use a remote shared folder, make sure that the folder is available, that you have write access to the folder, and that you are a member of the Administrators group or Backup Operators group on the computer hosting the folder. Each time you create a backup, it will overwrite the older backups so that you will only have one backup at a time. The backup will inherit the access control list (ACL) permissions of the folder.

You can also create scheduled backups using the Wbadmin enable backup command or the Windows PowerShell cmdlets for Windows Server Backup. For examples and syntax for the Wbadmin command, see the Command Reference ( For examples and syntax for the Windows Server Backup cmdlets, see the Windows PowerShell reference (

This checklist describes how to schedule automatic backups using the Windows Server Backup user interface.

Task References

Before you begin, review concepts and requirements, and then determine the following:

  • How many times a day and at what times you want to run backups.

  • Whether you will use a volume, a single disk, multiple disks, or a remote shared folder to store the backups.


    If you use a volume to store backups, only a single volume per physical disk can be selected.

  • Which files, folders, or volumes you want to back up and whether the backups will need to be used for bare metal, full server (all volumes), or system state recovery.

Windows Server Backup; Backing Up Your Server;

If you have not already done so, install Windows Server Backup.

Install Windows Server Backup Tools

Run the Backup Schedule Wizard and follow the instructions in the wizard.

Configuring Automatic Backups; Backup Schedule Wizard

If needed, configure the backup to save to multiple disks that you can rotate offsite.

Configure a Backup Schedule for Multiple Storage Disks

After the backup is scheduled and a backup has been created, run a test recovery with the backup to make sure you are able to recover the items that you had intended. To do this, you can either wait for the first scheduled backup to run or you can create a one-time backup immediately using the Backup Once Wizard or the Wbadmin start backup command and the same settings that you used for the scheduled backups.

Performing a Manual Backup; Recovering Your Server

Periodically review the backup schedule to confirm that it still meets the needs of your business and consider revising it when you add or remove volumes, applications, features, or roles. In addition, check the status of your backups using the Windows Server Backup user interface, the Wbadmin get status command, or the Windows PowerShell cmdlets for Windows Server Backup.

Modify or Stop an Automatic Backup Schedule

Additional considerations

  • To install and use Windows Server Backup, you must be a member of the Backup Operators or Administrators group, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority.

  • If you are using BitLocker Drive Encryption to protect your server, if possible, make sure the storage location you choose is also protected with BitLocker Drive Encryption. This will not happen automatically—it must be enabled explicitly. For instructions, see the Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption Step-by-Step Guide (

Additional resources