Did you try to back up files or the Windows 10 operating system, only to find the built-in Windows backup tool not working, for example, Windows 10 File History not working or Backup and Restore (Windows 7) not working? This post will introduce these two cases of failure as well as the solutions. Meanwhile, for these operations, we offer the best free backup software - MiniTool ShadowMaker.

Part 1: Windows 10 Backup Not Working

Data backup is an excellent solution for keeping a computer away from data loss or system crash during the event of disasters. Usually, you would choose the Windows built-in backup tool.

Windows 10 comes with two backup features - Backup and Restore (Windows 7) and File History. They help you create a system image or back up important files to protect your computer.

However, the Windows 10 Backup failed issue always happens, for example, Windows 10 Backup not backing up all files, Windows 10 backup 0 bytes , Windows 10 won't back up to external drive, Windows Backup did not complete successfully, etc.

To put it simply, Windows 10 Backup failure can include two cases: Windows File History backup not working and Backup and Restore (Windows 7) not working . Here, this post will focus on fixing these two cases.

Windows 10 backup issues are various and the solutions are different. In the following section, only a part of problems about Windows Backup not working are listed.

Relatively speaking, fixing all kinds of backup issues is troublesome and annoying. Therefore, we suggest using the reliable and free backup software - MiniTool ShadowMaker to back up files, system, partition, and disk with ease.

Free Download

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Part 2: Fix Windows Backup Failed Issue in 2 Cases

Case 1: Windows 10 File History Not Working

When using Windows 10 File History to back up some files or folders, you may find it is not working. In this section, we will show you 3 situations.

① Windows 10 File Backup Not Working

Some people have experienced the issues of Windows 10 Backup not working while using File History to back up files or folders to an external drive. Here are some possible solutions.

Method 1: Enable File History Service and Windows Search

Step 1: Click on the search bar, type service , and then click Services to open it.

Step 2: Find File History Service and Windows Search , double-click on them and change the Startup type to Automatic .

enable volume shadow copy service and Windows search service

Method 2: Disable and Enable System Protection

Another thing you can do when Windows 10 backup failed is to disable the system protection for your PC and then enable it again.

The following are the steps to do so.

Step 1: Go to Control Panel > System and Security > System > System protection .

Step 2: Choose a drive and click on Configure .

Step 3: Click on Disable system protection , and apply the change. Then, turn on system protection again.

disable and enable system protection

In addition, some users suggest updating Windows to the latest version or changing hard drive can fix Windows 10 File History backup not working.

② Windows 10 Backup Not Backing up All Files

Many users look for solutions to this issue in various forums. Here we have connected some possible solutions to the issue of File History not backing up all the files.

To resolve this issue, you can try turning off File History and turn it on again to force a refresh. Additionally, try removing the folder from the included list and add it again.

If the issue still appears, click on Advanced setting on the File History screen, and check the Event logs for any errors.

Also, set Keep saved versions to Forever .

file history advanced settings

③ File History Not Running Automatically or Stopped Working

Windows 10 Backup not working may reflect in this situation: Windows 10 file backup not working automatically or Windows File History stopped backing up.

What should you do to fix them?

Try to reset it as follows:

  1. Stop File History
  2. Delete its configuration files at:


  1. Restart File History and choose to use the same backup drive as before.
Tip: Besides the above Windows 10 file history backup not working problems, you may sometimes find your File History drive not connected or even having an error like “no usable drives were found”. For this case, different methods are required. Take a look at File History Drive Disconnected Windows 10? Get Full Solutions!

Case 2: Backup and Restore (Windows 7) Not Working

When looking for the solutions to "Windows 10 backup not working" in Google, you might find a related situation in the search results, which is the issue of did not complete successfully.

When using Backup and Restore (Windows 7) to create a one-time backup or schedule backup , Windows Backup might fail with the message "The backup did not complete successfully". Sometimes it also says "the last backup did not complete successfully" on Windows 10.

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Windows Backup did not complete successfully

This issue often happens when utilizing an external hard disk drive or a USB stick.

Here are some possible reasons why Windows 10 Backup failed to complete the task.

  • Before the time-out period ended, the backup operation did not accomplish.
  • Files are corrupted due to virus attack. As a result, Windows cannot find the target files, or it simply skips some files.
  • The target drive was disconnected from the computer during the backup process.
  • I/O device error .


1. Manually Remove Old Backups

Old backups may cause an interruption of the backup tool. Therefore, we suggest removing some backup files: delete them or transfer them to another drive.

2. Run Antivirus

You can run a full scan of your PC using antivirus software and remove viruses from both the source disk and target disk, or delete some untrusted files. Then, try the backup once again.

3. Check Disk Errors

Open Command Prompt window, use chkdsk /f /r commands to locate bad sectors on the selected partition, recover readable information and fix disk errors.

4. Connect Your External Drive or USB Drive to a Computer

Make sure the backup target disk is well connected to your computer by opening Disk Management to confirm that the backup drive’s status is online.

Tip: If Windows 10 Backup is not working and showing an error that says Windows Backup did not complete successfully after trying all the solutions, we recommend the professional and reliable backup software named MiniTool ShadowMaker. We won't introduce it in detail here; skip to Part 3 to learn more information.

Further reading:

If you receive "The last backup did not complete successfully" message when backing up files in Windows 7, after clicking the Options button, another error message may appear, saying "Windows Backup failed while trying to read from the shadow copy on one of the volumes being backed up".

How to fix Windows backup error code 0x81000037?

If Volume Shadow Copy service and SPP service are not enabled, Windows backup error 0x81000037 will happen. So enabling Volume Shadow Copy service and SPP service could be a solution.

  1. Type control panel in the search box and then click it in the results to open it.
  2. Go to System and Security > Administrative Tools .
  3. Double-click Services to open the Services window. ( Tip: Type the password or offer confirmation if you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation)
  4. If SPP service and Volume Shadow Copy service are disabled, just double-click them to open the Properties window. And then, choose Automatic (Delayed Start) from Startup type list.
  5. Click OK to complete the process.

In addition, Microsoft offers another solution - that is, to remove the reparse point from the library. Please read this help tutorial .

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In a nutshell, there are various backup issues when using Backup and Restore (Windows 7) to create a system image or back up files.

In addition to the issue of Windows Backup did not complete successfully, perhaps Windows 10 system image backup fails with error code 0x80780119 , Volume Shadow Copy errors , Windows 10 backup takes forever, etc. We won't show them to you in detail, but you can read the corresponding article.

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Windows 10 Backup not working is a big topic and it can involve a variety of backup problems. The above sections only show you a part of situations in 2 cases including Windows 10 File History not working, and Backup and Restore (Windows 7) not working.

However, you may find it is difficult and troublesome to deal with various backup problems. To avoid encountering the issue of Windows 10 Backup failed, using third-party backup software will be an excellent choice.

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Part 3: MiniTool ShadowMaker - Best Alternative to Windows 10 Backup Tools

MiniTool ShadowMaker, the best alternative to Windows 10 File History & Backup and Restore (Windows 7), will be a good solution to fix the issue of Windows 10 Backup not working.

It can easily and effectively back up files, folders, disk, partition and Windows operating system. You can also use it to save multiple backups to an external hard drive, internal hard drive, NAS, USB drive, etc.

Moreover, you can schedule an incremental backup, differential backup and automatic backup with this backup software. Importantly, another backup method - disk cloning is included in this Windows 10 backup software.

With an intuitive interface, backing up with MiniTool ShadowMaker is just a piece of cake. Now, it is time to get MiniTool ShadowMaker and install it on your Windows to back up files or system in the event of Windows 10 Backup not working.

This backup & restore software offers a Trial Edition that allows 30-day free trial for all backup features. Alternatively, get its Pro Edition for permanent use.

Free Download

Let's see how to back up files and Windows operating system.

File Backup

When Windows 10 file backup is not working, you can use MiniTool ShadowMaker to back up important files with simple steps.

Step 1: Run MiniTool ShadowMaker to get the following interface.

Step 2: Open the Backup window, enter the Source section, and then you can see the following small window where you are required to select a type to backup.

choose backup type

Just click Folders and Files to choose all files or folders you want to back up. Next, go back to the Backup page.

choose the files you want to back up

Step 3: Click the Destination section, and then choose one storage path from the pop-up window, as shown below. Here, we take an external hard drive as an example.

You may like: The Best Practice: 3-2-1 Backup Strategy for Home Computers

specify storage path for the backup

Step 4: Finally, click Back up Now on the bottom right of the Backup interface. Then, you can view this backup task being performed in the Manage page.

MiniTool ShadowMaker file backup

Windows Operating System Backup

If you are plagued by Windows 10 Backup not working when creating a system image, please abandon Backup and Restore (Windows 7) utility and try using MiniTool ShadowMaker.

Step 1: Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker and then choose a computer to manage.

Step 2: In the Backup page, you can see that all system related partitions have been selected by default. Next, you will need to specify a path to save the Windows 10 system image backup.

Tip: If you need to back up the entire system disk, you also need to enter the Source section, click Disk and Partitions part, and check all partitions on the system disk.

Step 3: At last, click Back up Now to perform the system backup operation.

MiniTool ShadowMaker system backup

You may find there are two options on the bottom left-hand corner: Schedule and Scheme . As for system backup, it is recommended to create automatic backups using Schedule and implement incremental or differential backups with Scheme .

Related article: 3 Types of Backup: Full, Incremental, Differential - MiniTool

"Windows 10 File History not working? Backup and Restore (Windows 7) failed? Try MiniTool ShadowMaker to easily back up your files and OS." Click to Tweet

Part 4: Final Words

Windows 10 Backup is not working? If you are bothered by the issue - Windows 10 file backup not working or Windows 10 system image backup failed, try fixing these issues based on actual situations.

To back up your computer files or system, MiniTool ShadowMaker is a great help for you to not experience Windows 10 Backup failures again. Just get its Trial Edition for a free trial.

Free Download

If you have any questions when using MiniTool ShadowMaker to create a backup, don't forget to tell us by leaving a comment or sending an email to [email protected] . Besides, any suggestions are appreciated.

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