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Your Windows PC brings a variety of ways to back up the things that are most important to you, from your files and settings to your browser preferences. This helps protect those things, and when you move to another PC (or even upgrade to a new version of Windows), your stuff will come with you.

This guide will help you back up key things on your Windows PC.

2 different types of devices running Windows 11

Step 1: Sign in with a Microsoft account

This is the account associated with Windows, Microsoft 365, OneDrive, Xbox, and more. Your backed-up information will be stored with your Microsoft account, so getting back to your things on a new PC is as easy as signing in.

To sign in to your Microsoft account, select Start > Settings > Accounts > Your info . Select Sign in with a Microsoft account instead. You’ll see this only if you’re using a local account. If you see Sign in with a local account instead, you’re already using your Microsoft account.

Open account settings

Create a new Microsoft account 

Check if you have a Microsoft account

Step 2: Back up your apps 

If you back up your apps, you’ll be able to quickly restore them on a new device, saving you time and helping you have all your favorites available.

To back up your apps, select Start > Settings > Accounts > Windows backup. Then, turn on Remember my apps .

Open Windows backup settings

To confirm that your apps are backed up, look at the top of the Windows backup page. Under App list you’ll see the status Backed up.

The label showing you that your list of installed apps is backed up.

Step 3: Back up your settings

In Windows 11, your settings are stored as part of your preferences. This includes things like File Explorer settings, notification preferences, and device settings for printers and mouse options. You can also back up passwords and language preferences.

To back up your settings, select Start > Settings > Accounts > Windows backup. Then, turn on Remember my preferences and choose the settings you’d like to back up.

Open Windows backup settings

To confirm that your settings are backed up, look at the top of the Windows backup page. Under Preferences you’ll see the status Backed up.

The label showing you that your preferences are backed up.

Learn more about Windows backup in Windows 11

A folder surrounded by clouds and documents like charts and pictures

Step 4: Back up your files and photos with OneDrive

5 GB of OneDrive cloud storage comes with your free Microsoft account. With OneDrive, you can sync files between your PC and the cloud so those files stay backed up and protected, and so you can get to those files from anywhere, on any device.

Learn how to sync files with OneDrive in Windows

Watch OneDrive Quick start video training

Step 5: Sync your Microsoft Edge preferences

To easily browse the web from any of your devices and keep your favorites organized, sign in to Microsoft Edge and turn on sync.

Sign in to sync Microsoft Edge across devices

Step 6: You’re all backed up!

Your PC and files are now backed up, so you can get to your things across devices and easily move to a new PC.

A bird riding a document from one folder into another

Your Windows PC brings a variety of ways to back up the things that are most important to you, from your files and settings to your browser preferences. This helps protect those things, and when you move to another PC (or even upgrade to a new version of Windows), your stuff will come with you.

This guide will help you back up key things on your Windows PC.

2 different types of devices running Windows 11

Step 1: Sign in with a Microsoft account

This is the account associated with Windows, Microsoft 365, OneDrive, Xbox, and more. Your backed-up information will be stored with your Microsoft account, so getting back to your things on a new PC is as easy as signing in.

To sign in to your Microsoft account, select Start > Settings > Accounts > Your info . Select Sign in with a Microsoft account instead. You’ll see this only if you’re using a local account. If you see Sign in with a local account instead, you’re already using your Microsoft account.

Open account settings

Create a new Microsoft account

Check if you have a Microsoft account

Step 2: Back up your apps and settings

If you back up your apps and settings, you’ll be able to quickly restore them on a new device, saving you time and helping you have all your favorites available.

To back up your apps and settings, select Start > Settings > Accounts > Sync your settings . Then, turn on Sync settings. You can choose individual settings you’d like to sync, including theme, passwords, and more.

Open Sync settings

Learn about Windows backup and sync settings

A folder surrounded by clouds and documents like charts and pictures

Step 3: Back up your files and photos with OneDrive

5 GB of OneDrive cloud storage comes with your free Microsoft account. With OneDrive, you can sync files between your PC and the cloud so those files stay backed up and protected, and so you can get to those files from anywhere, on any device.

Learn how to sync files with OneDrive in Windows

Watch OneDrive Quick start video training

Step 4: Sync your Microsoft Edge preferences

To easily browse the web from any of your devices and keep your favorites organized, sign in to Microsoft Edge and turn on sync.

Sign in to sync Microsoft Edge across devices

Step 5: You’re all backed up!

Your PC and files are now backed up, so you can get to your things across devices and easily move to a new PC.

A bird riding a document from one folder into another

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