Microsoft recently made it known that built-in backup solutions in Windows 10 will be removed in an unknown future revision of Windows 10. That means users need to start considering alternative options for their backup needs from now on. For years, we here at rev-conf.org have recommended CrashPlan as a backup solution, but it appears that CrashPlan for Home Users is also shutting down. Luckily, there are a lot of choices both free and paid on the market.
I’ve placed my bets on two well known third party offerings: Macrium Reflect and EaseUS ToDo Backup. Both are available in free versions with even more options than what Microsoft has offered over the years. This article shows you how to download and set them up.
How to Use Free Third-Party Alternatives to System Image for Backup in Windows 10 – Macrium Reflect and EaseUS ToDo
If you depend on Microsoft’s System Image, File History, or Backup and Restore tools, you need to reconsider, since Microsoft will be removing them in a future Windows 10 release. You can keep using them for now, but you need a contingency plan when the time comes. I have decided to move to Macrium Reflect, personally because I’ve read such good reviews about it. EaseUS ToDo Backup is another option that works just as well. Because I’m a cheapskate, I’ve decided to work with the free versions.
Editor’s note: Andre may be a self-proclaimed cheapskate, but note that a big gamechanger for him is the fact that he lives out in the middle of nowhere and gets all his internet via mobile data, which is costly and slow. This makes online solutions—like Backblaze or ElephantDrive are untenable solutions for him. But if you have a good internet plan and are looking for a service to keep multiple versions of your personal files safe, online backup solutions like Backblaze are still your best bet.
Macrium Reflect – Installation
Let’s start off with Macrium Reflect (Free). Macrium provides a small click to run the installer, but I chose the offline installer, which required finding the download agent; this downloads the full installer at around 800 MBs. Included are a collection of preinstallation environment tools based on Microsoft’s Windows Image deployment solutions.
That’s a look at two solid options for users who want to migrate from Windows 10’s System Image. Of course, they work differently, but you will appreciate some of the benefits included in both such as cloning, easier migration from one system to another, and automated and granular options for backup.
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Macrium is the more powerful of the two, featuring a lot more options, some of which are a bit too advanced for the average user. But if you want to grow with your backup solution, it’s there if you need it. EaseUS Todo Backup is bare bones, but something about that makes it feel lighter and more approachable. At the same time, it could be a little more intelligent, but what do you expect? Whichever solution you decide on, you won’t regret it.