Creating a Recovery Drive

Microsoft has announced a new version of Windows OS, Windows 11. It's always a great idea to create a recovery drive, but with a big update coming, it’s advised to do so before upgrading. That way, if your PC ever experiences a major issue such as hardware failure, or failed update (yes, they do happen), you can use the recovery drive to reinstall Windows 10. Windows updates to improve security and PC performance periodically so it is recommended to recreate the recovery drive at a minimum, annually. Personal files and any applications that did not come with your PC will not be backed up. You'll need a USB drive that's at least 16 gigabytes.

Warning: Use an empty USB drive because this process will erase any data that's already stored on the drive.

To create a recovery drive in Windows 10:

1. In the search box next to the Start button, search for Create a recovery drive and then select it. You might be asked to enter an admin password or confirm your choice.

2. When the tool opens, make sure Backup system files to the recovery drive are selected and then select Next.

3. Connect a USB drive to your PC, select it, and then select Next.

4. Select Create. Many files need to be copied to the recovery drive, so this might take a while.

If you ever need to use the recovery drive to reinstall Windows 10 on your PC, see Recovery options in Windows 10 for further instructions. It's a good idea to back up your files frequently because the recovery drive isn't a system image. It doesn't contain your personal files, settings, or programs.

Need more options for creating a recovery drive? Visit microsoft.com

• For Windows 7, see Create a system repair disc.

• For Windows 8.1, see Create a USB recovery drive.

• To download Windows 10 installation media, see Recovery options in Windows 10.