Incremental backup

Incremental backup is a backup of all changes made since the last backup. The last backup can be a full backup or simply the last incremental backup. With incremental backups, one full backup is done first and subsequent backup runs are just the changed files and new files added since the last backup.

Example of An Incremental Backup

You setup an Incremental backup job or task to be done every night from Monday to Friday. Assume you perform your first backup on Monday. This first backup will be a full backup since you haven’t done any backups prior to this. On Tuesday, the incremental backup will only backup the files that have changed since Monday and any new files added to the backup folders.  On Wednesday only the changes and new files since Tuesdays backup will be copied. The cycle continues this way.


  • Much faster backups
  • Efficient use of storage space as files are not duplicated. Much less storage space used compared to running full backups and even differential backups.


  • Restores are slower than with a full backup and differential backups.
  • Restores are a little more complicated. All backup sets (first full backup and all incremental backups) are needed to perform a restore.

Related :
Incremental vs Differential vs Full Backup