Limited time promo

What are Backup operators?

English en

This article applies only to Backup4all. If you don't have it yet, you must download it first.

Download now Buy licenses
Oct 05, 2022

We strive to keep our articles as accurate as possible. If you notice any inconsistencies or outdated info please let us know.
A backup operator is an user that can back up and restore the computer regardless of file system security. A member of the Backup Operators group can extract files and directories for which the user would normally not have access.

What are Backup operators?

Backup operators are actually users that are members of the Backup Operators group in Windows. They can extract files and directories for which the user would normally not have access. Membership in this group permits users to open any file for backup purposes, however, once the file has been opened for read access it can be redirected by the Backup Operator to any location.
By default, users are allowed to backup and restore files for which they have the appropriate file and directory permissions without requiring membership in the Backup Operators group.
A type of local or global group that contains the user rights you need to back up and restore files and folders. Members of the Backup Operators group can back up and restore files and folders regardless of ownership, permissions, encryption, or auditing settings.
The Backup Operators group allows users to back up and restore files regardless of whether they have read or write access to the files. Since this group has a limited set of user rights, some functions are not available to members of the Backup Operators group.

What rights do backup operators have?

  • Can back up and restore files.
  • Can back up system state.
  • Can restore system state. (Windows® XP and 2003 only). On Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 2008 / 10, you must be a member of the Administrators group as well to restore system state.
  • Can start the TSM Scheduler service

What can't backup operators do?

  • Cannot start any other services (TSM Client Acceptor, TSM Remote Client Agent, and TSM Journal Service)
  • Cannot install and configure client services
  • Cannot use open file support
  • Cannot perform image backup and restore operations
  • Cannot back up and restore Windows file shares

How to add an user to the Backup Operators group

  1. Open Computer Management
    Computer Management
  2. In the console tree, click Groups. You can find it in Computer Management > Local Users and Groups > Groups
    Computer Management Groups
  3. In the details pane double-click Backup Operators and then click on Add.
    Backup operators
  4. On the Select Users dialog box, enter the name of the user you want to add to the group in the Enter the object names to select field.
    Backup operators users
  5. Click on Check Names and Windows will automatically add the user location as well, for example COMPUTER-NAME\William. Click OK.
    Backup operators names
  6. You'll see the new user added in the Backup Operators Properties window. Click on Apply then OK to finalize the process.
    Backup operators finalize
To add a user to the Operators Group on a domain controller you must use Active Directory Users and Computers.
  • You must be a member of the Administrators group to designate users as Backup Operators.
  • To open Computer Management, click Start, and then click Control Panel. Click Performance and Maintenance, click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management.