Multiple Backups: Why They’re Important
Before diving into the ways to back up your files, I want to talk about multiple backups. The best way to ensure that you do not lose important documents and photos is to not rely solely on one backup method.
Make sure to store copies of files and photos on your computer and in two or more of the methods listed below. You can even keep copies on a secondary computer, if available. The more backups you have, the better, but two to three should be fine for most.
Get in the habit of backing up files on a regular basis, every week or month or whenever you get new important documents and pictures. Also, beware that physical storage solutions, like external hard drives and flash drives I outline below can break down over time. You’ll need to replace them after several years or so to ensure they don’t fail, destroying your files in the process.
Google Drive Automatic Backup Settings
If you use Drive to back up your computer, you may have to change some network settings. Backing up many files means lots of data is being transferred to the cloud continuously and slowing down your connection. By default, Drive doesnt limit your bandwidth. This is the best option if you have an unlimited data plan and you only care about fast uploads.
Backing Up Large Files
We spend countless number of hours downloading movies, photos, music and even games. They usually account for the largest part of the consumed storage. A drive crash means youll lose hundreds of gigabytes of data that took days and weeks to download. Thats why its a good idea to back up all the large files in advance. The best thing you can do here is take a backup of all your files on an external hard drive.If you dont already have an external hard drive, we suggest you buy one that suits your storage requirement. Make sure you have enough of free space on it, even after you backup your existing data, for future use. There are hard drives with capacities starting from 1TB.Windows comes with a built-in back-up feature called File History. Its designed to help you take a backup of your data from your laptop or PC, easily. It lets you take a backup of your data by simply plugging in your hard drive. Just follow the simple steps mentioned below.
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Types Of Usb Flash Drives
- Security Flash Drive: Unlike Normal USB flash drive, it is strengthened with physical or intelligent security approaches to guarantee that the information isn’t imperiled. Moreover, these flash drives are also used as a password for the specific account. Simply plug it to the device to sign in to your account without entering a password.
- Music Flash Drive: If you are a music lover, you may love this flash drive. These flash drives allow you to store music and video files on it.
- OTG Flash drive: OTG aka On the Go flash drives is the latest USB flash drive type. OTG could be based on micro USB, Type-C, or lightning plug. You can directly connect the flash drive to your mobile phone.
How To Take A Partial Backup Of Your Computer
If you only care about keeping specific files and folders on your computer backed up, you can automatically save all of these to an external hard drive at a regular time interval of your choosing.
While a partial backup of your Windows 10 computer won’t protect your operating system settings, it will save all of your important files without consuming too much storage space. It’s a more efficient and convenient way to protect files you can reinstall onto a recovered Windows 10 computer should you ever need to reinstall Windows 10.
Select the Start menu and type “backup.” Select Backup settings to open the Backup area of your computer’s System Settings area.
Under the Back up using File History section, select Add a drive to choose the external hard drive you want to use for your file history backups.
Doing this opens a Select a drive popup listing all external drives you have connected to your computer. Select the external drive where you want to back up your important files and folders.
You will now see Automatically back up my files enabled. It will use a default list of files and folders most users want to keep backed up. To add more files and folders, select More options under the toggle.
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When Might You Need A Backup
The first and most obvious reason is in case of hard drive failure. That failure could look like a complete and sudden breakdown of your hard drive, or you may have experienced file corruption owing to a gradually deteriorating drive.
You might also face a situation where software failure damages crucial files. This is less common than it once was, but sometimes software fails catastrophically, damaging files you may have been reading or editing.
Finally, theres good old-fashioned human error. Accidental file deletion or overwriting happens all the time. While you have a range of options for retrieval here, an external hard drive backup is your best final safety net.
If all else fails you can always grab that crucial archive.
Backing Up Your Files To The Cloud
A cloud backup plan offers another layer of protection for your files and gives you access to your files when you are away from home.
Windows and Mac computers can target the cloud as a backup destination. Seagate recommends that you back up content to your Seagate storage drive using Seagate Dash-board or Time Machine as a primary backup, and target the cloud as a secondary backup.
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Make An Image Backup Of Windows Itself
Backing up your data is vital, and should be done daily. Backing up Windows itself is just a good idea, and need only be done three or four times a year.
For this chore, you need to create an image backup, which copies the entire drive into one compressed but still huge file. Windows 10, Windows 11, and EASEus Todo Backup can all image-backup your drive. Theres no cloud option here youll need an external hard drive. You might want to read my articles on creating and restoring an image backup in Windows 10 .
Editors note: This article was originally published in January 2017. It was updated in March 2022 with current information, images, and links.
Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read ouraffiliate link policyfor more details.
How To Restore A Backup With System Image Tool On Windows 10
If you need to replace the hard drive or hardware failure occurs, you can use one of the backups to recover the device and files.
To restore a backup on Windows 10, use these steps:
After you complete the steps, the recovery process will start on the computer. The time to finish the restoration will depend on the amount of data and hardware configuration.
If you are about to restore a device, do not interrupt the process as it can cause the backup to fail, making the device unbootable. It is always recommended to have the laptop connected to a power source and a desktop computer to an uninterruptible power supply to avoid problems.
Once the backup has been restored, open Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update, and click the Check for Updates button to quickly install any missing security updates.
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How Backup And Sync Works
To use Backup and Sync, install the Backup and Sync client on your computer, then select which folders in your computer youd like to back up. You can also back up and sync files from SD cards, USB devices, cameras, and mobile devices. After the initial setup, files in selected folders and data sources automatically upload to Googles servers and sync anytime you make changes.
Backup and Sync creates a folder on your computer named Google Drive. Any files you put into this folder automatically upload to and sync with your My Drive folder on Google Drive and are accessible on all Drive-enabled devices or over the web.
Did you know? You can change the location of the Google Drive folder on your device and automatically back up the contents of an SD card or other USB storage device plugged into your PC or Mac. Uploaded files are available in Google Drive.
How To Restore Your Files From Backups
Restoring from Backblaze
With Backblaze, you restore your files using a Web browser:
After you select files to restore, Backblaze creates a ZIP file. It can take a little bit of time to complete this process if youre restoring a large set of data. Once it does, youll get an email with a link to download the ZIP file and do whatever you want with the files.
Restoring from File History
In Windows, you have different ways to access your backed up files. You can access them within Windows Explorer or by using File History.
Heres how to restore an earlier version of a single file or folder:
Restoring from Time Machine
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Choose The Interval Retention And Folders To Back Up
Now that you have chosen where you will back up your files to and File History is turned on, select More options , and you will be presented with the customization window for your File History backups. Here you can change the default hourly backup interval to a range of every 10 minutes to once a day. Next, you will find the retention option on how long you would like to keep file versions. Forever is selected by default and can be modified, allowing until space is needed or a range of 1 month to up to 2 years. Next, you will see the option to add a folder with the same plus sign you saw when adding a drive above. Selecting this will open a Windows File Explorer browser to choose your additional folders. Now, if a folder is already on the list, you can select the item and hit remove at the bottom of the more options window. You will see the same Add a folder button under Exclude these folders.
Back Up Your Computer To The Cloud With Backblaze
One of the main reasons to use Backblaze is its simplicity. You dont have to fiddle with much to get it working:
By default, Backblaze automatically backs up almost everything on your computer, including common folders like the Documents folder, your user folder, and the Photos folders. The only folders Backblaze doesnt back up are operating system, application files, empty folders/directories or temporary internet files.
If you have large files or folders that you dont need to back up, you should exclude them from Backblaze, especially if your ISP charges you for exceeding your monthly data cap. If you want to change which folders are backed up, youll need to go into the settings. In Windows, click the Backblaze icon in the tray, then select Backblaze Control Panel, then Settings. On Mac, open System Preferences and click Backblaze Backup, then click Settings. To pick which folders Backblaze backs up, click the Exclusions tab. Backblaze uses an opt out system for whats included in the backup instead of opt in, so everything important on your drive is already getting backed up. If you dont want a folder backed up, click the + symbol to exclude the folder.
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How To Restore A File That Ive Accidentally Deleted
So you were working on an important document, and now its gone. Fear not thats exactly why you have set up an automatic backup of your entire Windows 10! Here is what you do:
Thats it your file is back and unharmed.
How To Back Up To Local Usb Storage
Simply plug in a USB drive and use File Explorer to copy files from your computer to the removable drive.
This method is completely manual, but if you set a reminder to do it once per month and leave it copying while you’re off doing other things, it really doesn’t take much effort. Plus, once the backup is done and the drive is disconnected, it’s offline and safe from ransomware attacks.
To avoid having to plug in a USB drive each time, you could buy a NAS drive. This is almost the same as a USB drive, but it attaches to your router instead of via USB. This is better because it is accessible to all computers in your home so you can set all of them to back up to the NAS automatically. Far from being just a storage device, they’re like mini computers, and have a basic operating system with – among other things – backup tools.
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Local Ssd/hard Drive Backups
One of the easiest and quickest ways to protect your data is to back it up to another hard drive. If you have multiple drives in or attached to your system, you can back up files to a secondary drive, a USB flash or external drive or even to a drive in a computer connected to the same network. Depending on the type of local drive you use, the steps used to back up to the device may vary.But backing up to a local drive usually requires little more than moving files from your main drive to a backup hard drive or to a recovery partition.
Select The Files Or Folders You Want To Restore
Now that the File History recovery wizard is open, locate the file and folder you would like to restore and click the green undo icon. This will restore them to the original location. If you right-click on this icon, you can select restore to, which will bring up a new File Explorer window to pick the destination. The second screenshot below to the right is the View from File or Folder properties Previous versions tab where you can restore from too.
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How To Backup Your Pc Automatically On Windows 10
Creating frequent backups is one of the best strategies to protect your documents, pictures, videos, custom configurations, and Windows 10 files against software problems, hardware failure, hackers, and malware attacks.
Although there are many third-party utilities that you can use, Windows 10 ships with the legacy “Backup and Restore” experience, which allows you to create full backups automatically at regular intervals.
A full backup using this tool means that Windows 10 will make a copy of everything on your computer, including installation files, settings, apps, and all your files stored in the primary drive, as well as those files stored in different locations. Then when your device suddenly stops working, a critical error prevents the device from starting correctly, or files get damaged, you can use the “Backup and Restore” feature to recover individual files or the entire system as necessary. Backing up should be an essential part of everyone’s regular routine, whether you work in an office or work at home.
In this Windows 10 guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to set up full backups of your device automatically.
Specify the frequency, date, and time when Windows 10 should backup your computer.
Quick tip: If you’re working with essential data, such as work files, you should consider backing up using the “Daily” option.
Backups A Repetitive Process
As mentioned above, a backup is a copy of data created from a computer or device. Nonetheless, a backup is just a copy of data at a particular point in time. A backup must be repeated or recreated to preserve or record any changes to the data since the last copy was made. While many backups are automated processes that create copies of existing data, even automation requires effective scheduling to keep saved or backed up data current. If a manual or scheduled backup is not run, new or changed files are not saved or archived.
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