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How To Back Up Your Files

Losing your files and data can be disastrous. But taking the proper precautions to back up your files can help you minimize the devastation. For ultimate protection, it is recommended that you back up information in at least three unique locations. These unique locations can include:

  • Computer hard drive
  • External hard drive
  • Portable USB drive
  • Cloud-based file storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive
  • Writeable media like CD-Rs or DVD-Rs

Whether you have a PC or a Mac, backing up your files is easy. Follow the instructions below for your specific operating platform.


  • For PC Users

  • 1

    Decide what files you want to backup. Standard practice is to backup only irreplaceable files like documents, photos, videos, music, etc. You can also choose to back up everything on your hard drive, such as your directory files and program files, but chances are you will need to reinstall and reconfigure your hard drive if it is corrupted.

  • 2

    Decide what 3 methods of backup you will use. HowSpot recommends you keep backup copies on your computer’s hard drive, an external source, and a cloud-based source.

  • 3

    Access Windows Backup by clicking the Start menu button.

  • 4

    Click Control Panel, and then click Systems and Maintenance.

  • 5

    Select Backup and Restore. (The first time using this system, select Set Up Backup, and follow the steps to back up your system. You will only have to do this once.)

  • 6

    Click Backup Now and send your data to your chosen source(s).

  • For Mac Users

  • 1

    Decide which files you want to backup. Standard practice is to backup only irreplaceable files like documents, photos, videos, music, etc. You can also choose to back up everything on your hard drive, such as your directory files and program files, but chances are you will need to reinstall and reconfigure your hard drive if it is corrupted.

  • 2

    Decide what 3 methods of backup you will use. HowSpot recommends you keep backup copies on your computer’s hard drive, an external source, and a cloud-based source.

  • 3

    Use Disk Utility from the Utilities menu to create a new “disk image”—this will be an exact duplicate of your Mac hard drive. Copy this duplicate to your chosen source.

  • 4

    You can also set your Mac to automatically back up files to a different source. Simply set up Time Machine when you set up your Mac with the time intervals you wish.


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