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What files should you backup on your Windows machine?

By 19th Mar 2018 No Comments

With the forever increasing threat of Ransomware, it is more important than ever before to continuously backup your files. However, you don’t need to backup all your files, sometimes backing up everything wastes space and makes backups take forever.

The number one rule for backups is that any important data must exist in 2 or more physical locations at the same time. There are many ways to backup your files, from using an external hard drive to using the cloud. Work with the solution that works for you. We do recommend that you use different types for better data security.

You can create 2 different types of backups – system image and files. Most backup systems will allow you to specify the files you want a back-up of, but you can do a full system image backup if you like. For most people, we recommend you just backup your important files and folders.

The first thing you should backup is your personal files. On a Windows PC you’ll find these under C:\Windows\USERNAME (USERNAME being your user account name). This will give you your user data folders. Documents are saved to documents by default and the same goes with videos and pictures. If you show hidden files and folders you will see a folder called “AppData”. This is where programs store your settings and data for your specific user apps.

We recommend you backup your entire user account directory including AppData. If you aren’t using Office 365, you should also backup your emails. There isn’t a reason to backup your program files or windows directory folders.

Once you’ve backed up your files you should continue to do so regularly. If you can, try do it once a day. Automating this is the best solution, that’s why cloud backups are so popular as they allow you to automatically backup your PC when you aren’t using it.

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