How To Back Up Your Computer

How to back up your computer

When it comes to data, there’s nothing more important than knowing how to back up your computer, in case something goes awry.

There are a number of different options for backing up your computer, but the most important part? You actually have to do it.

If you keep putting off backing up your computer data, then you’ll find yourself in a sticky situation where you wish you had done it before.

I recommend backing up regularly, whether that’s every 10 days, every week, or every month.

Now onto how to back up your computer…

How To Back Up Your Computer Video

Back Up Your Computer Using Built-In Systems

If you want to use the built-in operating system backup mechanisms that both Windows and Mac OS X provide, then you have everything you need to get started.

Here’s a quick tutorial from Lifehacker.

Back Up Your Computer via External Hard Drive

To back up your computer to external hard drives, all you need to do is copy your most important files to this other drive.

One thing that services like Time Machine do that doing a manual backup doesn’t, is that it only adds new files and it also removes files that you no longer want or need.

That can be handy when you start to reach the limit of your external hard drive.

How To Back Up Your Computer Online

If you move around a lot, or want to live and work anywhere, then you know that carrying around an external hard drive isn’t the best way to go.

That’s where backing up your computer to the cloud comes in.

CrashPlan: This is the most highly recommended cloud-based back up system, and it’s easy to set up and use. It works on a number of different platforms and operating systems, and also allows you to access your files from your mobile devices.

Dropbox: I taught you how to share files between computers using Dropbox, but this service can also serve as a cloud-based backup storage device. If you’re already using dropbox this might be a really easy next step to back up more of your computer files.

Mozy: If you have a larger company and want to back up multiple computers, then I’d recommend checking out Mozy’s enterprise plans.

If you haven’t backed up in awhile… go do it!

Now that you know how to back up your computer, it’s time to go do it! If you’re not in a position to make it happen right now, put it in your schedule for sometime this week. It’s important, and it could save you hours of wasted time and lots of dollars too.


  1. M Juliana on March 6, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Ooooh very timely, I recently have realized how important this is. I have started using Google Drive + My PC Backup. Both are relatively inexpensive and are accessible on multiple devices. Dropbox is great, but compared to the price of Google Drive + storage amounts…well, I had to switch over. Thanks for this! Not enough biz owners consider backing up their computer until it’s too late.

  2. Sandy Galiano on March 6, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks Nathalie! Its so important to back up and we don’t do it enough. I don’t know what I would do if I lost all my pics, docs, etc. I would cry and cry is what I would do.

    Great info here!

  3. Nat on March 6, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    I’m with M Juliana! Google Drive costs half the price of Dropbox — and it’s just way more convenient to share files. I haven’t tried the others you mentioned, though.

    • Nathalie Lussier on March 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing what tools you use ladies! I love that we have so many options to choose from. :) The important thing is to back up regularly, lest we forget!

  4. Purna Bhattacharya on March 7, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Good timing! I back up on my external hard drive once a month, sometimes more often. However, I've seen a friend of mine go crazy over backing things up on his external hard drive because in the past, it stopped working. So he bought a back-up HD for his initial back-up. Do you think this is necessary in the cases of business owners?