The question is a basic one, but an important one. What should I backup on my personal computer?

With how much we rely on computers for storing our personal and work information these days, it’s critical to have a good backup strategy in place. Data loss from hardware failure, software bugs, user error, or malware can be devastating if you don’t have backups of your important files.

At a minimum, you’ll want to make sure you backup your personal documents, photos, videos, financial records, emails, contacts, browser data, and any other files that would be difficult or impossible to replace. Let’s go through the key file locations and types to include in your backups.

Documents and Desktop Folders Back up the entire contents of your Documents folder, Desktop folder, and any other folders containing your Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations, and other important files you’ve created.

Photos and Videos Make sure to backup all your personal photos and videos. On Windows, this is typically the Pictures and Videos folders. On Mac, it’s the Photos library file.

Financial Files Export data files containing your financial records from programs like Quicken, Mint, or tax software. Back up any PDF bank statements or other money management files you have saved.

Email and Contacts Most email programs like Outlook and Mac Mail have an option to export or backup your email messages, accounts, and contacts. Backing up this data ensures you don’t lose years of email history.

Browser Data Your web browser stores valuable data like bookmarks, extensions/plugins, and password information. Use your browser’s backup or sync features to secure this data.

The ideal backup approach uses at least two different storage locations – such as an external drive AND a cloud backup service (Albany Backups allows both a local and cloud backup at no extra cost). That way, you’re protected against things like hardware failure, natural disasters, and other potential issues. Schedule regular backups using backup software or automated cloud backup to make sure your files always have an up-to-date backup copy.

Taking the time to backup your critical files provides invaluable peace of mind and security for your important documents and personal data. A little setup now can save you huge headaches in the future.

If you need any further help or advice, please feel free to contact us!

Categories: Backup Basics


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