No matter what precautions you may take, there is always the possibility that theft, physical damage or invasive malware could result in the loss of the contents of your computer or device. Establishing a regular practice of backing it up is therefore prudent insurance against the headache of such a loss.
No matter what you store your information on or OS it uses, the same three basic steps apply:
- Identify what you want to back up. Before you start, it's a good idea to do a little clean-up. Delete non-essential files or archive them externally. Then organize your remaining files in one easy-to-find location.
- Decide where you want to store your backed up files: encrypted drive; external drive, device or other storage medium; central or departmental storage options. Note: Visit the CIS Files Services documentation for details on one possible location.
- Establish a regular backup schedule. Windows users can automate tasks with Task Scheduler (Windows 7 | XP) and Mac users automatically backup files using iTunes of iCloud backup.
The following are suggested methods of backing up your files, provided by Apple, Windows and mobile device vendors.
Mac OSX & Time Machine
- 10.5/Leopard & 10.6/Snow Leopard - How to Backup and Restore Your Files
- Mac 101: Time Machine - Learn how to set up Time Machine to perform backups, how to restore items (or your entire system) from a backup, how to use existing backups on a new Mac, and more
- When to use Time Machine or Backup to back up data
- 7: Backup Your Files | Restore Files from a Backup | Backup the Registry | Backup the System Settings
- XP: Backing Up and Restoring Data | How to Backup and Restore the Registry in Windows XP
- Android: How to backup your Android phone (CNET.com)| 6 Best Android Apps to Backup and Restore Data (theandroidsoul.com) | Backup Apps on Google Play | Data Backup (for Android developers)
- BlackBerry: How to schedule automatic backups using BB Desktop SW | How to restore data using BB Desktop SW
- iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch: About Backups
- Windows Phone 7: Restore a Backup