Backups Made Easy!

Its easy to backup your files!

Kim here.  There’s a lot I can say about backups, but you are here because you want something quick and easy to understand.  This write-up is for beginners and I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible, and if you’d like more detail, please come in and talk to us!

I’m going to show you a simple technique for backing up your data.  It is a manual process which you will need to do whenever you think about it.  Put it on your calendar to do it once a month, or even more frequently.  If you want something fully automated, see me about setting up Carbonite, it costs about $5/month for the average user.

A backup is a fancy way of saying “a copy”.  This technique backs up (copies) only your data files.  It does not back up your Operating system (likely Windows) or any additional programs you might have installed (such as QuickBooks).  I would not expect you, as a beginner, to know how to restore your operating system!

When you backup data files, you need to know what files you want to backup (source), and where you are going to put them (target).  You will put them on some kind of external storage, such as a flash drive or an external hard drive.  We don’t really use CDs and DVDs anymore.  Which media you choose (and size you need) depends on how much data you have, and

how many generations of backups you wish to keep.  If you have a laptop, bring it in and we will assess this for you.  If you have a desktop and you have not had a tune-up for more than a year, bring it in and I will do this as part of your tune-up.  Otherwise you can determine how much data you have yourself.  Once we know how much data you have, we can recommend which size drive you need.  (Of course, bigger is always better, but more expensive.)

Whatever your backup media, plug it into your computer.

Most people store their files in My Documents, My Pictures, My Videos, My Music, etc.  Depending on your windows version, it might be called just Documents, Pictures, etc. You can go there by clicking on the little folder on your taskbar.


Next, you will see a window with folders.  Hold the “CTRL” down.  Click on those folders you wish to backup (Documents, Pictures, etc.).  You will see them highlight when you have selected them.  Press “CTRL” and c.  (c for copy)

(If you have been storing your files elsewhere, like on C:\ or on your desktop, or your QuickBooks files, you will have to specify those sources when we get ready to do the backup.  Or better yet – just move them to where they are supposed to go – My Documents, My Pictures, Etc.)

Then, on the right side of the screen you should see your target media, usually with a drive letter designation (such as D: or F; or J:).

Click on your backup drive, and then press “CTRL” and p (p for paste).

Thats it! For the first time, it will copy your files onto the backup media.  Next time, it will ask if you want to replace.  Say yes.


If you want to keep several generations back, we can show you how to do this.  There are only a couple of additional steps.  We are happy to show you this and much more.  You may want to sign up for a one-hour tutoring session, where we can answer all your computer questions.