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How Often Should I Back Up My Computer?

I've been designing websites since 2001.  During that time, I have easily saved hundreds of thousands of files to different personal and work computers.  But it wasn't until a few months ago that I started working on better habits for backing up my computer files.


The best answer to how often you need to back up your computer really depends on how often you save files to it.  If you only use your computer for personal reasons, and save pictures to it once a week, you may only need to do a backup once a week.  But if you are constantly saving pictures, Word documents, music, Outlook emails, or other files, you should make a habit of backing up your computer more often.  But how often is that?


I would suggest doing a backup of your computer every day.  To some people, that may seem like a lot of work, but it's totally worth it.  At least once a day, I sort all of the folders on my computer by the last date modified.  Basically I right click on a folder (in Windows XP), and then choose "arrange icons by", and then chose "modified."  By doing this, Windows will list all of my folders and files based on when I last used or saved them.  This way I can see which files I most recently saved to my PC, or updated.


Years ago I bought a Toshiba external hard drive.  You can usually buy one for between $50-$100 that will have more than enough space to back up your entire computer.  That's assuming that you have as many files that I do (tens of thousands).  I simply copy my most recently saved files and folders, then paste them into my external hard drive.  I do this every single day, and it only takes about 5-10 minutes.  While I'm doing this, I'm able to surf the web and kill a bit of time as the files are transferred.


Is backing up your hard drive every day really necessary, though?  It is for me.  I've had a few instances where my computer was infected with a bad virus, and the computer repair shop had to wipe my computer clean after doing a backup.  The only problem is that they weren't always able to back everything up.  Even though I had online backups of my client files, I didn't do the same for my music and personal pictures.


Stop and think about how much of a headache it would be if all of your files were wiped out from a virus, or from an electrical surge (it happens more than you would ever believe).  Think about how much of a pain it would be if many important files were lost, and were impossible to replace.  So when you consider the amount of stress you have to deal with, taking five minutes out of your day to do a backup really isn't much of an inconvenience.


Still Have Questions About Computers or Website Design?

Give Delta Creations a call today.  We have developed over 370 websites since 2001, and can provide you with free answers to your web design or basic PC questions.  Our company designs websites for clients across the country.  If you have more questions about websites, please call us now at 225-337-4360 or send us an email.







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