World Backup Day – Top 8 Files to Backup

Today is World Backup Day, and in honor of that fact we decided to go over the most common types of files that people need to have backed up regularly. This is just a general overview, and you should prioritize your backup items based on your specific needs. The general rule-of-thumb is that anything that can’t or would be extremely difficult to have to replace should be backed up.

World-Backup-DayStill, trying to think through absolutely everything can be overwhelming. So we have provided you with a quick hit list to help you know which of your files to backup!

Top Files to Backup

  1. Documents – between thesis papers, business documents, research and other items that you use on a daily basis, your documents are an absolute must when considering which files to backup. This usually includes a variety of file types, such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Publisher. These items are often used or modified on a regular basis and should be backed up as often as possible in order to prevent losing progress or changes that have been made that would be difficult or impossible to reduplicate.
    • Document Templates – Make sure not to forget to backup any custom document templates or macros that have been created. While these things are a little more realistic to replicate, that are often extremely time consuming and painstaking to do so. Save yourself the future regret and just go ahead and backup these files as well.
  2. Photos – When asked what people would grab first from their homes in the event of a fire, very often the answer is “wedding photos” or perhaps “baby album” pictures depicting some other important event. Why would you not take that same mindset into deciding which of your files to backup on your computer? How many computers do you have on your computer that are not located anywhere else? In most cases, your photos will be in your “Pictures” folder, but in some cases, photo-editing software can place them into another folder. Make sure that all of the locations that contain your photos are backed up when you make your plan.
  3. Music – Music is very often something that has been compiled over a long period of time and consists of a large number of files. Even if you only paid 99 cents per song, you don’t want to risk losing all of that data. Not to mention, you will never find time to find that random copy of the ’88 Oldsmobile jingle again, so you shouldn’t risk losing it.
  4. Videos – From home videos to uploaded mobile phone footage, videos depict situations and experiences cannot be replicated. Your video folder is definitely on the list of files to backup, and may include things like movies, tv shows, YouTube clips or personal videos. Just like with we mentioned with pictures above, some videos may not be in your “Videos” folder, so make sure you take an inventory and know where all of your important data is located on your computer before backing up your data.
  5. Email – Your email contains a wide range of information and covers several different data types, all of which need to be included on your list of files to backup. This should be done often as often as you clean out your email mailbox. These data include: important email addresses, email folders, and email signature files. Unless all of your information is hosted online, it is an extremely time-consuming and painful process to try to track them all down again. If you use Outlook, these things are made a little bit easier for you and will also include things like your calendar, Tasks, and Notes files.
    • Email Addresses – Ensuring that your contacts folder is on your list of files to backup is extremely important. If a glitch in the process of backing up your email occurs, it is going to be nearly impossibly to track down your missing data if you have also lost the contact information of the person you previously interacted with about that data. This same concept goes for your phone, if you can backup your contacts, you should.
  6. Personal Records – Records can and sometimes do fall into the “Documents” folder on your computer, but it is critical that you protect these important documents. These documents are items that would be critical in the event of a fire or other emergency where you need to evacuate your home and have all of your important personal files still intact. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers suggestions on what types of documents you’ll want to gather in case of an emergency. We suggest these files to be among the documents you have backed up. Some of these suggestions include:
    • Health Records – It is important that you keep a backup of your essential healthcare records in the case of an emergency. This includes:
      • Prescriptions
      • Copies of health insurance cards
      • health provider contact information
    • Tax Information – Keeping your Tax Records is recommended by both the IRS, FEMA as well as many other government organizations. This includes:
      • Tax return documentation
      • Related financial documents
      • Retirement statements
    • Personal Finance Records – Keeping a backup of your financial records is a good idea in case your bank account becomes compromised, or you lose your original documentation. Items to keep specific note of include:
      • Debit card/ credit card numbers
      • Bank statements
      • Pay stubs
    • Other Documents – It is a good idea to consider scanning other important documents and storing them on either an external Harddrive or in the cloud. Some of the documents that we suggest making sure you have copies of are:
      • Personal Records – birth, marriage, divorce, adoption, and death certificates
      • Personal Identification Documents – social security cards, drivers licenses, and passports
      • Property Leases, Deeds, Mortgages, and Other Related Records
      • Wills, Living Wills and Powers of Attorney
  7. Drivers – It’s a good idea to keep a backup of your drivers before doing any sort of reinstallation on your computer. Even though computers have become significantly more stable, you never know when the blue screen of death or some weird virus is going to burn your entire computer requiring you to reinstall nearly everything from scratch. Keeping a copy of your current drivers will ensure that you can restore everything back to normal without rummaging through CDs and online help forums.
    • Updates & patches – Make sure that all patches and updates files are including in your list of files to backup. These can be extremely difficult and tedious to relocate after running into computer issues.
  8. Game Saves – If you are a serious gamer, a good way to ensure that you don’t lose hours of gameplay if your hard drive fail is to make sure your games are properly backed up. Quite a few newer games support saving game progress via the cloud, but many older games do not support this function. Make sure you know whether your game requires you to manually backup your progress, or you will be forced to repeat all of the levels you have completed.


Knowing which files to backup is critical when understanding what all could be affected in the event of a failed computer. Make sure that you do this on a regular basis in order to keep your backup current. Don’t wait until the next World Backup Day for a reminder!! A good tactic is to set a reminder for once a month or once a quarter to make sure that you remember to backup your data!

Another good tactic is to have cloud backup system automatically in place to protect your systems. Contact us to learn more about our cloud backup solution.

By | 2017-03-24T13:47:54-04:00 March 31st, 2015|Managed Services, Professional Services, Security|

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