How Do I Back Up My Computer?

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How do I “back up” my computer? I am sure my question is ridiculous to you, but I honestly have no clue what I should be doing.

Your question isn’t ridiculous at all. In fact, I’m certain it’s one reason so many people don’t back up: they simply don’t know how.

For something as critically important as backing up, that’s more than a little scary. I hear from people who lose important, valuable information all the time. Whether it’s from malware, hardware failure, account hacks, or other disasters, a backup can easily prevent such loss.

First, let’s look at what it means to back up a computer, and what your options are. Then, I’ll share some guidelines and tell you what I recommend for typical users.

Read moreHow Do I Back Up My Computer?

How To Back Up Windows 10

I’m sure you’re aware by now that I’m a huge fan of backing up.

Microsoft Windows includes several tools that, used together, can provide a backup strategy to protect you from most things that can go wrong.

Let’s review what it means to use those tools together properly and get you backed up. We’ll also review the impact of Microsoft’s decision to phase out one of those tools.

Read moreHow To Back Up Windows 10

Do I Need OneDrive?

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Windows 10 keep asking me to set up OneDrive. Is OneDrive really useful and is it needed?

Is it needed? No. There are plenty of alternatives if you want cloud storage and features similar to OneDrive.

Or you may elect not to use cloud storage at all.

Is it useful? In my opinion, absolutely.

Read moreDo I Need OneDrive?

Half a Dozen Uses for OneDrive

If you don’t trust Microsoft, you should probably stop reading. If you don’t trust Microsoft, you probably won’t trust OneDrive with your files.

If you’ve decided you’re never going to trust “the cloud”, you can stop reading now as well. There’s no getting around the fact that OneDrive is, at its heart, a cloud-based service.

If you have Windows 10, especially if you have Microsoft’s Office 365, you already have OneDrive available to you. (If not, it’s easy to get.) If you’re interested in learning how you can put OneDrive to use, read on.

I’m convinced that OneDrive is one of Microsoft’s most under-appreciated services.

Read moreHalf a Dozen Uses for OneDrive

Using OneDrive for Nearly Continuous Backup

In previous articles, I looked at creating an image backup using Windows 10’s built-in imaging tool1, and setting up File History to back up files that change on a regular basis to an external drive.

This is all good — but we can do better.

Best practices for a robust backup strategy call for keeping a backup copy off-site. OneDrive, included as part of Windows 10, can do that automatically.

We’ll set up OneDrive, and then make a couple of changes to other applications to make our use of OneDrive for backing up nearly transparent.

Read moreUsing OneDrive for Nearly Continuous Backup

How Do I Move My OneDrive Folder?

When you set up OneDrive, it places the local machine copy of your files in a subfolder of your user folder. For example, on my machine, that would be:

C:\Users\lnote\OneDrive

Personally, I don’t like that. I prefer to have cloud storage folders like OneDrive at the top, or “root”, of my C: drive. Perhaps more practically, however, many people like to place these folders on another drive completely.

Let’s move the OneDrive folder.

Read moreHow Do I Move My OneDrive Folder?

Why I’m (slowly) Switching to OneDrive

I’ve been using Google Drive and Google Docs for several years. With the addition of functional (albeit somewhat crippled) versions of the applications on my Android mobile devices, it’s a quick and easy way to have documents with me wherever I might be. Add to that the ability to share documents with my assistants, and it’s become a valuable resources in how I handle my data.

I recently started playing around with Microsoft’s offering. They, too, now offer somewhat crippled versions of actual Microsoft Office programs for free on both the web and mobile, including my Android phone, integrated with their online “cloud” storage offering, Microsoft OneDrive.

But there’s something fundamentally different about Google Docs and Microsoft Office Online, something that has me now in the process of slowly switching to OneDrive, and potentially even shifting some of my other files from DropBox while I’m at it.

It’s all about backups.

Read moreWhy I’m (slowly) Switching to OneDrive