What Do I Need To Backup?

Dear Computer Lady,

I’m 76 and use Windows 7, Home. I Would really LIKE to know what I will need to do for back up, As never have done this at all.

DO I, have to buy disks for the back up?

Thank you for the help and the newsletters, Joan

Dear Joan,

Before you start backing up your computer, you want to decide what it is that you need to backup.

Most people backup files that are important to them. Files like Pictures, Music, Documents and Videos that you have created and cannot easily be replaced.

Next, you will decide where you want to save your backed up files. You can store them locally on a device like an external hard drive, or you can store them “In the cloud” which just means that you are renting space on a computer belonging to a company on the internet.

If you are going to backup to a local device, you will need to purchase a drive to backup to. The best thing for this would be an external hard drive that connects to your computer using a USB cable. You will also need backup software. Windows 7 does have a backup section you could use, your external drive might come with a backup program, or if you want a more robust program you might want to purchase something like Acronis True Image.

If you are going to backup to the cloud, you will only need to purchase a plan with a cloud backup company like Carbonite. Once you install the backup software and purchase a plan, everything else will be automatic and you won’t have to think about the backup unless you need it.

Those are the things you would need to backup your computer. If you are not comfortable installing the software or setting up the backup, I would suggest you bring your computer to a local computer repair shop like mine and have the technician get everything setup for you.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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