What Does Carbonite Backup?

Dear Computer Lady,

Does Carbonite also back up your operating system along with your programs and email?

Thank you, Frank

Dear Frank,

Most cloud backup systems only save your documents and data, but not programs and the operating system. There are a couple of reasons for this.

First, is probably the cost, most of us have a small amount of documents and data, but a large amount of operating system files and program files.

Secondly, is the fact that you can easily recover your programs by re-installing them from the disks, and your operating system is either on the original operating system disk, the recovery disks that you (hopefully) made when your computer was new, or on a recovery partition on your hard drive. It is not as easy to recover lost photos, and documents.

Third, is the fact that your operating system and programs get used so much that they tend to get corrupted over time. If you are using a service like Carbonite to backup your operating system files, you are backing up those errors and restoring your operating system from the backup would not get rid of those errors. It is much better to restore from your original recovery disks.

As for your email, yes, Carbonite and other cloud backup programs will backup your email as long as it is stored on your computer. Since many email programs store your messages in different locations, I like to check and make sure my email files are actually being backed up. If not, you can right click on them and select to add them to the backup.



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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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