Backup your data, creating a safety copy in case anything bad happens to the computer. Ensure that Windows 10 File History is configured and active.
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- [Narrator] At the top of the list for PC security and maintenance is backup. It's the name of a program and a process, more of a duty actually, that all computer users should perform, yet it's willfully neglected. Don't wait until disaster strikes your PC. It could be a virus, a hard drive failure, a file deleting binge you go on or anything. Backing up your computer's data is necessary and a vital chore. If you don't back up, professional data recovery can be expensive. Windows 10 comes with a backup utility that works well.
To configure it, open the settings app, press the Windows and I key combination, choose update and security, select backup. Now if backup is configured, you're going to see an on/off switch here or a toggle. It'll show on or off. Ensure that it's on and you're good to go. Otherwise, what you'll see is what's shown here, and add a drive button. For backup and file history to work, you must specify storage media either an external drive or a local network storage, a network drive.
You cannot back up to the PC's primary storage, Drive C. Click the add a drive button. As an interesting aside, when you connect external storage to a Windows 10 computer, the AutoPlay notification prompts if you want to use the drive for backup and file history. It's too late for that now so choose a drive from the list and ensure that the drive has at least as much capacity as the drive you're backing up. This PC has a 500 gigabyte hard drive and each of these external hard drives is capable of storing at least that much.
I'd be much more comfortable if they were larger capacity, but I'm going to deal with what I got. In fact, this one has more gigabytes free so I'll choose it. And that's it. This is how the screen looks when backup and file history is configured and active. To perform further configuration which I recommend, choose more options. Most of the options are preset to ideal conditions, but some settings could always use improvement. For example, backing up files every hour is most efficient.
Unless you have a laptop, in that case and specifically if you take your laptop on the road often, a daily backup would probably work better. Remember to bring your portable backup drive and connect it while you're on the road. Otherwise, the backup feature will bug you to attach the drive and you might not have the proper time to back up. Further, I recommend that you keep your backups until space is needed. If you don't choose this option, the backup media will fill up and backing up will stop.
The remaining settings list your personal folders and files. What's not listed which is also important are your program files so I recommend that you add those folders to the list. Click the add a folder button below backup these folders, navigate to Drive C and choose program files. A second program files folder also exists so add it as well, program files x86.
If you know of any other program folders on Drive C or elsewhere that must be backed up, add them as well. If this is the first time you've configured backup, click the backup now button to start the first backup. The backup initializes and creates a safety copy of your computer's data. It takes some time, but you can do other things on the computer while the backup progresses. Later on, you can confirm that the backup has worked. Simply visit the same screen. Right here, you will see that a recent backup has taken place, the text will be right on the screen, it'll tell you when the backup was taken place and whether or not it was successful.
It's listed by date and time and the files that are backed up. Finally, I should mention that third party backup utilities are available, though they cost money, either for the software directly or in the case of cloud backup, as a subscription fee. Many people prefer cloud backup because it's more reliable than an external hard drive which can fail. You don't need to double down on backup however. If you find that Windows Backup and File History does the job for you then you're set.
- Fighting malware
- Using a firewall
- Backing up your PC
- Recovering files
- Restoring your system
- Configuring Windows Update
- Improving PC performance