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Why Should I Back-Up my Computer?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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Regardless of whether you use a computer at work or at home, choosing to create back up files and update them from time to time is important. While the chances of something happening with your system are relatively low, the fact is that systems do crash and information can be lost. Here is why everyone should add “back-up my computer” to their list of things to do at least on a monthly basis.

Most people find that it is very convenient to keep many documents saved on a computer hard drive. The documents can be printed on an as-needed basis, or updated from time to time if necessary without having to create a completely new document. Storing saved files on the hard drive is great for convenience, but not necessarily the safest method. Just as with paper documents, it is a good idea to have a copy of those electronic files tucked away in a different location.

When a hard drive becomes corrupted in any manner, it can negatively impact any files saved on the system. The files may disappear, become impossible to open, or the data in each document may be scrambled. In any event, the files are no longer usable. At this point, you want to have back up files that can be loaded on another system or restored to your computer once the hard drive is replaced or repaired. Unless you make that note to “back-up my computer” and followed through with the task, you are going to spend a lot of time recreating documents from memory.

Another reason that you want to make that action item of “back-up my computer” is because you can’t always take your desktop computer everywhere you go. By copying your files onto a CD ROM or onto a jump drive, you have effectively backed-up your saved programs and files and can make use of them on a laptop or another desktop computer at your destination. From this perspective, having the latest versions of the files backed up will make it easy to access what you need no matter where you are.

You may want to consider using a remote server to store the latest copies of your files as well as any software programs you need to run them properly. There are a number of companies that provide this service either a small fee or as a community service. Access to the files is protected with security protocols, so no one can get to your data unless you provide the login information. In addition, this option easily allows you to overwrite and earlier version with the latest information, or create and name the latest version as a separate file. This allows you to go back and review everything that was in the file when you chose to follow the imperative to “back-up my computer”, an option that may come in handy if you need to see what was entered by a given date.

Scheduling the task to “back-up my computer” can be accomplished by making an entry to initiate the back up manually on a regular basis. Alternatively, you can set up protocols to automatically begin the back-up process according to an on-going schedule. Experts typically recommend performing a back up at least once a month. However, if you add data on a daily basis, you may want to schedule the back up to take place once a week. Doing so will help ensure that even if something happens to your hard drive, the amount of data that is lost will be minimal and your recovery time will be relatively short.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
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Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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