I married an IT guy and he’s been great about informing our family on how to back-up our data. Since I’ve been learning how to do graphic design and other art related projects, I’ve accumulated a lot of graphics, fonts, and backgrounds. I filled up a 128 GB Memory Stick! The main problem was since I work from home, I was using a lot of the space on my work computer for personal design elements. I realized I need my own computer for personal stuff and keep my business stuff free of that. Even my Etsy stuff shouldn’t be on my work computer. So there began the journey of trying to transfer my stuff onto a new computer.
Here’s a few tips I’ve learned, whether you are transferring to a new computer or not. The reality is that someday your computer will die and you are at risk of losing your data. I’d personally cry if that happened to me! There are many places you can pay for backup accounts. Some like Spider Oak and Drop Box offer free accounts and you can pay a monthly fee for more space. Here are some of my personal favorites.
Computer Back-Up Best Practices
According to another website, the rule is to use 3 backup plans:
Here’s the rule of three. It’s a long time computer-person rule of thumb that you can apply to your life now. It’s also called the Backup 3-2-1 rule.
- 3 copies of anything you care about – Two isn’t enough if it’s important.
- 2 different formats – Example: Dropbox+DVDs or Hard Drive+Memory Stick or CD+Crash Plan, or more
- 1 off-site backup – If the house burns down, how will you get your memories back?
I’m assuming the copy on your actual computer counts as 1. Then add a memory stick or CD and something off site and you are set!
Some Back-Up Options
A memory stick is a good option for backing up files, photos, and other data. I purchased a Sandisk Memory Stick for about $40 with 128 GB (It’s cheaper on Amazon). Some are made to be removed easily from the computer and some are harder. I ended up getting one that was easy to remove, but I bump it a lot when on my laptop. I now have it on my Desktop PC and like it much better there as I never bump it. I use this as an extra back-up.
OneDrive is my go-to back up. We paid about $100 for our entire family to have a subscription. You can also get a personal account that is about $70/year. The nice thing about OneDrive is you get 1TB of space for personal accounts; 1000 GB each person on family accounts. It comes with the Office programs which you can use online or download to your computer. You can select which folders to back up on your computer by using the OneDrive software. At work, we also use OneDrive as it is a really great solution for the workplace. OneDrive also offers a free account, although the space is significantly lower (I think it’s only 5 GB).
After a loss, or a move, you can simply install the OneDrive app on the new computer (It’s already installed on Windows 10 computers). If you have a memory stick, you can just plug it in. The data will still be there ready to put on your new computer, or access from a new computer. You can begin backing up the new documents and items from the new computer just as you did from your last computer.
You can also download the Office products again and start using them again. When I switched computers, I logged into my Google account and all my passwords were stored. That was another feature I was so glad I used. All my websites, favorites, and passwords were easily accessed with my email address for Google. I’m sure Hotmail does something similar with Edge, although I haven’t tried this. So I just typed in the OneDrive website and it had all my information already stored.
Phone Back-Up & Storage
I also have the OneDrive app for my iphone and I back up all my photos to that to save the storage on my phone. It’s been a lifesaver. It gets backed up into the “Photos” area on OneDrive. I highly recommend this for anyone who gets tired of running out of storage on their phones. I prefer this over Apple’s Cloud product.
It’s a good idea to find a way to back-up your computer and your phone data. If not, you may lose important documents and memorable photos and videos. A memory stick is good for an extra back-up, but online storage is a must. It’s easy to use, easy to access, and if the worst happens, your data will be available for your new devices with a few clicks of the button. Make sure you have 3 copies of anything important so you can guarantee that you’ll get it back if needed. Don’t leave your data to chance. Computers and phones can break, be stolen, or be taken over by viruses. Why do all that hard work only to have it taken from you by something you could have prevented. Back up your stuff!