Simple Backup Guide

When was the last time you actually backed up your precious photos on your computer?

Thankfully, backing up your computer is easy!  This amazingly simple FREE guide will take you through all the basics and by the end of the guide, you’ll have all your precious photos, documents, music and videos backed up and safe.

First, get a Backup  Drive

The first thing you need to get is a backup drive.  You need to buy the largest drive you can afford to totally future proof you.

What medium you use is totally up to you.  USB Sticks are portable, self powered and easy to carry around. Being smaller, capacities are limited but you can still get USB stick with capacities as high as traditional laptop hard disk drives from 120GB.

External hard disk drives are generally physically larger, usually requires mains for power but hold much higher capacities where 2TB or more is normal.

USB Thumb Drive – 128GB from £49.99.  

Kingston 128GB USB Stick

External USB Drive – 2TB (200GB from £99.99)

samsung d3 station 2tb


On a Windows PC or Laptop:

  1. [1] When you first plug your backup drive in Windows will ask you if you want to use it as a backup.  Confirm that you do. If you don’t get this prompt, you can just go to the Start Menu, type “backup” in the search box, and hit Backup and Restore.
  2. [2] From Backup and Restore area click the “Set up Backup” button.
    Pick the external USB drive you plugged in and hit Next.
    Windows’ default settings are fine, so you can just hit “Next” and the “next screen” too.
  3. [3] On the final screen, click the button that says “Save Settings and Run Backup”.  Windows will start to make its first backup, – during this time DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER.   Once done, Windows will make regular backups in the background as you work and you won’t need to do anything again.


RESTORE – If you ever need to restore a file you deleted or lost, you can just go to the Start Menu, type in “backup”, and go back to “Backup and Restore”. You can hit the “Restore My Files” or “Restore Users Files” buttons to get those files back.


Using a Mac:

  1. [1] When you plug in your drive, your Mac will ask you if you want to use that drive as a backup disk. Hit “Use as Backup Disk”. If you don’t get this prompt, you can always go to System Preferences > Time Machine to set it as a backup disk, too.
  2. [2] From Time Machine’s preferences, hit “Select Backup Disk” and choose your external drive.
  3. [3] That’s it! OS X will perform its first backup (DON’T TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER YET) and from then on it’ll back up in the background and you can get on with using your Mac.


RESTORE – If you ever need to restore a file, just click on the Time Machine icon in your menu bar and hit “Enter Time Machine”.  From there, you can search through your old backups for the files you lost and restore them to your hard drive.


Off Site Backup?

Unfortunately, there is one downside to this method.  Although your data is backed up and you can get files back if you accidentally delete a file or your hard disk drive fails.  If your home or office gets broken into or you have a fire, you may lose everything still!

If you really want to bulletproof your data backup then I highly recommend backing up your data online in addition to your normal backup.

FREE Data Backup Consultation

If you prefer to get an expert opinion or would like one of The Laptop Fixers’ expert technicians totally secure your computer against data loss then get in touch today for a free consultation.  We can make sure you get the most cost effective solution giving you total peace of mind that your data is safe and secure.

Get Your FREE Quote today