Backing Up Your Personal Files, Just In Case

When it comes to using computers, the most frustrating thing is encountering an unexpected error and suddenly losing access to all your stored information – photos, applications, documents, all lost because of a single malfunction.

Should you back up your computer? For individuals who rely on the computer for storing any sort of valuable files, a malfunctioning computer can feel like the end of the world. Keep reading to learn how to avoid this.

Backing Up Your Data Will Save You a lot of Hassle Down the Line

We understand the frustration that accompanies those dire situations, and one of the best steps for prevention is preparation! Backing up your files is essential under any circumstance, whether you’re simply transferring files from one computer to another, or you’ve encountered a critical error with no solution in sight, having a backup will seem like a saving grace.

We’ve compiled a list of some instructions on how you can ensure you’ve covered all fronts – just in case you encounter the worst case.

Personal Data Should be Your Top Priority

Computers come and go – if yours ends up going haywire, you always have the option to reset or reinstall your operating system. Your biggest concern should come down to how you can back up your personal files, as those are definitely harder to replace. 

Using an External Drive

Your best bet for backing up your files is by using an external USB hard drive. You can do so on Windows 10 and 8 by using File History, Windows Backup on Windows 7, and Time Machine on Macs. You can periodically connect the external drive to your computer and use the backup tool, or even simply leave the drive plugged in whenever you’re around- either way, your data will be stored; just make sure you don’t lose it!

Using the Internet or a Cloud Storage Device

If you feel a little unsure about backing up your files on an external drive, you can always back them up using the internet, Services will automatically back up your files to the service’s web storage – so if you ever lose your files at some point, you will always be able to restore them. While internet backups usually cost a bit, they tend to be reliable as they are hosted online.

Alternatively, you can always use a Cloud Storage Device. Services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive will automatically sync your files to your online account, which can be accessed from other computers (and the StartMeStick!).

If you end up losing access to the files on your computer, you’ll still be able to reach them online, as they’ll be safely secured there! Using a Cloud storage device is great, because it’s easy, fast, and free – however these services typically only offer a limited amount of free storage, so if you’re hoping to store several gigabytes of files, you might have to pay an extra fee.

Backing up the Rest of It

Now that you’ve got your personal data all backed up – what about the rest of it? After losing access to your computer, you will also lose access to countless other things, like your browser extensions, bookmarks, and passwords. 

At this point, pretty much all browsers offer the ability to store your personal settings for future access. It saves a lot of time and energy down the line, especially if you have important data you’d like to keep. Each web browser offers its own method of backing up your data, so at the end of the day you get to decide what you’d like to back up!

Backing up with Google Chrome Sync – we recommend this as it’s compatible with the StartMeStick!

Backing up with Mozilla Firefox

Backing up with Safari

Backing up with Microsoft Edge

It’s Time for a Backup!

With all that being said and done – there are tons of ways you can backup your data, it really just comes down to personal preference! Just remember, it’s better safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your personal data. 


How are you going to back up your data? Let us know in the comments below. And share this article with a friend to remind them to back it up!

37 comments

  1. William Rachar - Reply

    Have problem getting fixme stick to run on PC. When fixme stick tries to reboot my PC
    login screen kicks in and asks for my password. That seems to halt fixme stick’s progress. Any suggestions on how I make it work on PC. I’m not a high tech person but I can follow rudimentary stuff.

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi William, to better assist you we’ve sent you a follow-up email. Please check your email, thanks!

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Keith, simply follow the tips for backing things up and you should be good to go! If you’re looking for a back-up solutions, you’ll just have to go to the links we provided in the blog and do note that most of these backup cloud options are free to use.

  2. Lucien Dufresne - Reply

    J’utilise plusieurs programmes financiers sur mon ordi HP laptop et je me demande si
    les programmes seront sauvegardés en coordination avec les données propres a ces meme programmes ??????
    combien d’espace ou bits j’aurai besoin sur ma clef USB pour la sauvegarde pour les
    données et les programmes ?????

    • Linda - Reply

      Salut Lucien, nous vous recommandons de vérifier la taille de ces programmes et assurez-vous également que la sauvegarde de votre clé USB dispose de suffisamment d’espace libre pour s’adapter à la taille de ces programmes.

  3. Warren Radloff - Reply

    I have a Cloud account and I believe that I’m automatically backing my data up.

    Where and how do I go to verify that I’m really correct about my assumptions?

    I run Windows 10 on a desktop computer.

    Thanks, Warren

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Warren, if you login to your cloud account you should be able to check when the last time your files were backed up. If you’re not sure where to find this information under your cloud account, simply contact your cloud service provider (ie. for Mac’s iCloud, simply go to icloud.com) for more details.

  4. Bill Davis - Reply

    I switched from Shaw to Telus including an email name choice. I had/still have 4000 emails in the old Shaw in my Outlook. But I want to delete Shaw from my laptop as a window keeps popping up asking for my password on the Shaw account that no longer exists but all my old emails are still there. How do I transfer the old emails quickly to a thumb drive so I can delete Shaw from my Outlook account? Thanks

  5. Pierrette Boivin - Reply

    Svp me faire parvenir vos informations en francais pour moi
    Plus facile
    Merci

    • Linda - Reply

      Bonjour Pierrette, je vous remercie de nous avoir contacté. Malheureusement, à l’heure actuelle, notre Bulletin n’est pas encore traduit en Français; c’est un projet sur lequel nous travaillons.

  6. jonny - Reply

    I have an external drive and I back up everything on it. have done for years.
    what I need to do is dealt stuff off my computer as well as on my drive..
    So I am never held for that ransom scam.. lol

  7. Gerry - Reply

    Hello : Thanks for reminding us about the importance of doing backups and suggestions for methods of doing so. I have been using ClickFree backup on my previous Win 8 PC and my current Win 10 PC.. I try to remember to take a backup before EVERY Win 10 ‘mini-releases’ as those have caused me problems that without a backup I would have been very hard up.

    • Linda - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your tips, Gerry! We also think it’s important to make backups of your data before doing Windows 10 updates as those can sometimes mess up your computer.

  8. Marc Renaud - Reply

    Hi !
    When I was using win 7 I had bought an external drive but not a USB type. Was plugged in my router on my personal home network. Contrary to what I expected, transfers were very slow for not much data.

    When I bought a new computer and moved to Win 10 , I bought a SSD ( c:) and a standard Hard Drive ( D: ) . Things are much faster although I am well aware that if somebody steals my computer or a hacker destroys both drive, I will be left …”breathtless” !

    So once in a while, I backup only the data on one USB key and System files on another one.

  9. Charles Yanney - Reply

    Hi Linda:
    I back up my files weekly and computer monthly to a large 3 TB USB External Hard Drive using NTI’s latest backup software. As it gets full it deletes the oldest and adds the newest backups. It took three years to fill it to 80% the first time. Then I added a new hard drive and started again.

    • Linda - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your backup tips with us, Charles! Looks like you have a great system going on there.

  10. Tae Choi - Reply

    I used the computer since 1993 and never back up anything.
    The problem is I don’t know how to start to back up and would you kind if to let me go through from the beginning to the end?

  11. Robert Paar - Reply

    Hi Linda;
    I use the cloud system with Carbonite. I have it backup daily and been happy with it. It is a bit expensive for one computer.

  12. Chris Garrett - Reply

    Hi Linda, I Backup my iPhone with the apple cloud it’s 99 cents a month, for my Mac computer I use the iCloud drive, for my windows 10 pc I use Microsoft One Drive, for my iPad I use iCloud Drive. The only one I pay for is on my iPhone, but it’s cheap and worth it. You just never know what could happen to any of your devices, that’s why it’s good to back up your devices. Even if your devices don’t crash, if you would lose them or they get stolen, you would really want stuff backed up. That way it’s much easier to start over, if you have to.
    Thank you for your tips on such things,
    Chris Garrett

  13. George Calder - Reply

    I shut down my iMac, unplugged my external hard drive so I could plug FixMe Stick into the same USB port. FixMe Stick found no problems. Shut down again, unplugged FixMe Stick, and plugged in external drive. Turned iMac on, and external drive icon did NOT appear on desktop and the drive’s power light was off. After hours of my trying and two calls to Apple Care, the result was “FixMe Stick must have done something to the USB port, so switch ports.” I did, and now everything works. But what did FixMe Stick do to my port?

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi George, FixMeStick should not make any changes to block your USB ports. We’d like to investigate further so we sent you a follow-up email to better assist you. Please check your email, thanks!

  14. Geraldine & Robert - Reply

    HI Linda
    About Two month’s Ago Transferred Data from Old windows 7 Computer to New Windows 10 computer, had been using our ‘fix me stick’ Very regularly on Old windows 7 Computer…
    Now that we have a new Windows 10 Computer will FixMe Stick still work as it has——– Normally done previously…??—–
    —With our New Windows 10 Computer, or will there be any Problems encountered ??

  15. Barbara J Scrimager - Reply

    I have a FIX ME STICK with 6 open licenses. I have a laptop with windows 10. It worked with my older computer, but not with my laptop. I need help. Thank you.

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Barbara, to better assist you with troubleshooting we sent you a follow-up email. Please check your email, thanks!

  16. David K Harcrow - Reply

    The first two times I run fixmestick it got rid of a few things, I’ve run it over a year now and it hasn’t found anything, I find that hard to believe, …is that possible?

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi David, there are many factors that can contribute to viruses on your computer. If you are a light computer user and if you have a firewall or antivirus protection installed that prevents viruses from getting on to your computer in the first place, then you are less likely to get an accumulation of viruses on your system. If you’re ever not sure about the results of your FixMeStick scan, feel free to email us at support@fixmestick.com and we can help you take a second look!

  17. Maxine - Reply

    Have download a backup of files and now having a difficult time restoring them on my laptop.

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Maxine, we usually assist with FixMeStick issues. But if you are still unable to restore these files, feel free to email us at support@fixmestick.com and we can send you links to some online guides to help you with this process.

  18. Denise J McRae - Reply

    When I try to clean my computer with the fix stick. I get an error message fail try manually. That don’t work either. What can be done?

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Denise, to better assist you we sent some troubleshooting steps to your email. Please check your email, thanks!

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Sandra, to better assist you with this issue we sent you some troubleshooting steps to your email. Please check your email, thanks!

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