NovaBACKUP Security Blog

Backup 101: Which Files Should You Backup?

Chances are, you've heard the advice to invest in reliable backup software and actually use it on your computer. But do you know which files you should prioritize for backup? It's a delicate balance between not wasting space on unnecessary files and ensuring the safety of all the files you truly need. So, which ones should you prioritize for backup?


Technology has made our lives, businesses and the economy easier but that doesn't mean we're always up to date with how to use every new technology. Technology has made our lives, businesses, and the economy easier, but it can also become more complicated. When it comes to data protection, knowing what to back up is half the battle.


The Basics


To ensure the safety of your precious files, it is crucial to back up all your important documents from your My Documents folder. Just imagine the heartbreak of losing your carefully curated music collection and playlists if your computer crashes. Make it a point to back up all your music, including the music program folder if applicable. Depending on the program you use, it may be located within the directory.

Now, picture the frustration and sadness of losing all those cherished pictures and videos of your loved ones. Make a habit of backing them up daily, ensuring that every new addition is protected and your backup is always up to date. Don't forget to back up your emails, especially if you have a business email account. Check your Program Files on your C drive to identify any application files that you've installed but do not have a disk for. Including these in your backup file will provide complete protection.


Backup file

Take a moment to explore the hidden treasures within your AppData folders. Delve into the directories that hold all the secrets of the applications you run. With the power of backups, you can rest easy knowing that you won't have to go through the hassle of reconfiguring everything from scratch. Don't forget to extend this protective shield to your virtual machines, those invaluable tools that aid your work. While a daily backup may not be necessary, it's wise to schedule an automatic backup at least once a month. Safeguard your digital world and keep it thriving.

Items You Shouldn’t Worry About Backing Up


There are certain directories that you can skip backing up, such as your Windows directory and your Program Files directory. The reason for this is that reinstalling these directories is a necessary step, so backing them up would be redundant and a waste of time. However, if you create a disaster recovery system image backup, you won't need to worry about reinstalling any of your other applications or your operating system.

It's important to note that if possible, you should aim to back up your files daily. If that's not feasible, try to create a backup file at least once a week, or even three times a week if you heavily use your computer. Another option is to perform a full backup once a week and then only back up the changes since your last backup (differential backup) for the rest of the week. The unpredictability of computer crashes and viruses highlights the critical need to regularly back up your computer files.