As I have said before, backups are important. Exactly how important is up to you. How upset would you be if your computer broke, and you lost all of the information on it? Photos, letters, funny pictures, invoices, receipts, notes. All of it. If the answer is not “There is nothing there that I need” then you need backups.
My previous Article showed how to do Manual backups, but as people are forgetful, and put things off, I shall also explain how to set the Windows 10 Automated Backup.
You Will Need:
- An external hard disk, with lots of spare capacity (how much will depend upon how much data you have, but 1 Terrabyte/1,000 Gigabyte is usually sufficient.)
- An hour to read this Article and set up your Backup.
Connect your external drive. This is usually done via a USB cable. Most desktop computers have USB sockets on the front. Laptops have them positioned at the sides, or sometimes the back. It may take a moment or two for the PC to recognise the drive. It may chime to tell you that it has been detected.
If you open File Explorer, and use the Left-hand Navigation Pane to go to “This PC”, the drive should be displayed in the main screen. Now that we have confirmed that the Drive exists, we can close File Explorer.
Now, we go to the Windows 10 Settings screen. Click your START Button to see the Menu, and click on the “Settings” icon. This will open a new Window, with many Settings available. Take a glance, to see what sort of things you are able to alter, and find the Icon labelled “Update and Security (Windows Update, recovery, backup)”. This is where we find the backup Settings!
I like to make sure the Settings Window fills the entire screen. To do this, as we learnt previously, you can click the “Maximise” square int he top right of your Window.
Setting up the Backup
On the left of the Update and Security window is a list of different areas we can change. Today, we want “Backup”. Click on it.
You should now have the Backup Settings screen. AS you have not used this External Hard Drive before, you will have to “Add a Drive”.
Clicking the Add a drive Icon will produce a list of available disk drives. You should be able to identify your External Hard disk on this list, and click on it.
You should notice the “Add a drive” button has now changed! In its place is an “Automatically back up my files” switch. You can switch this On or Off by clicking on it. We want it On!
The backup is now set!
We could leave it there, but you may wish to check the “More Options” area, to see what is happening.
This area allows you to fine-tune your backup settings. It is perfectly OK to leave it alone, as Windows 10 has pretty good default settings. But let’s take a look anyway!
- Overview – This gives us some details of the Drive we are using.
- Back up my files – sets how often to do backups.
- Keep my backups – you can set for older backups to be deleted. I do not recommend this! Keep them forever!
- Back up these folders – There should be a losy of which folders Windwos has decided to back up. Look through this list, to make sure that the folders you need are there! This would usually include: Documents, Pictures and Desktop. If you also store Music or Videos, check that these folders are listed. There will be other folders listed, and it is best to keep these.
Back Up Now!
Now we are happy that the back up settings are correct, scroll to the top of the Window and click the Back up now Button!
How long this will take depends upon how much data you have. I would suggest leaving your PC for at least an hour to ensure that the files are successfully copied to your backup drive.
You can continue to use your PC while it is doing backups.