We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
2,862 Tutorials

How to: Back up your digital media

Plus: Schedule backups in Vista and Windows 7

Backing up your data is essential: the information contained in a document on a hard drive can be nearly impossible to replicate or replace. Here, we walk you through scheduling backups in Vista and Windows 7.

Step 3. If you allow Windows to choose what to back up, it will automatically back up the files and folders under your user account and any other user account or public/shared account on the local drive. Networked and attached drives aren't backed up, so this will need to be done separately.

Schedule backups step 3

Step 4. First-time users will need to choose a convenient time for backups. Windows will normally schedule this for once a week. On the settings page you can accept this or click the ‘Change schedule' option. When you're happy with the arrangement, click ‘Save settings and run backup'. Your initial backup will now begin.

Schedule backups step 4

Visit Security Advisor for the latest news, blogs and reviews on data security

External hard drive reviews

Backup software reviews

Step 5. Having performed an initial backup of all the user accounts and files on our PC, we'll now elect to run a regular backup of just the ‘Rosie' user account. Hit ‘Change settings' in the Backup and Restore Center and decide what to back up. When you're happy, select ‘Review your backup settings', ‘Save settings and run backup'.

Schedule backups step 5

Step 6. Some people don't back up their PCs regularly because it takes too much time or slows down the system. But it's definitely worth the trouble. Besides, on a newish machine, a complete Windows Backup shouldn't hog too much processing power. For an overview, go to Start and type Resource Monitor.

Schedule backups step 6

Also see: How to: Restore data from a backup

IDG UK Sites

LG G4 launch live blog: What to expect from the LG G4 launch

IDG UK Sites

Apple Watch release day: Twitter reacts

IDG UK Sites

Doctor Who scoops VFX gong at BAFTA TV Craft Awards

IDG UK Sites

Apple Watch buying guide, price list & where to buy today: Which Apple Watch model, size, material,?......