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You'll then be up and running without having to reinstall Mac OS X, its system updates, and your own applications. If you can't make up your mind right away, don't worry: For example, you might decide to make daily backups of important business files to DVDs that are then delivered to an offsite location such as a safe-deposit box once a week. On the other hand, perhaps you consider photos and videos of office renovations much less important, so you back them up only once a month to a server in the office. Two criteria help you make decisions regarding which source files to backup: If, for example, you have a GB hard drive in your MacBook, and a 1 TB external hard drive available for backups, your decision is easy: If you're short on space, your decisions are more complicated.

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Which files will cause the most inconvenience if lost? Which are irreplaceable? For most people, personal and business documents come first; think of all your family photos and videos, and any music you've bought by download, as well as any tax records, accounting software files, receipts in electronic format, and your e-mail. Then, if there's additional space, applications and system files are important.

But if you have room, don't forget the Pictures, Movies, and Music folders! These are also in your home folder, next to your Documents folder. The destination for your backups could be on the same device as the source, although we recommend you use an external device for all backups except the most casual and insecure. The problem with the source and destination existing on the same device is that a problem with that device such as a hard drive crash could easily destroy both your originals and your backups, leaving you with nothing.

Note that high-capacity external hard drives are relatively inexpensive. If you have a MobileMe subscription, you can use Personal Backup to back up selected folders to your iDisk. To save space and copying time over a network , Personal Backup can make incremental backups that replace only those files that have changed or been created since the last backup.

We recommend you take the total size of your source files and budget at least twice as much space on your destination disk. This ensures that there is enough room for the many files that change from one backup to the next. If you are merely making a clone of your hard disk, however, you can use an external hard disk that is the same size as your internal disk.

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When you use removable media such as CDs or DVDs , Personal Backup will let your backups span multiple discs, asking you to insert a new disc as each one fills up. In this way you have a theoretically infinitely big destination: However, such media can become inconvenient for very large backups, such as those of your entire Mac, as you'd have to attend to the backup and switch out disks every few minutes. Your backup schedule depends on how often you change the original files. Ask yourself this: For example, let's say you start working intensively on a file at 9 am.

If you lose it due to a crash or power outage at noon, you'll probably need three hours to restore the file - if that's even possible. To ensure that you don't lose such data, you should regularly back up your files.

How much space do I need for a backup?

For critical data, a backup of working files to external media or a network location every few hours is wise, and for professional documents, you may want to run hourly backups. Then, complete daily or weekly backups provide additional protection to cover all files, whether you have worked on them or not.

Welcome to Personal Backup

Again, scheduling decisions will depend on the amount of space available on your destination device. If you have plenty of space compared to the total size of your source files, and are able to perform backups conveniently, there's no reason not to do them every day. Consider how long you'll want to keep archives of your backups. A financial-services company might be required by law to retain computer data for several years: However, it probably won't need to access those old files frequently, or at all: On the other hand, home users might want to make backups only to ensure that they can recover the most recent versions of their files, not caring about older versions.

For them, the best solution might be to back up their Macs to external drives, automatically discarding old versions as they go. Finally, it's a good idea to create a bootable backup of your Mac OS X startup volume on an external hard drive in case you suffer major disk problems or cannot start up your Mac for other reasons.

Then, if problems occur, you can restart your Mac from this disk and get to work immediately. In any case, you should develop a backup strategy that corresponds to the way you work-and perform regular backups. Regardless of whether you create a backup, synchronization, or bootable backup, the specific details of your session are called a "script". You don't need a script to restore files, however.

There are three advantages to using scripts.

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First, they ensure that you back up the same files, in the same way, every time; second, scripts can trigger actions from other programs and Mac OS X; third, Personal Backup lets you schedule scripts to run periodically without requiring your attention. You'll learn all about scripts in Backing Up and Restoring Files.

Making your first backup is simple. First, launch Intego Personal Backup; there are three ways to do this:. If you haven't created any scripts already in a previous version of Personal Backup, the first time you launch the program it displays a window with three default scripts, a backup, bootable backup, and a synchronization script, none of which have source, destination or options defined. To create a first backup, click the "untitled backup script" to select it.

How to back up your Mac - Official Apple Support

Create a backup. Store files in iCloud You can also use iCloud and iCloud Drive to store files, such as your photos, documents, and music.


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Set up iCloud and iCloud Drive. Restore your Mac from a backup When you have a backup, you can use it to restore your files at any time, including after the original files are deleted from your Mac. Restore from a backup. Prepare your Mac for service Making a backup is an important part of preparing your Mac for service, especially because some types of repair might require erasing or replacing your hard drive. Get your Mac ready for service. How much space do I need for a backup? Free up storage on your Mac macOS can save space by storing your content in the cloud.

Mac OS X 10.6

Use Optimized Storage in macOS. Erase or format a storage device You can use Disk Utility if you need to erase or format a storage device. Learn how to use Disk Utility. Search Support Clear Search. Find solutions from users around the world.


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