How to Properly Back Up Your Laptop

Properly backing up your laptop is one of the best things you can do to protect your data. Whether you work from home or keep all your family photos on your computer, backing up your laptop will produce an extra copy of everything on your hard drive. There are a number of ways to perform a successful backup, but the following steps are quick, easy and perfect for anyone who just wants to play it safe.

Step 1: Connect an external hard drive to your laptop. You can purchase one at any Best Buy or on Make sure you buy one with at least 250 or 500 gigabytes of free space.

Step 2: The external hard drive will appear as a folder on your desktop. Open it.

Step 3: Click the settings “cog” at the top of the window and select NEW FOLDER:

Step 4: Name your folder something appropriate or something that you will remember. Many people will name a backup after the date they make it on (i.e. 9/2/14).

Step 5: Drag, or copy and paste, all the files that you want to back up into your new external hard drive folder:

This will require you to locate files in the FINDER (if you are using a Mac) or in the EXPLORER (if you are using Windows).

Step 6: Organize your files. If you want, you can create as many folders as you like. Each folder can hold its own category of files, such as photos, music, travel documents—anything you can imagine. Now all your most important files are backed up and safely stored in case anything happens to your hard drive.