Files backed up? (4 Ways to be Sure)

Backup Your Files!

You work for a company either with a dedicated IT Department or a Managed Service Provider who supplies your IT Services / Support. Backups are done regularly. You feel pretty safe but do you really know what information is backed up?

It is a good idea to ask. It might not be as much as you think.

What is Potentially Backed up

Your company, at the very least, backs up the file server. Most file servers today are actually virtual servers running on a host configuration in a data center (you know, in the cloud). For all intent and purposes, you just need to be aware that this type of file backup is a bare minimum.

If your machine is a mobile device or a special purpose device, it might be regularly backed up through a backup agent installed on the machine. If your machine is that special you probably already know this. Everyday use machines will not be backed up locally.

If your email is accessed centrally (O365, Hosted Exchange, IMAP, etc.), a copy of your email resides on the mail server so if your computer dies, don’t worry. I don’t think anybody uses POP3 mail anymore so I won’t discuss it.

What Might Not be Backed up

Items that may not be backed up are the following:

  • Local files on your computer
  • Browser history, cache, bookmarks and settings
  • Email not centrally stored
  • Computer settings (printers , power settings, views, etc.)

If you are not sure please check with your IT support.  You should know what is backed up and what is NOT backed up. It could be just a matter of tweaking some settings on their end, you are covered. If not, make a business case for the items that your feel are important for backup. When all else fails, follow the Tips below to help you out.

What can you do if your IT Department is not Backing up as Much as you Like

Local files

You can use any of the cloud services like OneDrive, Drop Box or Google Drive. They can be configured to backup areas on a  Windows computer where you would regularly store files (Desktop, Documents and Pictures). If you computer were to die  you would have those files in Cloud that could be easily accessed from another machine.

I will give an example from OneDrive to get you started:

  1. Download and Install One Drive
  2. You will see the OneDrive icon by the system clock ()
  3. Right Click on it and choose “settings”.
  4. Click the Backup tab and then the “Manage Backup” button.
  5. Make sure Desktop, Documents and Pictures are checked:
  6. Click “Got it”.

You’ve got some extra back up!

Browser Settings

This is fairly straight forward. Both Chrome and Edge allow you to login to your respective Google and Microsoft accounts and sync your browser data. I think it is great because not only does it back up your browser settings to the cloud, but it also allows you to access this data on multiple devices (smartphone, tablet, other computers). It makes for a seamless browser experience.

I will give a Google example this time:

  1. Open your Chrome Browser to
  2. In the top right, click “Sign In”
  3. Use your Gmail account and password to sigh in. If you do not have one, it is easy to get one.
  4. One you are logged in all of your browser data will get synced.

Now you have more backed up! Also, the above two services can also be set up with MFA for added security!


This is really for a more advanced user. I have written an article about it so if you feel adventurous, go for it . The above tips will help most users get all of their data backed up in combination with what IT support backups up. It is really out of scope for this post but I will write a dedicated article in the future.

Long story short, you will definitely have some backup coverage through your IT Support. If you need more the above tips will help you!

If you want a good laugh, I have posted a Tik Tok video about it!

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I am an IT professional with over twenty years experience in the field. I have supported thousands of users over the years. The organizations I have worked for range in size from one person to hundreds of people. I have performed support from Help Desk, Network / Cloud Administration, Network Support, Application Support, Implementation and Security.

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