How to backup a Windows and Mac hard drive

The importance of backing up your machine regularly cannot be overstated. This will save you the hassles that arise from deleting a file accidentally or losing your data when your hard drive crashes. Below is a step by step guide on how to do this, for both a Mac and a Windows computer.

On a Windows PC

  1. Get yourself a backup drive in the form of a USB external hard drive with at least twice as much space as your computer.
  2. The first time you plug it in, Windows will ask whether you wish to use it as backup. Agree to this. If this prompt doesn’t come up, you may simply go to the Start Menu, type “backup” in the search box and then click on Backup and Restore.
  3. Click on “Set Up Backup”. Pick the external drive that you plugged in and click Next to accept the Windows’ default settings.
  4. Click “Save Settings and Run Backup”. Windows will make the first backup of the drive. Thereafter, it will carry out backups in the background regularly.

On a Mac

  1. Get yourself a backup drive as above.
  2. Once you plug the drive in, Mac will ask whether you wish to use it as a backup disk. Click “Use as Backup Disk”. If this prompt doesn’t come up, go to System Preferences – Time Machine and set it as your backup disk.
  3. Click on “Select Backup Disk” to choose the external drive.
  4. OS X will then carry out the first backup. Thereafter, it will regularly do backups in the background.