How Often Should You Backup?

Could you stand to lose a week’s worth of data?  What about a month?  What if you lost all your data from the past year?  I don’t know about you, but I would probably break down and cry if I lost so much as a day’s worth of data. All that hard work – gone forever.

The possibility is very real.  Hard drives crash, viruses infect your files, you accidentally delete your family’s vacation photos…  It’s sad that most people only think about backing up after they lose their data.

How often should you backup?  Well, it depends.  If you’re in a mission-critical environment and the data is important to your business, then you should be backing up daily, even multiples times a day.  If you’re just a home user then backing up daily (or maybe even weekly) is usually sufficient.  It really depends how important your data is to you.

Scheduling backups is the easiest way to ensure you’re backing up on a regular basis.  Most backup software nowadays supports scheduling, so there’s very little reason not to use it.

It’s important to stagger your backups.  For instance, you could keep daily backups going back 7 days, weekly backups for 3 weeks after that, monthly backups for 11 months after that, and yearly backups after that.  This is much more efficient than keeping say, daily backups for the past 180 days.  It will also allow you to keep backups going back over much longer periods of time.

So, how often do you backup?

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund is the founder and editor-in-chief of He enjoys attending music festivals, whitewater kayaking on the American River, and board game nights in his free time.

Geoff Akerlund