You are a busy person—I am a busy person—manually backing up files are not on the daily to do list.
Nor should they be.
Let’s automate this stuff!
First things first: I am a PC.
If you are a Mac, this probably isn’t going to apply because you guys have some magical box called Time Machine that just does it for you.
Go Google how that works, because I have no idea.
Let’s party like it’s 1999…
For my backups, I use a program called SyncToy.
When you open the program, it looks like it’s straight out of 1999.
At first, I was disappointed that they didn’t have a beautiful user interface, but hey—it works. It’s simple to understand and use.
And if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
The help docs within the program will walk you through it, but basically, you set up a folder pair to sync, put it on an automated backup via the Task Scheduler in Windows, and sit back and relax and let it do its thing.
Make sure you set up that automated backup!
If you’re curious, I set all of my automated backups to happen daily at 3:30am.
Trust, but verify…
The last step you need to do for your photo backup system is quite arguably the most important…
You have to verify that your system is working.
Imagine if your hard drive failed, so you went to your backup system and found nothing from the last three months?
- Sometimes the automated stuff fails.
- Sometimes storage gets full.
- Sometimes things don’t work perfectly (we are dealing with computers here, after all).
Verify those backups are doing exactly what you expect.
I would recommend checking everything after about a week after you set everything up, and then again monthly or quarterly.
Put it on your calendar.
It doesn’t have to be a super thorough check, but just spot check some files you know you’ve changed recently to make sure everything is being transferred over.
Check to make sure the backup drive isn’t more full than it should be (sometimes recycle bins can be activated and used in a weird way when it’s automated).
One More Thing…
Your backups are backups in case something fails or goes missing.
New files and edits to files are made to files on the “working file” drive(s).
Don’t touch the backups.
Sit back and relax
Feels better to have that all of your photos organized and backed up, right?
I cannot tell you how much it puts my mind at ease to know that the precious memories of my kiddo and family are safe and sound.
I was thinking the other day about the age-old question: “If your house was on fire and all of your loved ones were safe, what would you grab on the way out of the house?”
The standard answer is “my photo albums”.
After transitioning my cameras to digital, I used to always say “my computer”.
After coming up with my solid photo storage system, I am still thinking about my answer to this question.
My photo memories are secure, even in the event of a disaster.
Now go secure yours too!