For the data loss prevention sake, you can take some easy steps. One is always having a backup of an important file, another is to recover lost files timely with a professional data recovery software before data overwriting occurs since it’s very hard to recover overwritten files.
You can check below the advices to back up files for free. If you still lost some important files and don’t have a backup, a free data recovery solution is also provided.
#1. Manually Copy Files/Folders to Safe Place
This is what many of us often do to avoid unexpected data loss: copy files/folders to another location or device.
- You can plug in a USB flash drive or external hard drive to your computer if you want to copy files to external devices.
- Then go to the File Explorer, locate and select the files and folders you want to back up.
- Right-click your mouse to choose Copy option, or press Windows + C at the same time to copy them.
- At last, open the destination path or target device, right-click the mouse to select Paste or press Windows + V to paste the copied files/folders.
#2. Back Up Files/Folders to Free Cloud Storage Services
Another popular way to prevent sudden data loss is to back up files, photos, videos or other data onto free cloud storage services.
Many of the online free cloud storage services provides an amount of free storage space, e.g. 5GB, 10GB, 15GB, 50GB, etc. If you want to get more, you can pay extra to buy more cloud storage space.
Top free cloud storage services include: OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, MEGA, pCloud, MediaFire, Sync.com, Amazon Drive, Box, iCloud, etc.
#3. Enable Windows Built-in Free Backup Utilities
For Windows users, actually Windows provides some built-in free tools to help you make backups for files and system. File History, Windows Backup and Restore are two useful free backup tools we may neglect. To prevent data loss, you can turn on these two features on your Windows 10 PC.
How to Use File History to Back up and Restore Files
- Connect an external drive to your computer if you want to back up files/folders to external hard drive or USB drive.
- Next you can click Start -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Backup to open Windows File History settings.
- Then you can click Add a drive under Back up using File History to choose either an external drive or a network drive where you want to save the backups.
- Windows File History is now turned on and automatically backs up your data. You can also turn on the option Automatically back up my files.
When you need to restore files using File History, you can open Windows File History settings again, and click More options -> Restore files from a current backup. Then select the version of the file/folder and click Restore button to restore it to the original location. You can also right-click Restore button to choose Restore To to save the recovered files to a new path.
Windows File History will back up your files including Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Desktop folders. It will back up these files every hour as long as the backup drive is available. It will keep all versions of those files. So if the original files are deleted, lost or damaged, you can easily recover files from the backups.
How to Use Windows Backup and Restore
Windows also provides another free utility named Backup and Restore (Window 7) to help you back up and recover files. This feature is also available on Windows 10. It offers two backup modes for your choice. You can choose Let Windows choose to back up everything on your computer on a regular schedule. You can also choose Let me choose option to freely select files and folders to back up.
#4. Make Regular Automatic File Backup with MiniTool ShadowMaker
To easily back up and recover files, you can also use third-party professional free file backup software.
MiniTool ShadowMaker allows you to back up files/folders, sync files, backup and restore Windows system, copy the whole partition or hard disk content to external hard drive, USB flash drive, network drive, etc. It also allows you to set a regular time schedule to automatically back up selected files/folders. Below is the guide for how to select and back up files/folders with MiniTool ShadowMaker.
Step 1. Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker and click Connect button under This Computer to enter its main interface. Then you can click Backup module at the top.
Step 2. Next click Source section to select the files and folders you’d like to back up. Then click Destination section to choose the destination folder or device to save the backups. You can also click Schedule button at the left bottom to set a time schedule to automatically back up the selected files.
Step 3. At last, you can click Back up Now button to set off making backups of the chosen files/folders at fast speed.
#5. Timely Recover Lost Files with Free Data Recovery Software
Data loss cannot be totally avoided no matter how careful you are. If you lost some important data and don’t have any backups, you can try the last draw: recover lost files with best free data recovery software.
MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a professional free data recovery software compatible Windows 10/8/7/Vista. You can use this tool to easily recover deleted/lost files for free from PC, external hard drive, SSD, USB drive, SD card, etc. Check the easy how-to guide below.
Step 1. Open MiniTool Power Data Recovery and select the device from the left pane. Continue to choose the hard drive or specific partition from the right window. Click Scan button to start scanning data from the chosen device.
Step 2. After the scan process finishes, you can check the scan result to find your deleted/lost files, and click Save button to store the recovered files to a new location.
This post introduces 5 free ways to help you back up and recover files to prevent data loss. Use these free tools to keep your data safe and avoid permanent data loss.