About backups

When you back up your computer, you choose from two types of backups:

  • drive-based backup: backs up an entire hard drive

  • file and folder backup: backs up only the files and folders you select

Which backup type you choose depends on what you are trying to protect and how much storage space you have to store backup data (recovery points, and file and folder backup data).

The following table highlights the key uses of each backup type:

Backup type

Use to

Drive-based backup

  • Back up and recover your computer (system drive, typically drive C)

  • Back up and recover a specific hard drive (any secondary drive, drives other than your system drive)

  • Recover lost or damaged files or folders using recovery points

File and folder backup

  • Back up and recover specific files and folders, such as personal files stored in the My Documents folder

  • Back up and recover files of a specific type, such as music (.mp3, .wav) or photographs (.jpg, .bmp)

About backups