World Backup Day 2021

with 16 Comments


World Backup Day 2021
by Jen White

  • Are you prepared in the case of a computer crash? Would you lose important files?
  • What if your phone was lost or stolen? Would you still be able to retrieve your contacts and photos?
  • How about when you upgrade Photoshop Elements? Can you quickly find your most valued third-party files for re-installation?

If any of these questions create anxiety because of your lack of preparedness, read on.

World Backup Day is recognized on March 31. This annual reminder is the perfect time to take inventory and make sure your bases are covered in the event of a catastrophe.

Your bases are probably very similar to mine.

  • My computer(s)
  • My iPhone — photos and contacts
  • My Software — Photoshop and Photoshop Elements

Let’s take a look at what I (and my expert friends) do to stay safe.


I Back Up My Computer

The single biggest thing you can do to survive in a digital world is to back up your computer on a regular basis.

This is what I do:

  • I keep an external hard drive (EHD) plugged into my computer. My computer (using Time Machine on a Mac) backs up my computer every day. When I travel, I take my EHD along since it contains a backup of all my files… including scrapbook kits!
  • I subscribe to Backblaze. Backblaze is set to back up my computer online, every day. This backup is mostly in the event of a fire or other natural disaster. For me, the price is worth my peace of mind.
  • Additionally, I store a copy of all my photos and scrapbook pages (JPGs) on Amazon’s Prime Photos, which gives unlimited storage to Prime members and 5 GB to non-Prime members. This is used as an extra backup of my most prized possessions, and it also allows me to easily share my photos with family.

Here’s more info that may help:

Additional ideas from Jenifer:

  • The first thing I do is I pay the small 9.99 monthly fee to have 2 TB of iCloud Drive space. Because I have all Apple products, it syncs automatically and does all the work in the background. It’s easy and this way, it’s one fee for backing up both my laptop files and my phone photos.
  • The second thing I do is use is external hard drives. I have more than one because they can fail, so I try to keep two to three with all of the same files on it so that I have a backup to my backup.

Additional ideas from Syndee:

  • I save all files to a mirrored dual-drive EHD, which means that for every file I save, it’s also saved to the other drive. If one drive fails, the system will still run and keep the mirrored files safe.
  • I also have a subscription to Backblaze so that my files are saved. I love it because it runs in the background and I don’t even have to think about it.
  • I also have copies of all my important photos in iCloud.

Additional ideas from Karen:

  • I have multiple internal computer drives. I only keep programs on my C Drive. I keep all of my photos on a second internal drive (Photo Drive), and all of my digital kits and supplies on a third internal drive (Digi Drive). If my computer crashes, I can easily remove the additional drives and install them in a new computer.
  • Internal drives can become corrupted though, so I back up my Photo and Digi drives to an external hard drive (EHD) with the Backup software that came with the EHD.
  • I subscribe to Backblaze and back up my Photo and Digi Drives there. I set a Backup Schedule for “Continuous” Backup, so any changes I make on my files are immediately changed on Backblaze. One of my internal drives failed about 6 months ago, and I was so glad that I was able to recover everything through Backblaze.
  • I use the Auto Sync option with Google Photos to back up the photos that are on my phone and my computer.


I Back Up My iPhone

If you’re like me, your phone contains your most complete address book and an assortment of priceless photos.

  • Is your phone set to automatically backup? If you’re not sure, call your service provider and they can help you figure it out. Knowing your information is saved will go a long way to creating peace of mind.
  • Phones (as well as thumb drives and memory cards) are not a reliable source for photo storage. These things are easily corruptible or lost.

This is what I do:

  • My iPhone is set to back up to iCloud. Because I don’t keep music or photos on my phone, I can get away with the free plan.
  • I set a reminder once a week to transfer all my iPhone photos onto my computer. Then, I delete them from my phone. At the same time, I also transfer photos from my cameras to my computer where the images get renamed and tagged.

Additional ideas from Jenifer:

  • For my photos I take with my Canon mirrorless R6 camera, I edit the photos using Camera Raw or Lightroom, and then save the edited version as a separate JPG. Once I have the JPGs saved to a new folder, I Airdrop those JPGs to my phone, so that they automatically get put in to my Photos app. This means the photos are saved in more than one place, so I should always have them backed up in more than one place as well. It’s not necessary, but it gives me peace of mind.

Additional ideas from Syndee:

  • All my iPhone photos are saved to iCloud. We pay extra per month (it’s only $2.99) to have more space, since my kids tend to take a ton of photos and iCloud lets you have family sharing.
  • We copy important photos to an EHD so that we have duplicate copies.

Additional ideas from Karen:

  • I use the Mobile Sync features on my acdsee software to transfer photos from my phone to my desktop. Whenever my phone is within wireless range of my computer, photos are automatically transferred to my computer and filed in folders, according to the date the photos were taken. I love that I don’t have to remember to transfer photos manually.
  • Phone photos are also automatically transferred to my Amazon Photos account.


I Prepare for Photoshop (re)Installation

In order to stay current, every Autumn I upgrade my Photoshop Elements program to the latest version.

The Problem
My 3rd party files (actions, brushes, etc) do not transfer over during an upgrade.

This is what I do:

  • I created a folder in my computer’s main file system called PS Extras.
  • In that folder, I have folders for Actions, Brushes, Patterns, Styles, etc.
  • Each folder contains files I want to keep collected and easily accessible.

For example: My Actions folder contains copies of the action sets from many of the classes I’ve taken. My Brushes folder contains copies of brush sets from my favorite kits and ones I’ve downloaded from the web.

So, every time I upgrade to the latest version of PSE, all my favorite 3rd party files are in one place.

Note: I also keep a folder of Fonts, but those are not loaded into my program, instead they are installed on my computer.


So, what’s your plan of action? Do you have more to add? I’d love to hear about it.

Whatever you do, be sure to get your files backed up! You’ll be SO glad you did.



Author: Jen White, Owner of Digital Scrapper | Contact Us
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16 Responses

  1. DeLoris Musick
    | Reply

    I have external drives, 1 is for all things digital, 1 for all things classes and groups and 1 for movies and slideshows I have made of my books & pages. I use Backblaze and Amazon Photo Storage. Like Karen, I don’t keep photos on my phone. I never thought about backing up my phone to save my contact info, so Thank You Ladies for that. I will set this up now.

  2. Barbara Filipiak
    | Reply

    Jen, I’ve narrowed it down to IDrive and Backblaze. I have a few questions. I do a lot of photography, and my desktop has 2.5 TB on my D drive. My C drive is a solid state where I have all of my programs. With IDrive, I can store these as well, so that’s a big plus. How do you plan to restore your programs in the event of a crash? I have so many actions loaded into PSCC that I think it would be a nightmare. I do have them saved, but what an ordeal that would be. And then all the other little programs that I have too.

    You mentioned that with Backblaze, you just download it and you don’t have to do anything else. Do you think with IDrive it would be more complicated? Also, how long does it take to make the initial upload to the cloud? With 2.5 TB and counting, I worry that it could take weeks. Does it upload while you’re using your computer? Do you leave it running at night and only download then? I live in Florida with the possibility of thunderstorms looming all summer, and I hesitate to leave the computer on at night. If it does the initial upload while you’re using the computer, does it slow down your work? Once everything is uploaded, do the continuous backups slow your work down on a daily basis?

    Thanks so much for addressing this topic. It has been on my mind a long time, and I just want to pick the right program for me. I appreciate any input you can give me.

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Great thinking, Barbara. Most of your questions will need to be addressed by researching and/or contacting the software companies.
      My plan for Backblaze it to never have to use it! But if I do have to, it should put everything back in as it was.
      The time it takes for you to do the initial sync will completely depend on your internet speed. Again, I think the software company could help you determine ahead of time how much time it will take you.
      My backups do not usually slow my computer, but I never turn off my computer. Most backups do their thing when they detect that you are not working on something.
      Again, great questions!! I wish you the best in your decision.

      • Barbara Filipiak
        | Reply

        Thanks so much, Jen! I will definitely give them a call.

  3. Donna Juergens
    | Reply

    Thanks for this important information! I also have Amazon Prime so I will work on getting my photos backed up there too!

  4. Margaret
    | Reply

    I love Digital Scrapper! You take wonderful care of us!
    I’ve been wondering which cloud service might be best and really appreciate your reminders and taking the time to research for us. I will be checking into Backblaze and Amazon Prime. My email was recently hacked so I’m a little paranoid about hackers and scammers. I was wondering how they secure Backblaze – is there a 2-step authentication?

  5. Nancy Briechle
    | Reply

    This is a great reminder. I think I’m going to look into Amazon Photo as I have Prime. I have a backup system where I backup automatically to EHD’s as well. I’ve been thinking for a while about a cloud based option as well so Amazon Photo might fit that. You guys are the best!

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      You are very welcome, Nancy. There are SO many benefits to Amazon Prime that go unnoticed. There’s also an Amazon Photos app that lets you show off your photos from your mobile device without having to store them on your phone. 😀

  6. Maureen
    | Reply

    Great listing of things to do. I lost a computer and EHD a few years back and lost a couple years of photos, which upset me very much. I have since contracted with BackBlaze. Another laptop went belly up a few months ago and it was great to have the files back. Will look into your other suggestions, especially Amazon prime as I am also a member and well worth the price of both.
    Thanks, just copied and pasted this into a Word document and saved as a .pdf so it doesn’t get accidentally written over.

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Oh no! I’m so sorry you lost those photos, Maureen. Thanks for sharing your story and I’m glad we could help you think through your personal backup plan.

  7. Lori Pohlman
    | Reply

    There are so many helpful ideas here–I like how several team members shared ideas. Thank you!

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      You are very welcome, Lori. I love hearing different perspectives, too!

  8. Adelle Fourie
    | Reply

    Thank you for this

  9. Myst O'Connell
    | Reply

    Thank you so much for this post! You are truly lifesavers, sharing so generously your hard-won wisdom with the rest of us. This is so very helpful. Very grateful!

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      You are very welcome!

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