Computer Backup Best Practices
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    Computer Backup Best Practices

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    Article summary

    This article provides suggestions to support a successful online backup strategy using Backblaze Computer Backup.


    Your computer should be powered on and "awake" during the initial backup. Backblaze suggests that you turn off your computer’s sleep mode to allow Backblaze to complete the back-up job.

    Files that are currently in use by another program cannot be backed up. You should periodically ensure that the files that you want to back up are saved, and the programs that you use to access the files are fully closed.

    You should be connected to the internet with a stable connection. Backblaze can back up files only when the software can access the internet.

    Time Required to Back Up Your Data

    Backblaze Computer Backup is designed to work quietly in the background while you go about your usual computing tasks. Backblaze constantly scans your drive to find new or changed files, and it can take some time (sometimes several hours) for Backblaze to update the numbers that you see on the control panel.

    Backblaze should be able to complete your initial backup in 30 days. If your initial backup is estimated to take longer, reach out to the Support Team for other options.

    At least once every two weeks, you should ensure that Backblaze runs for four hours in the default mode "Continuously." Then, verify that the main control panel says "Remaining Files: 0 files / 0 KB.” This confirms that you are caught up and that everything is happening as it should. It is important to remember that Backblaze is intended to be a live mirror of your current hard drive contents and not a permanent archival service.

    If you have external hard drives, it is essential that you connect all of the drives and run Backblaze continuously for four hours at least once every two weeks. If an external hard drive is detached for more than 30 days, Backblaze no longer includes them in your backup and permanently deletes the backup files on these drives. When the main control panel says "Remaining Files: 0 files / 0 KB" after five hours of continuous running with your external drives attached, then you know your backup is safe and caught up. Click here for more information about using external hard drives with Backblaze.

    If you expect to be away from your computer for an extended period of time, and the computer will be powered off (or disconnected from all networks), Backblaze will retain the current state of your backup. When you return, you must reconnect all external hard drives before you power on your computer and connect it to the network. The Backblaze application will rescan every drive which may take several hours.


    If you reboot your computer, Backblaze automatically continues where it left off during its backup the next time you connect to the internet and you are not using your computer.

    Check In Periodically

    Once a week, open the Backblaze Control Panel to ensure that your files were backed up recently.

    Once a month, Backblaze recommends that you sign into the Backblaze web console and restore a few of your files from your local drive and external drive.

    Keep Your Account and Data Secure

    Use a unique password for your Backblaze Computer Backup account.

    In addition to your Backblaze backup, maintain a local backup of your important files on an external drive so that all of your files are in three places (original file, local external drive backup, and off-site Backblaze backup).

    If you use a private encryption key, keep a copy of the key in a secure place. Backblaze does not know your private key and cannot recover it. If you ever forget the key, Backblaze is unable to help you regain access to the encrypted backup.

    Restore your Data when Needed

    Prepare your restore as soon as you realize you have lost data. Do not wait, and do not perform any other steps before you prepare a restore. If you have any issues, contact the Backblaze Support Team. When your restore is ready, download or copy the data as soon as possible, and verify that you have all of the data that you need.


    Backblaze Computer Backup should not have issues if you back up over a virtual private network (VPN). In some cases, a VPN might even help with connection stability.

    However, the Backblaze backup client does not support use over proxies. If you use a proxy and use Backblaze, serious issues can occur with the backup causing it to fail.

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