Windows - Backing up Data

This article will walk you through the steps to back up necessary data from your Windows computer, so this data will be accessible on your new computer.  You will back up the data to Google Drive or external storage device.



Reduce Your Hard Drive Storage

  • Delete unnecessary downloads
  • Organize files and delete unnecessary data
  • Remove personal files, photos, videos, etc. after they are transferred to your personal external storage device.


Back up your data on Windows:

  1. Open Computer


  2. Open Local Disk (C:)


  3. Open the Users folder 


  4. Open your folder (
    Several folders will be listed, decide which folders you want to copy to your backup device (Google Drive or external storage device). The following is a summary of the folders that you see. 

  5. Folders that you are most likely to have data stored in:
    Contacts: Windows contacts
    Desktop: This is all of the files and folders that you see on your desktop
    Downloads: All of the items that you have downloaded from the Internet and email
    Favorites: Internet Explorer bookmarks
    Links: The list of items under the Favorites tab in Windows Explorer
    My Documents: All of the documents that you have created and saved locally
    My Music: All of the music that you have downloaded or imported from another device
    My Pictures: All of the photos that you have downloaded or imported from another device
    My Videos: All of the videos that you have downloaded or imported from another device
    Searches: Used to save your Windows Explorer searches

  6. Right-click on a single folder and select Copy.

  7. Navigate to Google Drive or the external storage device and right-click and select Paste.

  8. Repeat steps 3-4 as many times as necessary to back up everything you need.


The amount of time that this takes depends on how much data is being backed up.

Items NOT to backup:

  • Applications (Microsoft Word, Smart Notebook, TurningPoint Cloud, etc.)
    • These applications will be downloaded once you get your new computer
  • Google Drive / Dropbox
    • These items are already in the cloud and can be accessed via the intranet


If applicable, make a list of any additional applications/programs that you may have on your current computer that you may want on your new computer.

Other Information: 

  • Any other applications you may have installed on your computer are your responsibility to backup. Check with your building tech para if you have any further questions
  • Sticky Notes cannot be backed up.  If you want save these, copy and paste your notes into a Google Doc or copy them over to Google Keep


If you are backing up personal data, this data MUST be backed up to a non-Wayzata storage medium.  Examples of storage mediums - personal USB flash drives, personal USB hard drives, and personal cloud accounts.

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