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Windows 7: Anything in AppData that needs to be backed up?


10 Mar 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Anything in AppData that needs to be backed up?

I notice that one of my backup programs has selected all the folders in my User folder to be backed up. Among those selected is the hidden folder AppData, containing 8800 files. Since there are files in there that seem to change daily, it slows down the daily backup. I am wondering if there is really anything in there that I need to back up.

I've read that some older versions of Outlook and sometimes Windows Live Mail put data in there, but in the past I've restored computers and I've never copied anything from AppData. It does not seem to be the stored emails, perhaps it is confuguration data? So my question is, can I remove AppData from my backup job and what might I be losing?

Thanks

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Mar 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

If my memory serves me correct I remember seeing my Minecraft data in there and some other games' saved data in there. Maybe you can pick particular files inside of AppData instead of all of them?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2012   #3

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

I would back them all up. Why take a chance by picking and choosing and then finding out you guessed wrong.

For instance, Firefox keeps it's user profiles there and many other programs keep important data there as well. It doesn't seen like a good risk to me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Mar 2012   #4

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

You would lose a lot of configuration files. You could do a weekly full backup, and a daily incremental (unless you are using the built in backup & restore)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2012   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

It depends what you want to backup.

If you want to backup your user data, then the AppData files are irrelevant.

But if you want to backup the system (e.g. with an image), AppData is part of it. Backing up AppData alone (e.g. with the user data) is not going to help a lot when your system goes belly-up. You need a complete system image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Thanks for all the responses.

On this particular computer that belongs to a friend, it is a Carbonite backup of user data only. The only time I can foresee the backup would be used would be to restore an accidently deleted file, or to restore all the docs in case of a hard drive failure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2012   #7

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Carbonite's flaw is that you cant do a restore if you cant connect (ie A complete HD fail)

You can use it safely as an additional place to back (ie one locally on another hd) and one on carbonite.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Backing up only the Data Files is like backing up half you computer. Why not do the whole thing and backup your OS and Programs as well? If a HD goes out, you can reimange the whole thing in a short time and your are good to go. With only the Data Files backed up you have to reinstall Windows and you lose the configurations. You have to pay for Carbonite. Try using the free Macrium Reflect http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx A lot of folks here swear by it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2012   #9

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Yes I agree about imaging. But this friend does not want to spring for an external drive, and while partitioning the hard drive is an option, her setup is so simple that restoring it would not be that big of a deal.

Zigzag, in the case of a hard drive failure, I assume you would just need to install Carbonite on the new hard drive or new computer, log in to your existing account, and then restore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2012   #10

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Vincenzo View Post
Yes I agree about imaging. But this friend does not want to spring for an external drive, and while partitioning the hard drive is an option, her setup is so simple that restoring it would not be that big of a deal.

Zigzag, in the case of a hard drive failure, I assume you would just need to install Carbonite on the new hard drive or new computer, log in to your existing account, and then restore.
If carbonite has a boot disk yes, otherwise no.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Anything in AppData that needs to be backed up?




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