Backup List (Short List)

Note: These are some of the locations on the internal hard drive (Local Disk (C:)) or on other internal hard drives where you might find some of your personal data that should be backed up to Floppy Disks, CD-R disks,  CD-RW disks, DVDRW disks, Zip Disks, External Hard Disks, Flash (Thumb) Drives, etc.:

1) My Documents or Documents folder -- generally, you cannot just click & drag the icon for the My Documents or Documents folder to your backup device, you must select everything inside the folder using Edit, then Select All, then click & drag them to the icon for your backup device.

2) C:\Program Files\MSWorks\Documents folder -- for Microsoft Works documents, spreadsheets, and databases.

3) Favorites (Internet Explorer).

4) E-mail Address Book for Outlook Express and Outlook.

5) My Pictures or Pictures and other picture folders, such as the Hold or MyPhotos sub-folders in the Adobe Photodeluxe folder.

6) Outlook Express e-mail folders -- the e-mail folders are found in the following sub-folder or by following this path:

C:\Documents and Settings\ [Your User Name Here] \Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{B3S.}\Microsoft\Outlook Express 

1) To find this sub-folder, click on the Plus sign [+] next to Documents and Settings

2) Click on the Plus sign [+] next to [Your User Name Here].

3) Click on the Plus sign [+] next to Local Settings.

4) Click on the Plus sign [+] next to Application Data.

5) Click on the Plus sign [+] next to Identities.

6) Click on the Plus sign [+] next to {B3S-67C0-4968 ......}  or equivalent.   Check to see if your own custom e-mail folders, such as E-mail from Friends, exist in the Outlook Express sub-folder in this folder (i.e., click on the Plus sign next to Microsoft and then click once on the Outlook Express sub-folder inside the Microsoft folder). If you don't see your custom e-mail folders, try another folder that has a similarly long, cryptic name above or below the {B3S-67C0-4968 ......} folder.

7) Click on the Plus sign [+] next to Microsoft.

8) Copy the Outlook Express sub-folder to whatever device you are using to back up your files.

Tip: Here's a much easier way to back up your Outlook Express e-mail folders. (If the link doesn't work, type in the Address Box of your favorite browser, then press the Enter key. Then type Outlook Express Backup in the Search box when you arrive at the CNET website and then press the Enter key.)

7) America Online Favorites and your AOL e-mail, if you have the "Saved to PC"  feature turned on -- actually, there is no separate Saved to PC folder; you must back up the whole Backup sub-folder (actually, it's called the organize folder) in the America Online folder. Here's where the organize folder is usually located:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\AOL\C_America Online 9.0\organize in Windows XP.

If you don't see a bunch of files inside the organize folder with your Screen Name as their prefixes, such as johnsmith.abi and so on, then this is not the right folder. Do a search for the, e.g., johnsmith.abi file to find the right location.

If you have more than one Screen Name, be sure to back up the other Screen Names' organize folders, too.

8) Bookmarks (Firefox, Netscape and Safari browsers) -- click on File, then on Export Bookmarks, or find the Export Bookmarks command elsewhere.

9) Outlook contacts or the Outlook.pst file, which  contains your e-mail, contacts, calendar, tasks, and notes -- the path to the Outlook.pst file is similar to the path to the Outlook Express folder in step # 6 above, but it's not in the Identities sub-folder:

C:\Documents and Settings\ [Your User Name Here] \Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\outlook.pst.

Check to see if the date next to the outlook.pst file is the last date you checked your e-mail. If it isn't the correct date, then your outlook.pst file could be somewhere else. Do a search for it.

10) Temp folder -- look for stray Microsoft Office documents, such as Word or Excel files. To find the Temp folder:

1) Click on Start, then on Run...

2) Type %temp%  in the Open: box, then click on OK.

3) Click on the Folders button at the top of the window so you can see the folders and drives on the left. (This is a very important step!)

4) Click & drag any stray Microsoft Office documents, video clips, audio clips, PDF (Adobe Reader) files, or pictures to your backup device or folder.

5) Close the window by clicking on the X button at the upper right-hand corner of the window when you are finished.

11) Stray C:\ root folder Office documents, such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint files; .MP3; .MPG; .WMV; .AVI; .MOV files, etc. (audio and video files); or .EML or .MSG files (e-mail messages).

12) AOL Downloads folders -- it is now in the All Users\Documents  or  Shared Documents folder  or in the My Documents folder -- see # 1 above.

13) Quicken, QuickBooks, Microsoft Money, TurboTax folders.

14) Cookies -- important cookies like those for online banking, online newspaper sites that you pay for, etc.  Run a program like Spy Sweeper first to get rid of unnecessary ones, but do not remove the important ones if the option to do so comes up.

15) Other word-processor data folders -- like the MyFiles sub-folder in WordPerfect or Lotus WordPro.

16) WordPerfect macros, Word macros.

17) Palm PDA (Personal Digital Assistant or Handheld Computer), Psion, Treo, BlackBerry, cellphone, etc. data -- your  Palm data could be in the My Documents folder, or in the C:\Palm folder, or in the C:\Program Files\Palm[or Palmone]\LastnaF     where "Lastna" is the first 6 letters of your last name and "F" is the initial of your first name, or something like that. It is probably best to back up the entire Palm or Palmone folder and not just the LastnaF sub-folder.

18) iPod, iTunes -- music, videos, TV programs, photos, etc.  These files are usually in the My Documents or the Music folder, so you will back them up if you back up the whole My Documents or Music folder. If you cannot back up the entire My Documents or Music folder, then just back up the My Documents\My Music\iTunes sub-folder.

Tip: Obviously, it is difficult to back up all of your data if it is scattered all over your hard drive. Also, your important personal data could be many gigabytes large in aggregate, which is too big to fit on most backup devices. This is why it's a good idea to purchase and use an External Hard Drive, such as a LaCie, Maxtor, Seagate, or Western Digital "My Book" External Hard Drive, or subscribe to an online backup service, such as,,, QuickBooks Online Backup, etc.



A folder is like a physical manila folder that you may have on your real desktop. This is why it has an icon that looks like a manila folder:  . A folder can contain many documents and files inside. It can also contain sub-folders inside it.

A file is one such document, such as a letter, fax, e-mail message, tax return, picture, a piece of music, a video clip, or a piece of a program, such as for America Online or Microsoft Windows. A file usually has an icon of a piece of paper with a dog-ear in the upper right-hand corner: 2 .