Teacher Laptop Backup
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Q: What should I back up?
A: Ideally, you should back up the contents of your entire teacher user folder (teacher house icon with your first initial and last name) along with some special items such as bookmarks, stickies, and notes that are not found within the teacher user folder. However, this isn’t usually possible unless you have an external hard drive. Purchase of an external hard drive of 1 TB in size is an excellent investment for teachers and will allow backup storage for many years to come. If you do not have an external hard drive and don’t plan to purchase one, you should back up all files that would be difficult to re-create or replace if lost.
• Examples include:
• Teacher-created lesson plans, worksheets, tests, etc.
• Bookmarks in Safari or Firefox
• Stickies and/or Notes
• Fonts that you have purchased and added to your computer• Photos, movies, and music
Q: Where are these items located on my computer?
A: Generally, if the following folders are backed up, most of the items above will be backed up as well: Desktop, Documents, Movies, Music, Pictures. Directions for backing up items not found in the teacher user such as bookmarks, stickies, notes, and fonts are provided in the sections below. To find your teacher user (house icon), follow this path: Macintosh HD>Users>Teacher User (should be your email username such as mgriswold)
Q: Where do I back up my data?
A: There are several options for backing up data including media formats such as a flash drive, and/or an external HD. Backing up to CD/DVD is not recommended as the new laptops will not have a CD/DVD drive. Teachers also have access to backup as many as 22,000 files in OneDrive. There are also web-based services that allow users to back up a certain amount of data for free with additional space available for purchase (iCloud, DropBox, etc.).
Q: Which option is best for me?
A: This depends on the amount of data you would like to back up and how much you are willing to pay for media and/or services. If you would like to back up your entire teacher user, you should invest in an external HD. However, if you are backing up only a group of selected items, backing up to a large flash drive or to OneDrive and/or iCloud may be sufficient.
Q: How do I create a back up using one of the media formats listed?
A1: Backing up to a Flash Drive
Insert the flash drive into one of the USB ports on your computer. An icon for the drive will appear on your desktop. Drag desired items from your computer to the Flash Drive. Once back up is complete, click on the drive icon and drag it to the trash. Do not disconnect the Flash Drive from your computer until the icon has disappeared from the desktop! Doing so may damage the files on your flash drive.
A2: Backing up to an external HD
Connect your drive to your computer using the USB cable. An icon for the drive will appear on your desktop. Name the drive with your name if needed. Drag desired items from your computer to the drive. Once back up is complete, click on the drive icon and drag to the trash. Do not disconnect the drive from your computer until the icon has disappeared from the desktop! Doing so may damage the files on your external hard drive.
Q: If I have an external drive, how do I back up my entire teacher user?
A: After connecting your external drive to your laptop, follow this path: Macintosh HD > Users. Drag your teacher user (house icon) folder to your external HD.
Note: Depending on the size of your teacher user folder, this process can take time so be patient!
Q: How do I back up my files to One Drive?
A: Please see the step sheet on page 7 (with pictures) for complete instructions on completing this process.
Q: How do I back up specific items rather than backing up the entire user or certain folders?
A1: Bookmarks in Safari, Firefox, and Chrome
Safari - Launch Safari. Click on the File menu and select Export
Bookmarks. This will create a file that contains your bookmarks. Drag this file to your back-up device.
Firefox - Launch Firefox. Click on Bookmarks and select Organize Bookmarks. The menu bar changes once this selection is made. Then, go
to the File menu and drag to Export ... This will create a file that contains your bookmarks for Firefox. Drag this file to your back-up device.
• Chrome - As long as you have logged in to Chrome with your Google Account and selected your sync settings, there is no need to backup your bookmarks. Once you login from a new device, your bookmarks will sync automatically.
To back up your Stickies, click on the word Go in your menu bar and drag down to choose to Go to Folder ... Type in the following: ~/Library/ and find the file called StickiesDatabase and drag it to your backup device.
To back up your Notes, click on the word Go in your menu bar and drag down to choose “Go to Folder” ... Type in the following: ~/Library/ Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library and find the file called Notes and drag it to your backup device.
This process is only necessary for additional fonts that you purchased and installed on your laptop. See the information on page 9 for instructions for backing up your purchased fonts. There is no need to backup default fonts on the computer.
To back up your pictures in Photos, follow this path:
Teacher > Pictures > Photos Library. Drag the Photos Library folder to your back-up device.
Note: Pictures, because of the space required, should be backed up to an external drive only.
To back up your iTunes music, follow this path:
Teacher > Music > iTunes. Drag the iTunes folder to your back-up device. If you are a GarageBand user, those files are found in this location as well.
Note: Music, because of the space required, should be backed up to external drive only.
A7 : Movies
To back up your movies in iMovie, follow this path:
Teacher > Movies. Drag the iMovie Library and the iMovie Theater folders to your back-up device.
Note: Movies, because of the space required, should be backed up to an external drive only.
A8 : More about photos, music, and movies
If you have added photos, music, and movies to your laptop that are not in Photos, iTunes, or iMovie, you will need to locate those items and back them up accordingly as backing up in A5 - A7 above will only take care of the items within those programs.