File-level backup is essential for taking a backup of your device and restoring it at a later stage. File-level backup can backup single or multiple files. In this case, you take a backup of individual files, folders, and application data, and it is the most common type of backup, which is fast and easy to carry out. You can schedule file-level backups using different software and restore them whenever required.
What is File Level Backup? Why and When to use it?
File-level backup is much faster than image backup. While the latter creates a copy of the whole storage device or a partition, the file-level backup lets you backup files at an individual level. To help you know more, here are some explanations:
1] What is File Level Backup?
File-level backup is one of the common types of backup methods out there. It helps you to upload files and folders to the backup storage and then recover them whenever required.
With file-level backup, you cannot only backup your desktop files such as documents, photos, videos, and others. But you can also backup databases and drive images. So to recover your files, you will need to download them from the backup drive and manually restore them on your computer.
However, with a file-level backup, you won’t be able to create a bootable image, which is only possible with an image-level backup.
2] Why is File Level Backup Necessary?
File-level backup is essential when you want to take regular backup of files and folders. With an image-level backup, you create a bootable image that cannot be changed. So whatever changes happen on your computer will not get added to the image backup. Instead, the file-level backup will regularly take a backup of your files and folders. So in case of a system crash, you will have the data to recover.
Many backup tools let you schedule backups on the file level. Windows offers built-in tools such as File History and Backup & Restore tools. You can set up a background backup process every day, week, or month, and all your files will get saved to your backup disk or storage.
3] When Do You Need to Use File Level Backup
Hard-disk crashes are common, which could lead to heavy data lasses. But by setting up the scheduled file-level backup, you can take a backup of your files regularly and restore them when needed.
Another reason could be recovering accidentally deleted data if you have accidentally deleted your important files or lost them due to a malware attack. Then you can recover your files from the backup.
File Level Backup vs Block Level Backup or Image Backup
Apart from file-level backup, there is also the block-level backup, better known as image backup. It is an advanced backup method that creates a copy of your whole system. To find out more, you can check the below explanation:
What is Block Level or Image Level Backup?
Image-based backup creates a copy of your whole system and allows you to upload it to the backup storage. You can create a block-level backup for your whole system with all the drives or just a specific partition.
Image level backup comes in handy when you want to create a master image of your PC or server and keep it in an actual state that allows you to recover your computer or service in an emergency.
File Level Backup VS Block Level Backup/Image Backup: A Quick Comparison
|File-Level Backup||Image-Level Backup|
|Backup Items||It can backup files and folders.||Ideal for backing up system, disk, partition, and files.|
|Backup Frequency||You can take a file-level backup several times a day.||Image-level backup is usually taken once a week or month.|
|It can backup data at a lower level. Hence, the backup size is relatively low.||Since it is used to backup your whole system, the image file size is relatively big.|
|Recovery Options||You can restore files or folders.||You can restore the entire system, disk, or partition.|
In short, you must use file-level backup for your day-to-day file backup. On the other side, block-level backup is suitable when you want to backup your whole system with Files, folders, application data, settings, and more.
So that was all about file-level backup. Regular backups of your files are essential if you deal with critical data you cannot afford to lose. But thanks to many backup solutions, you can take regular backups of your important files and restore them with just a click.
Still not sure about file-level backup. How and when should you use it? Here are some frequently asked questions that will help you know more:
How do I backup large amounts of files?
It would help if you used backup software to backup large amounts of files at a file level. You should backup your disk/partition, system, file, and cloud and set up scheduled backups. Many of these backup applications also support multi-path backup storage, disk, partition close, secure password-protected backups, and more.
What is the difference between a file backup and a system backup?
File backup will backup your files and folders available on your computer. However, it will not take a backup of your Application data, system files, or settings. On the other side, a system backup will backup your whole computer, including files, application data, settings, and more. So you can restore your computer to the same state as before taking a system backup.
What are the three types of backups?
Backups can be broadly categorized into three types—Full, Incremental, and Differential. While the incremental backup only copies data that has changed since the last backup process, the differential backup starts with copying data changed from the previous backup and then works as an incremental backup going forward. The only drawback is that it takes more storage compared to incremental backup.