Software & Apps Backup & Utilities Do I Have to Back up Everything on My Computer or Device? Can I Choose to Only Back up Some of My Files? by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on June 24, 2019 XYZ PICTURES / Getty Images Backup & Utilities Design Cryptocurrency MS Office Windows Linux Google Drive Apps File Types Backup & Utilities View More Tweet Share Email How much control do you have over what gets backed up when using an online backup service? Are you forced to back up every bit of data on your entire computer or another device, or do you have some say over what it backs up? The following question is one of many you'll find in my Online Backup FAQ. "Do I have to back up everything on my computer or can I choose to only backup certain things?" Almost all online backup services allow fine control over what you want to back up. In most cases, you use the included online backup software to select the drives, folders, and/or files you want to back up. A few online backup services work in the opposite way. Instead of selecting what you would like to back up, you select what you would not like to back up and everything else is backed up by default. By selecting only your most important data, or deselecting your least important data, you can keep your initial backup small, your subsequent backups faster, and may be able to purchase a smaller online backup plan. If you're very discerning or have little important data, you may even be able to get away with a free online backup plan. Below are some related questions I get about configuring and using online backup software on your computer: What Exactly Should I Back Up?How Long Will the Initial Backup Take?Can I Restore Old Versions of Files I Back Up?If My Backed up Files Are Online, Can I Access Them Anywhere? Here are more questions I answer as part of my Online Backup FAQ: How Exactly Does Online Backup Work?Is Online Backup Better Than Local Backup?What's the Difference in Cloud Backup and Online Backup?How Do I Decide Which Online Backup Service to Pick?Is It Safe to Send & Store My Private Data on the Internet?Will My Internet Be Slow If I'm Backing up All the Time?How Much Online Backup Space Will I Need?Do Some Online Backup Plans Really Allow Unlimited Data?Why Would Anyone Choose a Limited Plan Over an Unlimited One?Are Online Backup Plans Priced by the Month or Year?Are Free Online Backup Plans Really Free or Just Free Trials?Do Online Backup Services Limit File Formats or Sizes?Can I Back up All My Devices Using One Backup Plan?Where Exactly Are My Backed up Files Stored on the Internet?How Do I Restore a Backed up File?If My Entire Computer Dies, How Can I Get My Files Restored?Where Are JustCloud & ZipCloud in Your Online Backup List?Why Aren't Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Etc. In Your List?How Do You Rank Online Backup Services in Your Reviews?What Online Backup Service Do YOU Use, Tim?