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Make backups faster by getting organised

Knock weeks off your backup process by getting your files in order.

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There is one big problem with backups right now, and that's how long it can take to push hundreds of gigabytes across a network.

It isn't too bad for local backups, but once you make the jump to cloud storage it can take literally weeks for a first backup to finish uploading.

It's still much better to start now than to just ignore the problem — in a few weeks you'll be pleased you got on with it — but if you really do need to watch your upload limits, a good first step is to get organised.

Set priorities for your backups — photos before videos, business archives before high-school poetry. Work out which files you could live without if your computer blew up tomorrow. Do a sweep through your big digital archives to get rid of any doubled-up files and folders.

With an hour or two of manual organisation, you can often sweep aside dozens of gigabytes you don't need to backup after all, and that can save you days or weeks when drip feeding things up into the sky.