WSU Technology Knowledge Base Backing Up Your WSU Mac-Laptop

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If your laptop failed right now, could you restore all of your important files and information on your new laptop within an hour? It is absolutely essential that you back up important information from your laptop to external, network, and/or web storage. Your laptop can be lost, stolen, dropped, spilled upon, or otherwise rendered unusable at any time. Its hard drive can fail without warning, making it impossible to access any of its data. If the only copy of your important intellectual property, hard work, and creative effort is on your laptop, you are running a terrible risk of losing it all forever. This prospect is disturbing enough for students, who risk losing semesters of academic work, but it is of critical importance for WSU employees who risk losing tremendous professional and institutional investments. Backing up your laptop data is an easy thing to do, there are a number of good, relatively inexpensive storage solutions available, and there is plenty of help available for both students and employees who have questions.

  • Students - Contact the Digital Learning Center (457-5240 Option 1;
  • Faculty and Staff - Contact TLT in the Professional Resource Center (457-5240 Option 3;

The following Backing Up and Restoring Your Laptop table should serve as a checklist as you work to migrate your content from your old laptop to the new one.

Backup Instructions

Data What Needs Backing Up How To Backup How To Restore
Hard Drive Everything within your Home Drive (e.g. Desktop, Documents, Library, Movies, Pictures) must be backed up on your hard drive. Backing Up Your Hard Dive Restore Your Hard Drive
Outlook emails Email that is in your mailbox, including the Inbox, Drafts, Sent Items folders and custom subfolders, is not stored on your laptop and does not need to be backed up. If you have archived your email, it will appear in a directory other than your directory. Not applicable Overview Of Email At WSU

Restoring Outlook (Mac)

Auto Archive

Microsoft Office Tool Modification If you have modified any Microsoft Office applications (e.g., added words to the dictionary, added macros), these are stored in files on your laptop that can be backed up and imported into the corresponding applications on your new laptop. Note that this may not be possible if you are changing versions or operating systems (e.g., Mac to Windows). Backing Up Custom Dictionaries Restoring Your Custom Dictionary
D2L Classes Although it's a great practice for instructors to save a copy of their Desire2Learn (D2L) courses, D2L is a web application and does not store anything on your laptop automatically that would need to be backed up and moved to your new machine. Archiving Old D2L Courses Restoring Old D2L Courses
Browser Favorites or Bookmarks If you save the addresses of frequently visited websites to your Bookmarks (Firefox, Safari, Chrome) lists, this creates a file on your laptop that you can export, back up, and then import into your new laptop's browser. Backing Up Firefox Browser Bookmarks

Exporting and importing Safari bookmarks

Exporting and importing Chrome bookmarks

Restoring Firefox Browser Bookmarks

Exporting and importing Safari bookmarks Exporting and importing Chrome bookmarks

iTunes Music Libraries If you use iTunes, any purchased or burned music track is stored as a file on your laptop. The folder in which these tracks are located can be backed up and imported into iTunes on your new laptop. Backing Up Your iTunes Library Restoring iTunes Instructions]
Personal Databases, Forms or Files If you have used a personal password vault, a citation manager like EndNote or Reference Manager, a tax preparation tool (e.g., TurboTax), photo gallery software, or any other special application that you purchased yourself and installed on your laptop (i.e., not supported by WSU), you will want to make backup copies of those files that contain important data that you wish to retain. Restoring Your iPhoto Library

Backing Up Stickies

Supported Software Titles Supported applications like Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, or Dreamweaver can and should be reinstalled on your new laptop. Never attempt to transfer a WSU-licensed application from one laptop to another by copying it. Not Applicable Restoring Software from the WSU Network

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