Data Backup & Restore

The security and care of the data on your computer is your responsibility. Files and data can be lost through viruses, accidental deletion, hardware failure, or theft of the computer. Backups will reduce the impact of such occurrences. In addition, if you bring your computer to the Service Desk for repairs, your data must be backed up prior to service.

Data can be backed up in three different ways:

  1. Using CrashPlan (data stays on WFU servers) – available to Faculty and Staff only
  2. A cloud service such as Google Drive (unlimited storage) or Dropbox (100 GB storage quota) – available to Faculty, Staff, and Students
  3. Locally on a USB flash drive or external hard drive

Having trouble deciding which method to use? Check out the Data Backup & Restore Options Comparison for more information.

CrashPlan – available to WFU Faculty and Staff

CrashPlan is an automated online backup solution for data stored on your primary WFU-issued computer. Your data is automatically backed up on a periodic basis and can be recovered easily in the event of computer failure. Questions? Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions article for more information.

External Hard Drives and USB Flash Drives

External hard drives and USB Flash drives can hold large amounts of data, but the drives must be physically connected to the computer to perform a backup. Most models are large enough to hold a substantial media library, as well as text-based documents. External hard drives and USB Flash drives can be purchased at the Wake Forest University College Bookstore.

External hard drives containing any sensitive data must be encrypted. Please contact the Information Security team for more information.

Google Drive/Google Play

Check out this short video detailing backing up data on Google Drive and external hard drives.


Dropbox is an additional platform for file storage and collaboration. Dropbox, like Google Drive, provides security for your intellectual property, internal and external collaboration, and easy access to files while working remotely or traveling. Wake Forest Dropbox accounts have a 100 GB storage quota with more available upon request.

You can access your Dropbox data from within your web browser or on your computer using the Desktop Client. Installing the Desktop Client has multiple benefits including Smart Sync and Selective Sync. Access every file and folder in your Dropbox account from your computer, using virtually no hard drive space.

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Last modified: February 25, 2019