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What Are Backup Retention Best Practices to Follow? Full Guide 2022

Updated by Jean on May 07, 2022

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Backup Retention Practices Categorize data by type and needs; Categorize data by time period; What to delete and when to delete...Full steps
Fix 2. EaseUS Todo Backup can help

Clone windows into a USB drive to have your OS be portable everywhere. It's very user-friendly...Full steps

What Is a Backup Retention Policy?

Backup retention policy ensures backups of data that are copied onto other storage or backup media. It'll be very helpful in case of a system failure, hacking, or accidentally erasing any important file. Backup retention has a particular time period. Daily backups for user data are kept for one week. Weekly backups are kept for eight weeks. After that, all the backups are recycled back. You need to back them up again. This system only acts for the backup copies, not the actual data. If the user accidentally or knowingly deletes any file, it can be restored from the backup retention until the eighth week. Other files which are not deleted are kept for as long as the account is active.

Backup Retention Best Practices to Follow

These are some backup retention best practices below-

  • Categorize data by type and needs

Your backup retention policy will be defined by legal and internal needs. By categorization, you will get to know every data piece by its importance. Some data will be there, which is for very rare use, but you have to keep it for legal purposes. You need to categorize data from the point of compliance regulations of your business needs and confidential information.

  • Categorize data by time period

It is also very important to categorize all the data by their backup time period. Not all data needs to be stored for the same time period. Some data of temporary need should be erased after a certain period of time. On the other hand, some data need to store for ten years. By categorizing the data this way, you can save money and space by deleting some files after their time period is over.

  • What to delete and when to delete

You need to understand what file should be deleted and when. If not, you will end up losing an important file, or you will end up holding back files that are of no use and wasting money.

  • Decided about the types of backup and their frequency

There are three types of backup:

  1. Full backup - a full copy of all existing files. A full backup copies the entire data of the system each time. So, you can be rest assured that all data are safe, and you can use them whenever needed.
  2. Differential backup - A copy of all changes made from the last full backup. It's similar to an incremental backup, but an incremental backup saves changes made after any last backup, but a differential backup saves the data that has been changed since the full backup but more than an incremental backup.
  3. Incremental backup - A copy of all changes since the last backup of any kind.

You need to decide which type of backup will be suitable for you.

#1. Choose a cost-effective data backup

You need to compare data backups to their prices too. For business companies, they end up investing a large amount of money in their data backups. A cost-effective backup will definitely save some money.

#2. Decide What to backup on your computer

  1. For individuals: Very first and foremost, you need to backup your personal files because you actually can reinstall any software or program but can't do something like this to your personal files. Any personal documents, academic projects, photos, family videos should be backed up regularly. Any DVD or CD that you need to work with regularly, you can backup that too.
  2. For companies: Companies need to back up their business data very seriously. It contains their formulas, employees' records, important documents, ongoing project files e.t.c. No company can take a risk to lose any important document. Even they spend a good amount of money to save every essential data.

* Here's the best backup practice for small to mid-sized companies to follow.

#3. How long should you keep your old backups

  1. For individuals: For any individual, one-month retention will be more than enough. It can be subjective. For some people, one-week retention can work best. On the other hand, some people may need two to three weeks of retention. If your system fails or gets hacked, or accidentally erased any file, you will get to know in a maximum of 7-10 days if you maintain your data well.
  2. For companies: This is also very subjective. Some companies need six months of retention and three months of LOG retention. On the other side, some IT companies and some others need ten years of data retention.

#4. A good backup and recovery companion for a better data backup retention management

Increasing the frequency of backups is much needed nowadays because of ransomware. Good backup management can become your life savior. There is even a lot of free software in the market. For the best one, you can choose EaseUS Todo backup.

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Basically, it is a backup software that can automatically back up any particular file and folder, even the full hard drives. It has a free version by which you can restore data without investing money. It's best for personal use. But for companies, there are several plans for advanced tools.

How EaseUS Todo Backup Help with the Best Practices of Backup Retention

EaseUS Todo Backup is very easy to use. You can create a schedule previously when your data needs backup. By EaseUS Todo Backup, you can:

  • Clone windows into a USB drive to have your OS be portable everywhere.
  • It's very user-friendly, supports all standard disks.
  • An advanced server plan includes SQL server and Exchange backup and recovery.
  • Commercial licenses include basic disk backup tools and HDD to SDD and cloud backup solutions.
  • EaseUS Todo Backup supports incremental and differential types of backups.
  • It can merge full and incremental backups.

For example, you can follow the simple guide to backup files to any location on schedule:

Step 1. To start backup, click the Select backup contents.

create file backup step1

Step 2. There are four data backup categories: File, Disk, OS, and Mail.

create file backup step2

Step 3. On the left-hand side, you'll see a list of local and network files. Selecting the files to be backed up by expanding the directory.

File backup

Step 4. Follow the instructions on the screen and pick the location where you wish to store the backup.

File backup step4

In Backup Options, click Options to encrypt the backup with a password, specify the backup schedule, and choose whether or not to start the backup at a certain event in Backup Scheme. There are a variety of customizable features available for you to explore, and you may tailor the backup operation to meet your specific requirements.

Backup options

Step 5. Backups can be stored on a local disk, in EaseUS's cloud service, or on a network attached storage device (NAS).

file backup step4

Step 6. EaseUS Todo Backup allows customers to back up data to a third-party cloud drive or the company's own cloud storage.

If you wish to back up your data to a third-party cloud drive, select Local Drive, scroll down to add Cloud Device and enter your account information.

Backup to cloud
You may also use EaseUS's own cloud storage service. Click EaseUS Cloud, create an account using your EaseUS Account, then log in to your account.

backup to easeus cloud

Step 7. To begin a backup, choose Backup Now. It will appear in the shape of a card on the left-hand panel when the backup process has been successfully finished. To handle the backup job in more detail, right-click on it.

File backup step7


You cannot recreate your data or download it from anywhere. So, you need to restore it. For companies, their data means the whole company itself. For that, they must need to have backup retention best practices that should be cost-effective.  For any individual, they can store their data on any external storage or any online backup policy for safety purposes.

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Updated by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 47 reviews
  • Taking everything into consideration, we can say that EaseUS Todo Backup Home can offer you a little extra sense of security with a set of advanced tools. The interface provides quick adaptation, every process guiding you all the way through so you don't get stuck or further damage your system rather than keeping it safe.

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  • EaseUS Todo Backup Free lets you create backups of your important files or your entire computer through its streamlined interface. Just choose the backup type you'd like to get started, and let the program do the reset.

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  • EaseUS includes all the features I expect from backup software like versioning, incremental backups, and scheduling. For more advanced users, EaseUS allows you to install a pre-boot environment onto your hard drive so you can use it to restore files without burning a CD or putting it on an external USB drive.

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