How to Make a Backup Copy of an Excel File
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How to backup your Excel workbook?
Backing up your Excel templates is important because your Excel file might get corrupt, hard drive might crash, power surge, computer lost or stolen, water damage, or maybe you accidentally deleted data in the Excel file and then saved the file and need to get the data back.
- In Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Excel 2016, Excel 2019, Excel 2021, and Excel for Microsoft 365 to manually create a backup copy of a single Excel template, open the Excel template that you want to backup, click the File Tab in the top left corner of the Excel ribbon and then click Save As and in the window that pops up, choose the location where you want to save the Excel file in, and give the backup Excel file an appropriate name that you want to call the backup Excel file and then click Save. After you click Save, the backup Excel file is now the active workbook in Excel, so you need to close the backup file and then reopen your main Excel file when you are ready to continue to work in it.
- In Excel 2007, to manually create a backup copy of a single Excel template, open the Excel template that you want to backup, click the Office Button in the top left corner of Excel and then click Save As and in the window that pops up, choose the location where you want to save the Excel file in, and give the backup Excel file an appropriate name that you want to call the backup Excel file and then click Save. After you click Save, the backup file is now the active workbook in Excel, so you need to close the backup file and then reopen your main Excel file when you are ready to continue to work in it.
When backing up an Excel file, you must keep the Excel file in same Excel file format (file type) that it was created in when you downloaded the Excel file. This is because some of the Excel templates have macros (VBA programming) in them that require a certain Excel file format for the macros to work and if you change the file format to one that is not compatible with Excel macros, the macros will not work. Here is a list of file formats used by the Excel templates.
|Excel File Format (File Type)
|Excel Binary Workbook
|Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook
Another way that you can backup your Excel file is you can use Windows Explorer (File Explorer in Windows 10 or Windows 11) to make a copy of the Excel file from one folder location to another. You can also rename the Excel template file in Windows Explorer (File Explorer in Windows 10 or Windows 11).
While you can create a backup copy on the same hard drive of the computer that you are using the Excel templates, it is recommended the you backup on an external device or location so that if your computer hard drive crashes or your computer is lost or stolen, you still have a backup copy of the files that were on that computer.
Backup copies can be saved on different devices and locations:
- USB Flash drive (non cloud based)
- External Hard Drive (non cloud based)
- Online file storage / backup / file sync services like OneDrive or DropBox or Google Drive (cloud based storage)
- Online cloud backup services Carbonite.
If you keeps your backup files online in the cloud, make to use good sign-on passwords to the service and put your files in private (non public) folders that only you have access to the Excel templates.
Some online services will also offer file encryption to further protect your information.
Instead of manually copying and making backup copies of your Excel files and other files on your computer, there is also backup software that you can use that automates the backup of your computers files so that you can schedule backups at regular intervals and of certain folders on your computer whether its backing up to an external hard drive or online cloud service.
In addition to making a backup copy of your Excel templates, you should also regularly save your Excel files as you are working in them if you want to keep the changes that you are making to the Excel templates.
How often to backup your Excel workbook?
You can manually backup the Excel templates as often as you need but the more often you backup the better. If you are using on online backup service or other backup software, you can schedule to have your files backed up at different time intervals. Automated backups are ideal, because you may forget to manually backup or not have the time if you have a lot of files to backup. Also, some of the online backup services keep backups going back for example a full month so you can pick and choose a particular backup copy based on when it was saved.
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