Carbonite Support > Selecting Files for Backup

Our product offerings have been renamed. Carbonite Home Backup is now Carbonite Safe Backup, and Carbonite Office Backup is now Carbonite Safe Backup Pro.

Selecting Files for Backup

Carbonite automatically backs up the most common data on your Windows computer. By default, Carbonite selects data associated with all user profiles on your computer, which includes the Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, and Pictures folders.

Video files within user profiles are automatically selected for backup with Carbonite Safe Plus or higher.

You can manually select data from the computer that has Carbonite installed by right-clicking on the files or folders within Windows File Explorer and clicking Carbonite; Back this up.

Carbonite Safe: Right-click Carbonite; Back this up

If you do not see this option, Carbonite may not be installed on your computer. Please reinstall Carbonite Safe or reinstall Carbonite Safe Backup Pro to select files for backup that are supported on your plan.

Not Sure How to Access File Explorer?

File Explorer is a native app on your Windows computer that allows you to browse the files that are stored on your computer’s hard drive (or any attached drives). Review the information below to learn how to access File Explorer.

Press Win + E on your keyboard

The easiest way to open File Explorer is to press the Windows Key and the ‘E’ key on your keyboard at the same time. The Windows key is found between the CTRL and ALT keys.

Windows Keyboard: Press the Windows Key and the E Key on your keyboard

Use the File Explorer shortcut on the Taskbar

By default, Windows 10 includes a File Explorer shortcut on the Taskbar. The icon looks like a folder. You can click on it to open File Explorer.

Windows File Explorer Icon in Taskbar

Use the Start Menu to Open File Explorer

File Explorer can be opened from within the Start Menu by tapping on the File Explorer tile.

Windows File Explorer Icon in Start Menu

Alternatively, you can find it in the Start Menu by typing ‘File Explorer’ into the search bar.

Windows File Explorer Icon in Search Menu

Selecting Additional Data for Backup

Below is a list of common data that you may want to select for backup that is not automatically included or excluded by default.

Please review the default backup selections for Carbonite Safe to get a better understanding of what types of files Carbonite Safe Backup plans automatically back up.
Data TypeCarbonite Plan Needed to Select Data
Data outside of user profiles on your computer (outside of the C:\Users folder)All Carbonite Safe plans allow you to select additional data on the C:\ drive.
Automatic backup of video files within the user profiles on your computer (within the C:\Users folder)Carbonite Safe Plus or higher.
Learn more...
External Hard Drive (formatted in NTFS or FAT32)Carbonite Safe Plus or higher
Learn more...
Network Attached Storage (NAS)Carbonite Safe Core or higher
Learn more...
Two or More Drives (internal or external)Carbonite Safe Core or higher
Learn more...
Databases (Microsoft SQL, MySQL, File System Backup etc.)Carbonite Safe Power or higher with Carbonite Safe Server Backup (CSSB) software.
Learn more...
Bare Metal Image (full system backup)Carbonite Safe Power or higher with Carbonite Safe Server Backup (CSSB) software.
Learn more...

After you are on the correct Carbonite plan, you will be able to select additional data for backup. As always, you can open the Carbonite Backup Drive to view a list of your currently backed up files on the Windows computer that has Carbonite installed.

Selecting Folders that May Contain Data That is Excluded

When you select a drive or folder for backup, you may receive a message stating that the location selected may include files that won’t be backed up automatically such as system, program, temporary and/or video files.

Selecting folders or drives for backup automatically includes common user created data.

The types of files mentioned in the alert are not included by default for the following reasons:

  • System and program files are reserved or used by the system/program and should be reinstalled by the vendor’s website or installation media.
  • Temporary files are files that are actively created by programs for them to operate and cannot be restored in a meaningful or useful state.
  • Videos are excluded by default on Carbonite Safe Basic plans.

Generally, system and program files do not need to be backed up. After a computer crash, it is best to reinstall the operating system and programs rather than restoring system files from the backup.

The advantages excluding these files are:

  • Backups are less likely to fail: A common cause of backup failure is selecting large or problematic system, program, and temporarily files. Carbonite excludes these files by default to reduce this risk.
  • Backup/Restore speeds are quicker: By selecting only what is important the time it takes to upload/download the files is reduced.
If you do need to back up your entire system or backup database files, Carbonite Safe Server Backup can perform a Bare Metal Image of your whole system under our Carbonite Safe Power and Ultimate Plans.

While some files are excluded to improve the performance, you can manually add files within the folders by right-clicking on the files within Windows File Explorer and selecting Carbonite; Back this up.