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Getting Started with Carbonite Safe

Carbonite is an online backup program that backs up your data files to our secure servers and helps you download the files back to your computer at any time. This guide will help you get started with Carbonite. If you haven't already created an account, please click the button below to start a trial and download Carbonite. It only takes a few seconds!

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Part 1: Backing Up Your Files

During the install, you'll decide your initial backup selections setting:

  • Automatic (recommended) – Allows Carbonite to select which files and folders to back up for you. It selects your C:\Users folder, which includes the default location for documents, pictures, music, and other important files that you create and store on your computer. Click this link to learn more about what's included in your backup.
  • Advanced – Gives you more control over what gets selected for back up. Selecting this leads to a few more options:
    • Select what gets backed up – Allows you to include Carbonite's recommended default backup selections or start with nothing selected for back up. Even if you choose to start with nothing selected for back up, you can add the recommended default selections at any time after Carbonite is installed.
    • Schedule your online backup – Allows you to choose between automatic continuous backup (default), or schedule when your backup runs.
    • Manage your private encryption key – Carbonite allows you to download and manage the encryption key to your backup. This gives you even stronger security over your backed up files. If you are not used to managing encryption keys, it is recommended that you allow Carbonite to retain your encryption key. If you decide to manage your own encryption key and lose it, there will be no way to restore your backed up data.

Once Carbonite is operating on your computer, you have a few ways to make sure everything you need is backed up and protected. "Backing up" is the process of uploading copies of your selected files from your computer to the Carbonite servers. The links below will lead you to articles which will explain how to perform those specific tasks.

  • How do I tell what's backed up? Carbonite places color-coded status dots on files and folders to indicate their backup status. A green dot means that the file or folder is backed up and up-to-date. A yellow dot means that a file is selected for backup and is pending backup to our servers.
  • How do I add files to my backup? You can add files and folders to your backup by right-clicking them and selecting Carbonite; Back this up.
  • How do I remove files from my backup? You can remove backed up files by right-clicking them and selecting Carbonite; Don't back this up.

Backing Up Best Practices

Your backup with Carbonite will take some time based on the amount of data you have selected and the speed of your internet. Here are some tips to increase your backup performance:

  1. Make sure your connection to the internet is dependable.
    • For the initial backup or large backup selections, it is recommended to use a wired connection for the best performance.
  2. Make sure that your computer is configured so that it isn't going into hibernation or sleep mode.
    • Leaving your computer on overnight generally allows for faster backup speeds than during peak usage hours.
  3. Limit the number of programs and devices that make use of your Internet connection.
    • Carbonite works in the background so high usage programs will reduce the backup speed of your files.
  4. If your backup is not progressing or appears stuck, please follow the steps outlined in Stuck Backup and Backup Errors.
    • Restarting your computer resolves most backup issues.

Part 2: Restoring Files

After backing up some files, you are ready to test restoring them. "Restoring" is the process of downloading copies of any backed up files from our servers to your computer. The links below will lead you to articles which will explain how to perform those specific tasks.

Restoring Best Practices

Your restore with Carbonite will be based on the amount of data you have selected to restore and the speed of your internet. Here are some tips to increase your restore performance:

  1. Ensure Carbonite remains in Recover Mode until the restore is complete.
    • Exiting Recover Mode before the restore is complete will risk data loss and could potentially cause complications with the restore.
  2. Make sure your connection to the internet is dependable.
    • For the restores, it is recommended to use a wired connection for the best performance.
  3. Make sure that your computer is configured so that it isn't going into hibernation or sleep mode.
  4. Limit the number of programs and devices that make use of your Internet connection.
    • Carbonite works in the background so high usage programs will reduce the backup speed of your files.
  5. If your restore appears stuck, please follow the steps outlined in our Stuck Restore article.

Part 3: Your Carbonite Settings and Account

The Carbonite InfoCenter / application displays your backup progress, allows you to change settings, and helps you restore your files. You can open the Carbonite InfoCenter / application by double-clicking the Carbonite icon on your desktop. The links below will lead you to articles which will explain how to perform those specific tasks.

Your Carbonite Settings

Your Carbonite Account Settings

Part 4: Purchasing a Subscription

Whether you're on a trial or if you're looking to renew, you can easily purchase a subscription through your account. The links below will lead you to articles which will explain how to perform those specific tasks.

Whether you are new to Carbonite Safe or a veteran, the Carbonite Safe Handbook For Windows can be very helpful. This handbook contains all the information you need to get started with Carbonite, configure Carbonite's settings, and address basic issues. Please click the button below to view the handbook in your browser.

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