Join an online community with more than 350,000 members from 150,000+ organizations, where you can ask questions and get advice.
TechSoup hosts free weekly webinars on a variety of topics, from cloud computing to fundraising to social media and tech strategy.
Thinking about updating software, investing in new computers, or deploying a network or server? Our IT consulting services can help!
Close this window
You back up your organization's computers, so why shouldn't you back up your staffs' smartphones or tablets? It can be a tedious chore, but if you use mobile devices
at your organization, it is likely there is valuable data stored on them.
unlike a desktop computer, it is pretty easy to misplace or drop (and
subsequently destroy) a smartphone or a tablet. Fortunately, backing up your contacts,
photos, and apps is easier than ever.
In this three-part series, we'll walk you
through backing up your mobile device. We'll
start with Windows devices, but posts on Android and iOS phones and tablets will come in the following
Windows Phone 8, Microsoft's next generation mobile
operating system, has improved backup features from Windows 7. You can now
easily back up your data by linking it to a personal Microsoft account (as you
can do with Google Android).
This includes your SMS conversations, apps and
app settings, call history, photos, theme, and Internet Explorer Favorites
(bookmarks). You can change your backup
settings by going to Settings > System > Backup.
Be aware that you cannot upgrade from Windows
Phone 7 to 8; you must buy a new Windows 8 phone to get these features.
Windows Phone 7 lacks data backup, but Microsoft's cloud
storage service, SkyDrive, is built into the operating system. Your photos and
Microsoft Office documents are saved automatically to your SkyDrive account.
You can also download the free SkyDrive app,
which lets you easily share and view your files or photos with others. The
free SkyDrive account comes with 7GB of storage, but some phones come with more
(depending on your phone and carrier).
Eligible organizations can get an unlocked Dell
Venue Pro smartphone for AT&T or T-Mobile. This 3G phone features a
4.1-inch display, full QWERTY keyboard, and a five-megapixel camera.
Pro can upgrade to Windows Phone 7.5, and comes with the Microsoft Office
Mobile suite of apps.
Like Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets can use
SkyDrive to back up files to the cloud.
Windows 8/RT tablets also have a feature
called File History, a backup application that continuously protects your
personal files stored in Libraries, Desktop, Favorites, and Contacts folders.
History periodically scans your file system and then backs up any changes to an
external hard drive, network share (such as a NAS), or a Storage
Space (Window 8's new RAID tool).
For more information on Windows 8's File
History tool, read Microsoft's Building
Windows 8 blog on the new feature. Additionally, check
out Paul Thurrott's thorough article on picking a backup strategy for your
Windows 8 tablet.
There are also a handful of third-party apps to help you
back up your Windows tablet. SugarSync, a popular backup app for smartphones,
has a new app with a design inspired by the Windows 8 Start Screen.
The SugarSync service is a SkyDrive
alternative that can store photos, documents, videos, music, and other files in
the cloud. Dropbox is another cloud storage alternative to SkyDrive with an app
for Windows 8.
For more on
disaster planning, visit our Disaster Planning
resources page where you will find The Resilient Organization, TechSoup's
disaster recovery guide, helpful articles, and products related to backup. For more on mobile apps, visit TechSoup's App It Up page.