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Legacy 101 - Backing up Your File

Backing up your file is a must. You should be doing this routinely. Legacy will remind you to backup your file on exit if you have selected this in the Options menu. Options > Customize > Other Settings > Option 12.5 Message Boxes. Click the button that says "Turn on or off Optional Reminder Messages"

Backup reminder message
(click image to enlarge)

To get to the Backup screen go to File > Backup File

Backup screen
(click image to enlarge)

There are several things that we need to talk about here. When you open the backup screen for the first time you will notice that the default is set to the \Legacy Family Tree\Data folder. That's because Legacy doesn't know where you want your backups to go yet. Many people leave the file path as is. It is okay to backup to this folder but you don't want this to be the only place to you backup to. You want backups somewhere other than your hard drive. Why? If you ever have a hard drive failure you will lose everything, your working data file and all of your backups. To change the file path, click the Change link over on the right. If you change the data location Legacy will ask you if you want the Media backup location to be the same. Normally you will say yes to this. If you notice, in the above screenshot my file path is to my local One Drive folder which automatically syncs to the One Drive cloud. Other popular cloud options are Dropbox and Google Drive. My personal preference is cloud storage but you can always backup to an external hard drive, a flash drive, or a CD. It is probably a good idea to back up to two places. I have been using Legacy since 2005 and I have only had to use a backup twice. The first time I had a hard drive failure. I had my file backed up to two 3 1/2 inch floppies so I breathed a sigh of relief. The second time I had made a global change to my file that I instantly regretted so I restored my most recent backup.

Legacy now has a cloud backup of it's own which is the second option on the screen. This backup is in addition to and not instead of your normal backup routine. There are two things you need to know. This is a data backup only. Your media will not be backed up.  Also, when you backup the previous backup will be overwritten. You will only have your most recent backup available. The regular backup routine (the first option on the screen) does not overwrite your previous backups. They are appended with the date and time. Your data and your media will be two separate zip files that will have the same date and time stamp.

I have already told you that you should do routine backups but there are other times when you should also backup. I mentioned that I made a global change to my file that I instantly regretted. You should always backup your file before you make any global changes. For example, when you are working with any of the Master Lists, Search and Replace or Merging. You can see on the options screen that Legacy has backup reminders for some of these things to help you remember.

 Tech support gets really sad when someone emails that they have had a hard drive failure and they don't have a backup to fall back on. Please don't be that user.


View a Compilation of all Legacy 101 articles


Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.

For video tech tips check out the Legacy Quick Tips page.  These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.

Michele Simmons Lewis, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.


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