This article will walk you through the steps to back up necessary data from your Windows computer, so this data will be accessible on your new computer.  You will back up the data to Google Drive or external storage device.

Where to Start

First Step

Reduce Your Hard Drive Storage

  • Delete unnecessary downloads
  • Organize files and delete unnecessary data
  • Remove personal files, photos, videos, etc. after they are transferred to your personal external storage device.

Second Step

Back up your data on Windows:

  • Right-click on the Windows 10 icon in the lower left corner.
  • Select "File Explorer" from the menu.
  • Click "This PC" from the left side of the window.
  • Double Click "Windows (C:) Drive.

  • Click on the "Users" folder

  • Open your folder (
    Several folders will be listed, decide which folders you want to copy to your backup device (Google Drive or external storage device). The following is a summary of the folders that you see.

  • Folders that you are most likely to have data stored in:
            Contacts: Windows contacts
            Desktop: This is all of the files and folders that you see on your desktop
            Downloads: All of the items that you have downloaded from the Internet and email
            Favorites: Internet Explorer bookmarks
            Links: The list of items under the Favorites tab in Windows Explorer
            Documents: All of the documents that you have created and saved locally
            Music: All of the music that you have downloaded or imported from another device
            Pictures: All of the photos that you have downloaded or imported from another device
            Videos: All of the videos that you have downloaded or imported from another device
            Searches: Used to save your Windows Explorer searches

  • Right-click on a single folder and select Copy.

  • Navigate to Google Drive or the external storage device and right-click and select Paste.

  • Repeat steps 3-4 as many times as necessary to back up everything you need.

Note: The amount of time that this takes depends on how much data is being backed up.

Items NOT to backup:

  • Applications (Microsoft Word, Smart Notebook, Zoom, etc.)
    • These applications will be downloaded once you get your new computer
  • Google Drive / Dropbox
    • These items are already in the cloud and can be accessed via the intranet

Third Step

If applicable, make a list of any additional applications/programs that you may have on your current computer that you may want on your new computer.

Other Information: 

  • Any other applications you may have installed on your computer are your responsibility to backup. Check with your building tech para if you have any further questions
  • Sticky Notes cannot be backed up.  If you want save these, copy and paste your notes into a Google Doc or copy them over to Google Keep


If you are backing up personal data, this data MUST be backed up to a non-Wayzata storage medium.  Examples of storage mediums - personal USB flash drives, personal USB hard drives, and personal cloud accounts.