Saturday, 06 May 2017 09:54

How to back up large files and collections off site

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Mark Weinrib writes in with a question about his 500GB iMovie Library file, which he has stored on an external drive.

I back it up using Time Machine, but I would like to have another backup option. I don’t have 500GB free space on my Mac, so Dropbox doesn’t look like an option. iCloud Drive has a 15GB limit on file size so that won’t work.

The iMovie Library file is really a package: a sort of folder that contains stuff you don’t typically need to access directly, and which should move together whenever you need to move the main file. So iCloud wouldn’t count it as one monolithic 500GB file, but rather would handle each component as a separate piece.

However, I don’t think iCloud is the right option for this kind of backup. iCloud works best for items you want to sync across devices and make accessible to each, rather than as a back up in case of failure. Dropbox has the same orientation as a service and the same weakness. (If you want to use the iMovie Library with different Macs, an external drive is the way to go, and cart it around to different machines.)

More generally, if you’re trying to just making an archive copy of a lot of data that you can restore in the event of an emergency, you could pursue one of a few different options:

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SPEEDEE spends his day searching the internet for the information you need to better use your Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch and all else Apple.

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