What happens to my backups when I'm away or on vacation?

If you're going on vacation or your computer is going to be shut off for extended period of time you may wonder what's going to happen to your backed up data.

If you're leaving your computer at home while you travel...

While files are expunged from the servers after 30 days if they're removed from a computer, your most recent backup snapshot will be retained for 6 months if your computer is completely unable to contact our servers (either it's shut off, or no internet connection). As long as your computer can contact Backblaze at least once every 6 months and perform a full Backblaze file scan operation, you don't delete or transfer the backup and you retain active billing, your most recent snapshot will be retained.

Before you leave your computer, make sure Backblaze is up to date, all external or secondary drives are connected, and the Backblaze control panel or system preference reports 0 files remaining to be backed up. After you've verified that, leave any external or secondary drives connected, then completely shut down your computer so it will no longer contact our servers while you're away. You can disconnect any external or secondary drives while it's powered off.

"Missing computer" email reminders are sent at 14, 21, 28, 60 and 90 days since a computer was last seen by our servers. If you intentionally don't have your computer powered on and able to back up, you can safely disregard these messages, but keep aware of the 6 month limit.

When you return to your computer, make sure all external or secondary hard drives are connected before you power on the computer to ensure that the data on them is not expunged due to the 30 day window.

If you're on a monthly account, you may want to switch to a yearly or biyearly account for billing if you plan on being away for extended periods without access to a computer to make sure you continue to maintain your paid account.

If you're taking your computer with you, but not your external or secondary hard drives and you're going to be away for greater than 30 days...

While Backblaze is designed to retain data for 30 days from the last time data was scanned by the Backblaze software on your computer, you can effectively stop Backblaze from scanning and noting missing external drives by temporarily pausing it.

Before you leave your external drives, make sure Backblaze is up to date, all external or secondary drives are connected, and the Backblaze control panel or system preference reports 0 files remaining to be backed up. After you've verified that, leave any external or secondary drives connected, then open the Backblaze control panel / system preference, clicking "Settings" then "Schedule," and changing the schedule to "Backup only when I click <backup now>." While you're away from your external or secondary drives, do not click the Backup Now button or start any backups.

That setting will prevent any forward progress on your backup while you're away (so newly created data while you're away will *not* be backed up), but will stop any disconnected drives from being purged from the Backblaze servers.

"Missing computer" email reminders are sent at 14, 21, 28, 60 and 90 days since a backup was last seen by our servers. If you intentionally have Backblaze paused, you can safely disregard these messages, but keep aware of the 6 month limit.

When you return to your external or secondary drives, first connect them and verify they are working and have all your files on them. Then you can change Backblaze's schedule back to "Continuously" and allow Backblaze to recheck the data on the external drives, and transmit any new/changed files since the last time it backed up.

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