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Backing Up PDF Files


Userlevel 6
PDF files are a big item on most drives.  Almost everyone has them.  Yet, when you perform a backup, PDF files are not backed up unless you manually enter it in your list of items to be backed up.  I learned this the hard way, when I realized that a backup did not include PDF files.
 
Why not add a PDF item to the list so you don't have to manually enter it?  It seems to me that PDF files are too important to overlook to require a manual entry.
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Best answer by JimM 21 January 2013, 19:42

Being that this is a suggestion for a feature improvement, I would suggest placing the idea into the Ideas Exchange so it can be tracked and remain visible.  Backing up PDF files by default seems sensible to me as well, but, as with any feature request, it's helpful to get a sense of how popular the idea is among our userbase.
 
In the short term, anyone looking to backup a PDF file should create a filter.  Here is how:
 
To make a filter, open Webroot, and go to Backup & Sync.  Click "change settings" on the Backup area of the screen. 
 


 
Click "Add Filter." 


 
Choose the directory you want your pdf files to be backed up from on the Directory line.  On the Filter Name line, name it whatever you like (I use "PDF Files" in this example).  The most important part is that on the "File type expressions" line, you'll want to put *.pdf  Then click "Save."



 
The same procedure can be used for adding any file type as a filter for backing up that kind of file.  Just replace *.pdf with whatever extention you're planning to back up.

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Userlevel 7
Yes, why not. However I don't see creating a custom backup rule so harsh 😃
Userlevel 6
However, PDF files is a big item, like music, or pictures.
 
Most users probably don't realize they are not backing up PDF files when they do a backup, unless they do a thorough check of exactly what's been backed up (that's how I stumbled across the omission).  Most users incorrectly assume that PDF files are included when you do a backup.
 
I agree that some items don't need special attention, and in those cases the custom backup feature is OK, but I think PDF files is important enough to be given a line item.
Userlevel 7
Being that this is a suggestion for a feature improvement, I would suggest placing the idea into the Ideas Exchange so it can be tracked and remain visible.  Backing up PDF files by default seems sensible to me as well, but, as with any feature request, it's helpful to get a sense of how popular the idea is among our userbase.
 
In the short term, anyone looking to backup a PDF file should create a filter.  Here is how:
 
To make a filter, open Webroot, and go to Backup & Sync.  Click "change settings" on the Backup area of the screen. 
 


 
Click "Add Filter." 


 
Choose the directory you want your pdf files to be backed up from on the Directory line.  On the Filter Name line, name it whatever you like (I use "PDF Files" in this example).  The most important part is that on the "File type expressions" line, you'll want to put *.pdf  Then click "Save."



 
The same procedure can be used for adding any file type as a filter for backing up that kind of file.  Just replace *.pdf with whatever extention you're planning to back up.
Userlevel 6
JimM, please switch this to the Ideas Exchange forum.  If you can't make the switch, let me know and I'll re-post it there.
Userlevel 7
Will do!
Userlevel 7
We'll keep an eye on this idea to track its popularity.
Userlevel 7
Product Management agrees that there would be value in doing this, as well as considering backing up certain other file types by default. We'll continue to keep an eye on this idea to track its popularity.
Userlevel 6
JimM, because I learned, the hard way, that WSA was not backing up my PDF files automatically and that a custom entry was required, I decided to extend the inquiry.  Thus, I created separate custom entries for.jpg,.png, TIFF,.gif, DOC, and DOCX files, in addition to PDF.
 
To my surprise, after I made the custom entries for all of those file types,  I did another backup, and this revealed that  additional files were backed up.  Now, I haven't gone item by item to see which other files, aside from PDF files, are excluded from the automatic backup, but it appears that additionally excluded files are one or more of those listed.
 
Perhaps Product Management should extend its investigation.  I think this is a significant flaw in the backup system, because it is my feeling that most of your users are unaware of the problem and naturally assume that all of these files are being backed up automatically.
 
Also, I'm not sure what kind of exposure this Idea is receiving in the Ideas Exchange Forum.  There hasn't been much response to this topic, despite its importance, perhaps because of its obscure placement in the Ideas Exchange Forum. 
Userlevel 7
RWM, I'm not sure how you can reasonably assume other files were backed up when you don't know what they are, but this new concern sounds like something better suited for a support case and an investigation, during which it can be ascertained whether or not the hypothesis is verifiable.
 
As you can see when you visit the Ideas Exchange, there are three tabs - 1. Hot, 2. Top, and 3. New, which correspond to threads that are 1. recently active/popular proportionate to other ideas,  2. most kudoed overall, and 3. newest.  The placement of the idea in any of those tabs is automatically ordered based on those criteria.  It's also searchable and indexed by category and status.  It has the same potential for exposure as every other idea in the Ideas Exchange.
 
The idea was reviewed by Product Management at a weekly meeting, as are all ideas.  As we noted in the status change, they agree it's a good point you're making.
Userlevel 6
JimM, I don't think it's not an assumption on my part.  I did a fresh backup and noted the total gb consumed.  I then immediately made custom entries for.jpg,.png, TIFF,.gif, DOC and DOCX files.  I then immediately did another backup.  The total gb consumed went up significanty!  How do you explain that?
Userlevel 7
That sounds like the files you requested to be backed up were successfully backed up.  If you have any files that match those file types, they would have been backed up and necessarily would have consumed some space in your account.
Userlevel 6
Sorry, JimM, I don't understand what you're saying.
 
If I specifically request that certain files (other than PDF files) be backed up (i.e., through customizing) that were not previously backed up automatically, then a problem exists with files other than PDF files, although without doing a detailed analysis, I can't be sure which files, other than PDF files, are involved.
 
I think this exercise stands for the proposition that WSA's backup is not reliable without tweaking (meaning customizing), and it's hard to customize when you're not sure which files have been automatically backed up and which have not.
 
A simple Q&A posed to the company should be able to resolve the issue:  Are.jpg,.png, TIFF,.gif, DOC and DOCX files automatically backed up or do they require customization?
Userlevel 6
Upon further review, Webroot lists certain the following files it invites you to check off in order to back them up:  doc, docx, xls, xlsx,.jpg,.jpg,.png, mpeg, avi and mp4 files. I am assuming, if you check off those files, they will in fact be backed up.  However, not listed are pdf, tiff,.gif, and possibly other files.  So, unless you know about those unlisted files and manually add them to the list via the customization feature, those files will not be backed up.

While a sophisticated computer operator might pick up on those files that are not listed and make certain to add them through cusomization in order to obtain a comprehensive backup, the average computer operator would likely have no clue that certain files are not being backed up.  While I've only identified three files that are not listed (pdf, tiff and.gif), there might be others I'm unaware of.
 
I think, the sooner this issue is remedied, the better.
Userlevel 7
@ RWM
I see a valid point in your today's comment.
 
@ Jim
I would also recommend to include MS PowerPoint files (*.ppt, *pptx) in the preset backup because PowerPoint is always a part of MS Office package regardless on its version (Basic, Home, Small Business, Education etc.). There isn't a logic in having Word and Excel files included and PowerPoint excluded.
Userlevel 7
Given the point made by pegas, that .ppt .pptx files are not currently included, I will toss a Kudo into the ring for this as well.
Userlevel 7
This idea has my kudo. :D
I didn't realize so many files were not shown on default setting. (enabled or disabled)
Userlevel 6
Thanks, guys.  Interesting observation, Pegas.  I didn't realize there were so many unlisted files.  Which brings up another point...why not make the backup all-inclusive (meaning all the presently listed files as well as the presently unlisted files) and do away with the checklist?
Userlevel 6
So, how come you can't edit a reply in this forum?  When I open the "options" window, "edit" is not listed like it is in the discussion forum.  😞
Userlevel 7
This forum is a bit different.. You can't kudo an individual reply either, only the thread itself.
Userlevel 6
I can appreciate not kudoing an individual reply...but editing a reply?  Why not?
 
Sorry about the digression.  I just wish I could have made some grammatical corrections.  Makes for easier reading.
Userlevel 7
I don't know why the different rules for the Ideas forum, I just learn to deal with them 🙂
Userlevel 7
Those are good points about how some users might think something is being backed up when it isn't.  We tried to include helpful messaging that explains how to create rules for Backups, but I'd agree that it would be even more helpful if there was an initially selectable option to back up the full contents of a folder, without regard to filters.  That might merit a new idea since the original one is about PDF files in particular.
 
To answer the editing question, if an idea was to change after it has already been kudoed, those kudos might no longer reflect support for the same idea anymore.  For example, this comments thread has taken some of us to the conclusion that perhaps it would be best if everything was backed up by default (or at least have an option for such).  However, if the original idea was edited to reflect this, some of the people who kudoed the idea specifically for PDF files might no longer want their kudos counted.  It makes more sense to make different ideas.  Unfortunately there is no way to turn off editing for the idea itself and not the comments if they are from the same user.
Userlevel 6
JimM, re: "I'd agree that it would be even more helpful if there was an initially selectable option to back up the full contents of a folder, without regard to filters.  That might merit a new idea since the original one is about PDF files in particular."
 
Are you suggesting a new thread in the Ideas Exchange forum.  If so, I'd be glad to initiate it.
Userlevel 7
Yes please RWM, I think the suggestion is valuable and different enough that it needs its own idea in order to keep track of the kudos better.  Thank you for all of the helpful suggestions lately.
Userlevel 6
Just to be clear, Jim, you are suggesting that we do away entirely with the filters option and we use just one option to back up, and that option would back up everything.  Of course, Webroot would have to make certain that every conceivable item (such as PDF, etc.) is included.  Those items should be listed if this function were to be implemented.  Let me know if I'm on the right path.

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