In Information Technology, a backup or the process of backing up refers to making copies of data so that these additional copies may be used to restore the original after a data loss event. The verb form is back up in two words, whereas the noun is backup.


Backups have two distinct purposes. The primary purpose is to recover data as a reaction to data loss, be it by data deletion or corrupted data. Data loss is a very common experience of computer users. 67% of internet users have suffered serious data loss.The secondary purpose of backups is to recover data from a historical period of time within the constraints of a user-defined data retention policy, typically configured within a backup application for how long copies of data are required. Though backups popularly represent a simple form of disaster recovery, and should be part of a disaster recovery plan, by themselves, backups should not alone be considered disaster recovery.