SpiderOak One and Groups are designed to back up your personal files, such as documents, music, photos, and videos. It is not designed to back up application data or operating system data. Application and system data is constantly changing, so the backup product gets stuck in a never-ending loop of trying to back it up before it changes yet again. The results are that your computer's resources (processor, memory, battery, hard disk access) are tied up on a hopeless and unending task, and your personal files never get backed up.
Some people, intending to perform a system backup, select their entire hard disk for backup. That is a mistake, as it includes much application and system data. Our backup products will not work properly that way.
If SpiderOak One or Groups is running constantly and uses up your computer's resources yet the files that are important to you never get backed up, this is likely to be the problem. Open the Backup tab and confirm that the only folders selected to be backed up contain only your personal files.
Some good choices to back up are the folders Documents, Movies, Music, Pictures, and Desktop. The names of these folders might vary on your computer.
Some bad choices to back up are:
- The entire C: hard drive
- C:\Windows or C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData
- Anything on C: outside of C:\Users\YourUserName
- Anything in OneDrive or with OneDrive in the full path
- The entire hard drive where your Mac is installed
- /Applications, /Library, or /System
- Anything on your main hard drive outside of /Users/YourUserName
- Anything backed up to iCloud
- The entire filesystem or "/"
- The entire user directory /home/YourUserName, as that includes hidden things that shouldn't be backed up such as ~/.cache, ~/.config, and application data like ~/.thunderbird
- Anything on your main hard drive outside of /home/YourUserName
On any operating system:
- Anything that changes by itself or that is automatically created or modified by the computer or an application.
- Anything in software development environments such as Git or Eclipse.
- Anything you aren't sure what it is or what it's for.
- Anything being backed up or synchronized by another service, such as Dropbox, OneNote, Google Drive, or Evernote.
- Mail, which because of the way that it is stored is best backed up on the mail server using server-specific methods.
- Live databases, including applications that use a database as a "file" such as Outlook or Zotero. Seek the maker's specific instructions on how to safely back them up.
- Anything much larger than typical personal files, such as ISOs, virtual machine images, or encrypted volumes. See File Size for more information on this.
- Anything with "temp" or "tmp" in its name, or other temporary or cache spaces, which implies application data.
- Lock files. These are temporary files created by some applications such as Microsoft Office, LibreOffice, and KeePass.
- Symbolic links. These are ignored by SpiderOak One, so won't be followed or backed up.
If you have any feedback on this article please let our support team know. Thanks!