What is the difference between data backup and archiving?

Tags storage

Files and data can be permanently lost after a computer failure or even if it is accidentally deleted. So, it is important to ensure that copies exist. Two common terms used for ensuring copies of data exist are backup and archive.


  • A backup is a copy kept to restore a drive, file, or data to its most recent known-good state in the event of loss.
  • Charlotte systems have different approaches to backing up files and stored data. Specialized services each have unique backup processes.
  • Data stored on local drives on laptops and PCs are not backed up, and it is your responsibility to ensure critical data kept on your device is protected.
    • Consider using University-supported cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox to back up your files.
    • Be aware that in cloud storage (Google Drive, Dropbox), if you delete a file, it stays in the trash folder for 30 days; if someone deletes files from within the trash folder, the file is purged and no longer available for retrieval.


  • Archiving refers to the process of preserving information in a consistent state for a specified period of time.  
  • It can be used for many reasons including to satisfy regulatory or contractual obligations.  
  • Currently, Charlotte does not have a general-purpose archival solution.
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Article ID: 2455
Tue 1/2/24 9:15 AM
Tue 1/2/24 9:16 AM