From my personal experience after owning 4 computers (13 computers in terms of making backups of) so far, I've learned some important lessons in somewhat of a hard way on how to make backing up your computer's files less stressful.
Who Is This Tutorial For?
If you are someone who just got a new computer not too long ago, or is going to get one soon, then this is the perfect post for you. In fact, if you already have a computer, and don't plan to get a new one, that's fine too. This can still apply to you as well.
Organize Your Computer's Files
This one task is one that will make a huge impact towards whether or not you will make backing up your computer's files less stressful or not, and that is file organization.
You Have A New Computer
If you have a new computer that's just a few weeks old or perhaps younger, start setting up a plan on how you decide to organize your files from here on out. You'll thank me a few years from now.
You Have A Older Computer
If you already have a computer, the best way to start organizing your computer's files is by getting rid of junk. After all, if you organize your files while the junk files are still there, you're just going to make more work for yourself.
Uninstall programs you rarely use, programs that are unimportant, and programs that you don't use at all (as long as they don't affect the stability and security of your system.)
Manage your files in your Downloads folder. This folder can quickly build up in size, so this is a great place to start when it comes to deleting files.
CCleaner is a free tool that allows you to clean junk files off your computer (which also includes your browser's cookies, cache, and tempfiles.) It also can clean up some unused registry files on your computer that used to associate with programs you once had installed on your computer. It also has a program uninstallation section in case you don't want to navigate your way to Windows' control panel for uninstalling programs natively.
You'll be surprised at how much space you're going to save from doing this.
Defragment Your Hard Drive
NOTE - If your computer uses a SSD (solid state drive) instead of a hard drive or a hybrid drive, SKIP this step!
Ok, for those of you who still use a regular hard drive in your computer like I do, it is best to defragment your hard drive before beginning the backup process. This will help speed up your computer a bit. Plus, it's good maintenance in terms of computer's performance.
Consider Using A Free Backup Software
Consider using a free backup software that will copy every single file on your hard drive to another location of your choice (preferably on a external hard drive).
If you don't care about the operating system or programs that you have installed, then you can simply copy and paste all the files you've organized onto a external storage device of your choice. If you organized your files properly, you shouldn't have too many folders or that hard of a time doing this. If you are having a tedious time, consider revising your file organization strategy once more.
There are software and services out there that you can use to automate the entire backup process. This can include copying the entire hard drive or just backing up specific files/folders to an external source. That way, you don't have to waste your time every month or so having to do this process.
Now that you've cleaned up your computer, organized your files properly, you now know how to easily backup your computer with the least amount of frustration possible. If you automate it with some software, great! Now you can do this hands off.