Any reason to backup the 'library' or 'applications' folders?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by DramaLLama, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. DramaLLama macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #1
    Applications folder I pretty much think not since they can all be re-downloaded through the 'previous purchases' through the app store (except for maybe a few) but is there any reason to be backing up the 'library' folder?
     
  2. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    New Zealand
    #2
    Library contains email (if you're not using a "stay on server" protocol such as IMAP) and generally I do keep a backup of it just in case.
     
  3. Bear macrumors G3

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    Jul 23, 2002
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    Sol III - Terra
    #3
    If an application becomes unavailable on the app store, you won't be able to re-download it.

    You didn't say which Library folder, but there are preferences files there, depending on which one, data files as well. Also, any fonts you've installed, browser plugins, bookmarks, etc. So skipping the library folders can lose data if you need to do a restore.

    I use Time Machine and when I needed to restore my system after a drive failure all I had to do was start up the Time Machine restore and walk away. When it was done restoring my system was ready to go, no need to fiddle with downloading stuff. My point here is that without a full backup, having to restore your system will take a lot more time and require more user intervention to get it correct.
     
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    Nermal

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    #4
    Have you actually experienced this? The game "Neverwinter Nights 2" is no longer available but I can still redownload it from my Purchases list. Have you run into a situation where that's not the case?

    Inconsistency is fun! :)
     
  5. Bear macrumors G3

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    #5
    I was kind of presuming that the Mac App Store did the same thing as the iOS App Store.
     
  6. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #6
    You will find plenty of posts here from people who "accidentally" deleted Mail, or TextEdit, or similar. Easy to restore from a backup; not so easy to reinstall otherwise.

    The /Library folder contains lots of stuff.
    Application Support has lots of files that installers put there. Fonts are there. Services and other workflows are there. LaunchAgents are there. System Preferences are there.
    In short: yes, back it up.

    The size of the backup required is small compared to the benefit.
     
  7. DramaLLama thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 6, 2011
    #7
    OP here, I use CrashPlan for backup online as well as backing up to a external hard drive locally...

    In the 'library' folder is there anything that would be constantly updating that would be getting uploaded to CrashPlan backup online? Maybe "appdata" in the library folder? The size of it all doesn't matter to me but the constant file changes might get annoying.. Basically what should I OMIT if anything from the library folder.

    And what about the 'app' folder what's the verdict on that? I see through the app store everything is downloadable but would that even be possible to install again if I backed up the 'app' folder via CrashPlan?
     
  8. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #8
    It's happened to me. The iLife software has undergone upgrades such that it no longer runs under Snow Leopard. I wanted to redownload a purchased (under Snow Leopard) copy of iMovie and couldn't do so.

    Always back up applications purchased from the Mac App Store! This was a response I got on this question to Apple:

    In my case I luckily still had an old copy in a TimeMachine backup that I could copy to the Snow Leopard system.
     
  9. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    New Zealand
    #9
    Ooh, thanks for that; I'd forgotten about upgrades potentially breaking things or become incompatible. That's a very good point so I'll add the Applications folder to my backups (it helps that I've just upgraded my TM drive from 750 GB to 2 TB so I should have the space now!)
     

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