Tutorial - Computer Backup (Mac)

Follow these best practices to create a backup of your ECU-managed Mac computer. This may be in preparation for a new system, a hard drive re-image of the same system, a software update or insurance against a hard drive crash.

Your needs may vary, but the standard backup usually contains:

Browser favorites/bookmarks


Work files. You should save your backup to an ECU storage option, either ECU OneDrive or Piratedrive. Do not save work files to a personal device or other cloud service. It is also an option to save all work files to OneDrive as they are created or using the sync feature.

Personal files. Personal files should always be saved to a personal device such as a personal computer, personal cloud storage or personal external device.

CrashPlan is a backup software available for purchase by departments.

Step 1. Export browser favorites/bookmarks to Documents

First export your browser favorites/bookmarks to an html file (web file) saved to your Documents folder to ensure inclusion in your backup.


  1. In the Safari app, choose File, then Export Bookmarks. The file is named, Safari Bookmarks.html.
  2. Check that this file is saved in your OneDrive or Piratedrive backup.
  3. On the new Mac, import the Safari Bookmarks.html into the Safari browser.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Firefox and click the Library icon on the toolbar.
  2. Choose the Bookmarks option. The bookmark list opens. Click the Show all Bookmarks link at the bottom of the list. The Library dialog box opens.
  3. Click All Bookmarks in the folder list on the left. This ensures all your bookmarks export.
  4. Click the Import and Backup option drop-down menu.
  5. Choose the Export to HTML… option. Your computer’s file explorer dialog box opens.
  6. Make sure the Documents folder is highlighted. Type a recognizable file name for your backup. Like “Firefox bookmarks July 2020.”
  7. Click the Save button.
  8. Check the Documents folder for the file you just saved.

For more detailed information, see this Mozilla Support article, Export Firefox bookmarks to an HTML file to back up or transfer bookmarks.

Google Chrome

  1. Open Chrome and click the vertical ellipsis icon (three dots on top of one another) on the top right.
  2. Click Bookmarks, then choose Bookmark Manager.
  3. Click the vertical ellipsis icon on the Bookmarks toolbar. Choose the Export bookmarks option. Your computer’s file explorer dialog box opens.
  4. Make sure the Documents folder is highlighted. Type a recognizable file name for your backup, like “Chrome bookmarks July 2020.”
  5. Click the Save button.
  6. Check the Documents folder for the file you just saved.

For more detailed information, see this Google Chrome Help article, Import bookmarks & settings.

Step 2. Copy your data to OneDrive or Piratedrive

Now that your bookmarks are saved in your documents folder, it’s time to create your backup by saving a copy of your files to OneDrive or Piratedrive. Please note that your ECU OneDrive cloud storage is the RECOMMENDED option! Want to learn more about OneDrive? See this features overview and FAQ.

Microsoft OneDrive Cloud Storage - RECOMMENDED

All ECU users have a 5TB OneDrive cloud storage folder through their ECU Microsoft 365 subscription. Many users also have a personal OneDrive account. Be sure you are moving your work files to your ECU OneDrive. The folder is labeled, OneDrive – East Carolina University.

Method 1. Upload directly to your OneDrive cloud folder

  1. Log in to your Microsoft 365 account at pirate365.ecu.edu. Authentication through MFA is required.
  2. Click the
  3. To learn more about copying your files over, see these OneDrive training videos from Microsoft

Method 2. Drag and drop through the Teams desktop app

  1. Open the Teams desktop app.
  2. Click Files in the left nav menu. You now have access to recent files, Teams files and your OneDrive cloud folder.
  3. Click OneDrive. You can click the New drop-down menu to create a new folder for your backup files and folders.
  4. Open Finder.
  5. Drag and drop your Desktop, Documents, Pictures and any other folders to OneDrive. A notification lets you know when the upload is finished.
  6. IMPORTANT! Open a browser and log in to pirate365.ecu.edu to check that your upload is complete and correct.

Storage Option: Piratedrive

Every ECU user has a 125GB Piratedrive storage folder specifically for sensitive data. There are several ways to access your Piratedrive folder:

  • On campus and connected to eduroam or the wired network, click Finder:
    1. Click the Go menu (top left).
    2. Select Connect to Server.
    3. Enter smb://piratedrive/HOME/.
    4. Click Connect.
  • Off campus and connected to the ECU network through VPN, click Finder. Follow the steps above. Drag and drop files to Piratedrive.
  • Log in to PiratePort to access your Piratedrive folder. Use the Upload button to copy files to Piratedrive.

To learn more about Piratedrive options, see these our IT knowledge base articles.

Need help? Call Pirate Techs support at 252-328-9866 | 800-340-7081.

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Article ID: 67575
Thu 10/1/20 9:30 AM
Wed 11/15/23 10:24 AM
Service Owner
Desktop Technologies Support

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