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Getting noticed with ‘Three S Timing’ for content marketing campaigns

In my previous article covering the core tenets of the Watertight Marketing Framework, I looked at earning the right to a person’s time. This can be achieved by developing a range of time-chunked materials will help you to steadily increase the amount of a person’s time they are willing to give you. Today, I’m moving on to deciding exactly when you put that material out there. That is, what month of the year, what day of the week, and what time of the day?

Once you have your range of materials mapped to a buying decision in place, you’ll need to prepare a content marketing timing plan for its release. You can do this simply and powerfully with Three S Timing:




Selectivity – showing up when they’re in a buying mood

You’ll often find that a customer reports that winning their business was a result of ‘lucky timing’. That is, you happened to show up when they were looking for what you sell. Luck has very little to do with this. What’s actually going on here is selectivity. And, it’s where marketing frequency is absolutely essential.

Have you ever noticed how when you learn a new word, it seems to crop up on the news, in the book you’re reading, or in conversation with a friend? It was always there, you just didn’t notice it. The same is true when you’re on the look out for a new car, you’ll suddenly see the model you have in mind passing you at every turn or parked next to you at the supermarket. This is a trick of the mind.

To enjoy the fruits of ‘lucky timing’, your company needs to crop up when a person happens to be thinking about what you’re buying. Which, effectively, means being there all the time. To do this, you need to commit to a number of regular marketing activities rather than one-offs, or big bang campaigns. The frequency of these will depend on buying cycles in your industry.

What you’re aiming for is to act a little like a lighthouse, with a beacon flashing regularly enough to be seen at the right moment. From a content planning perspective, this is about choosing the intervals at which you’ll release each of your selected content types.

CASE STUDY: Comet Global Consulting

TIP: Commit to a releasing a set number of key marketing activities at regular intervals. For example, 6 daily Tweets, a weekly blog post, a monthly newsletter and quarterly paper with webinar.

Scheduling – showing up when you know they’re looking

With a commitment to a steady stream of ongoing activities, you can further increase your chances of showing up at the right time by understanding and matching your buyers’ work patterns and scheduling your communications to match.

Mapping a typical day, week and year for your buyers will help you to work out when to get in touch. For example, Mondays and Fridays probably aren’t best for your direct mail to arrive with a business person. And, calling a consumer at home during working hours is pretty futile.

The time of day you interact with your audience has radically altered with social media. You will definitely find people chatting business, and all manner of other things, outside normal working hours. Having social cover in these times can be really powerful. You’ll never get chatting to #womeninbiz at #wineoclock if you’re not online at this time.

TIP: Use scheduling tools to maintain a presence outside normal office hours. If you need to respond in these times, think about using a call-handling service and creating a social cover rota for the key social platforms.

Seasonality – tapping into moments of heightened need

There’s also seasonality to consider. Even if you’re not an ice-cream vendor, there will be seasonality in your market. Financial year-ends, school holidays, industry events, funding cycles and the like, can all lead to seasonal changes in demand or moments of heightened awareness.

Map things that happen over the course of a year that you could talk about or help with. There will be events that happen every year, like Valentine’s day or getting your tax return in on time. Then, there will be one-offs in that year specifically, like a big sporting event in say London or Glasgow. The former should be worked into your ongoing marketing plan, the latter should form part of your specific 12-month plan.

There may also be dated triggers that relate to an individual or specific company, like their Birthday, or renewal dates, that would allow you to time your communications perfectly.

Case study: Desynit

TIP: If you collect key data, like year-end or birthdays, when people sign-up for your email newsletter, you can set-up automated emails to go them at these times.

It would be such a shame for your brilliant content to miss its moment to shine, by simply not showing up when people are looking. Using this simple model to create a marketing timing plan for the release of your content will definitely increase your chances of getting noticed.

Image credit / Copyright: stillfx / 123RF Stock Photo

Thanks to Bryony Thomas for sharing her thoughts and opinions in this blog post. She is the best-selling Author and Founder of Watertight Marketing, and a no-nonsense marketer and business speaker, specialising in helping ambitious small businesses set things up. Her blog post is adapted from her 5-star book, Watertight Marketing, described as an entrepreneur’s step-by-step guide to putting a marketing operation in place that delivers long-term sales results. You can download a free sample chapter, get all of Part One, or connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

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9 Ways To Show Up In The Instagram Feed

If I could scroll on Instagram as a full-time job, I would. It’s so easy to find anything and everything that interests me all in one place. I’m betting your small business’s customers feel the same.

However, in order to capture those potential audience members, you have to first show up! But how do you show up on Instagram? How does the Instagram feed work?

Instagram itself recently lent a hand with this by releasing insights and tips on how your business page can show up on all corners of the app. We’ll cover everything you need to know, like:

What is the Instagram feed—and where can your business show up?

How does the Instagram feed work?

How to get your Instagram posts to the top of the feed (and anywhere else customers might find you).

Without further ado, let’s jump in!

Image source

What is the Instagram feed?

The Instagram feed is the app’s home base where users go to see content from pages they follow. People can continuously scroll to see content from their friends, family, and organizations. This is often a  business’s go-to spot for starting fostering a social media presence.

How does the Instagram feed work?

Instagram recently released more information on how their feed works. Contrary to popular belief, there is no one-size-fits all algorithm that determines how posts are served to users. In fact, Instagram quotes in this recent release that it’s quite the opposite:

“We use a variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes, each with its own purpose. We want to make the most of your time, and we believe that using technology to personalize your experience is the best way to do that.”

What this means is that each user’s feed ranks items differently depending on that person’s interactions, activity, and interests with the pages they follow. This varies by each section of the app as well, since Instagram goes on to say:

“Each part of the app–Feed, Explore, Reels–uses its own algorithm tailored to how people use it. People tend to look for their closest friends in Stories, but they want to discover something entirely new in Explore. We rank things differently in different parts of the app, based on how people use them.”

An example of the Instagram feed.

How Instagram ranks posts and pages across the app

Based on Instagram’s explanation, we found there are essentially four factors that carry different weights depending on which section of the app you’re in. Here’s a breakdown:

Instagram feed and story ranking factors (in order)

Surprisingly, your customers’ previous activity with you doesn’t matter as much as your own content does when it comes to showing up in the Instagram feed. See below:

1. Information about the post: This includes signals like your post’s number of likes, the post date, what locations (if any) are tagged, and any other basic information.

Related: Learn how to add a location on Instagram.

3. Viewer’s activity: Thirdly, Instagram looks at what your viewer might be interested in based on the types of posts they’ve liked in the past.

Instagram explore page ranking factors (in order)

When it comes time to show to a wider audience, the explore page is where you’ll want to appear. This is where people go to find new content from those they don’t necessarily already follow.

You’ll find that your page’s past history isn’t quite as important. Meanwhile, your post’s basic information still reigns supreme. You’ll also notice the signal definitions are slightly different here:

3. Viewer’s activity: Not only does this look at your viewer’s past activity, but also how they’ve interacted on the explore page in the past.

Image source

Instagram reels ranking factors (in order)

3. Information about the reel: These are signals about the content within your video such as audio, technical specs like pixels and whole frames, as well as popularity.

Tips to get your business to the top of the Instagram feed

Let’s put those signals into practice and see how you can apply these new Instagram ranking insights to your business’s social media marketing strategy.

Be consistent in your activity

As we can see from above, both your page’s activity and your viewer’s activity matters in some capacity across Instagram. When you post regularly, you heighten your chances of showing up on Instagram from driving more engagement. Additionally, you also become more credible by having recent, consistent activity.

Your best bet is to create a social media schedule and stick to it. Try carving out specific times to post. If this seems too time-consuming on top of running a business, use an online social media tool like Sendible or Hootsuite to “set and forget” your posts.

Interact with your followers Connect with people through “close friends”

If you want to take your connection with your audience a step further, “close friends” is a great option. Close friends lists are lists any Instagram user can create to only share stories to those people. In Instagram’s article, they mention this as an option to help users focus in on what they want to see.

If you incorporate “close friends” into your Instagram stories strategy, you’ll give your audience a sense of “exclusivity.” It has even been found that social accounts, Instagram included, can see up to a  10% growth rate once they go for private or exclusive strategies like “close friends.”

Image source

Be sure each post provides value

Instagram is still going to look at the quality of your individual posts. Be sure there’s accurate, appropriate, and relevant information within each of your posts.

If you feel like this is a struggle, think of it as you would with general marketing goals. Try assigning a “goal” or “point” behind each post. Think about what your audience might want to learn more about. Sidenote: it also never hurts to give your post an extra proof-read for copy accuracy and adequacy.

  Tips to show on the Instagram explore page

Stories and posts are ranked in a similar fashion since they both are part of the main feed. However, the explore page is a whole other section of the app that can be just as rewarding for your business. Here are few more tips on how to show up there, too:

Follow social trends

Instagram looks at the quality of your posts, videos, or reels when judging their eligibility for the explore page. One tactic to be a top pick is to follow trends. Recycle popular audio clips, run contests, or post on hot industry topics that will help boost engagement and attract new viewers.

Remember, you want to use your presence on the explore page to build up new audiences. Since they’re not familiar with you (yet), use post content that they already know and will take to.

Post engaging, media-rich content

It’s no secret that Instagram has expanded its capabilities well beyond standard photo posts at this point. To keep up with that trend, try incorporating videos or reels into your Instagram strategy on top of your set photo posts.

50% of consumers prefer videos to go along with content they engage with. After all, a high engagement rate makes all the difference when it comes to ranking on the explore page! To assist in video creation, you can go the free route simply by using your phone. Or, try an online tool, like Wochit.

Tips to show up in Instagram search results

In addition to their release of ranking factors, Instagram added another article to their behind-the-scenes series to provide more clarification on showing up in the search portion of the app.

Showing up on Instagram search is mostly dependent on the searcher’s activity and query, but here are a few things you can do to help your business pop up:

Use keywords on your profile

Since Instagram bases search results off of what the user is looking for, you can treat Instagram search similar to SEO.

You’ll want to include keywords in your bio, hashtags, and post captions so that Instagram has all the information it needs to know you’re a match to your ideal searcher.

Include hashtags in your posts

Speaking of hashtags, they’re are the best way to capture more views on Instagram search because there’s a whole separate “search by hashtag” section! This is key to finding new followers and audience members because people search for hashtags when they want to see fresh content or are unsure which type of account to look for.

Increase your chances of showing up in the hashtag portion of search but using popular hashtags and keeping your use of them consistent. Plus, people can even follow their hashtag searches to see more of your content.

Evaluate your profile information

Another way to make your profile quick to find on search is make sure your handle is something that will easily grab searches. If you use an obscure name, people won’t know how to look you up. You’ll also want to make sure your bio is clear in what your business is about, so that Instagram’s algorithm can further understand how you’re the right fit for the search.

How showing up on the Instagram feed can help your business

Understanding how the Instagram feed works is the first step towards turning the platform into a social media win for your business.

When you appear in the Instagram feed, explore page, or search results, you’re reaching your followers and your potential followers—all for free! This allows you to cast a huge net and broaden your audience at no cost. With about 1 billion active users on Instagram today, there’s tons of Instagram growth potential you can tap into once your business starts showing up more!

Susie Marino

Susie is a senior content marketing specialist at LocaliQ where she uses her experience as a PPC consultant to share tips, tactics, and best practices. Outside of work, Susie loves to get outside for some snowboarding or (once the cold weather melts away) hiking!

Other posts by Susie Marino

When People Ask About The 2023 Motorola Razr, Here’S What I Say

When people ask about the 2023 Motorola Razr, here’s what I say

If the number of people asking me about the new Motorola Razr is anything to go by, rebooting the classic flip phone may have been the best thing Motorola has done in years. Announced last week, the new Razr pairs a clamshell design with a flexible display; it may not be the first foldable to be announced, but it’s shaping up to be the most intriguing one.

Clearly, I should preface things by saying this is all anecdotal evidence. I’m not sure even Motorola and Verizon quite understand how much interest there’ll be in the new Razr, and what percentage of that will translate to actual sales.

The new Razr won’t reach the market for months after Samsung’s Galaxy Fold went on sale. I think, though, that it’ll be the first foldable to address that screen-size-versus-portability issue in a meaningful way for consumers. That comes down to Motorola’s focus.

Samsung’s large phone unfolds into a mini-tablet. That’s the same strategy as we saw Huawei take with the Mate X. It certainly makes for something eye-catching, but I’m unconvinced that it addresses a real need among a meaningful number of users.

Tablets are great, but I seldom feel the need for one when I’m out. A large phone has all but obviated my use-case for one, in fact: yes, I’m down a few screen inches if I reach for an iPhone 11 Pro rather than an iPad mini, but the fact that the iPhone will fit into my jeans pocket means it’s far more likely to be with me at any given time. The idea of that same sort of smartphone real-estate in half the footprint is even more appealing.

That concept seems to have been more readily understood by people asking me about the new Razr. Where the phone-to-tablet form factor has appeal from a geeky, bleeding-edge-technology perspective, it’s the more human scale of the Motorola that has people asking me whether they should be considering it.

The answer to that, of course, is no.

My suspicion is that, while the new Razr is clearly striking a chord among some smartphone users, sales will still be minimal. The $1,500 price tag will play a big part in that, of course, but so will Verizon’s lifetime exclusivity on the phone. That Motorola has made it eSIM-only will also leave unlocked sales hamstrung; you won’t be able to pick up a Razr and just drop your own SIM card inside, as it doesn’t have a slot.

Really, I wouldn’t recommend anybody but the most ambitious of early-adopters buy a first-generation folding phone. The technology is intriguing, certainly, but it’s still very much early days for its implementation. I’d be wary of how well these plastic OLED panels hold up to extended use, as well as how things like battery life shape the longer-term experience of having a new Razr in your pocket.

That’s not to say I’m not bullish on the idea of folding smartphones more generally. We’ve reached pretty much the largest candy bar devices that are practical: any bigger and they’re just too unwieldy. Some – predominantly those with smaller hands, but I’m also very aware that a lot of women get frustrated by not having pockets in their clothes that are scaled to suit the latest-generation of big phones – have already been voicing frustrations that the trend has tipped too far, and that modern handsets are just too big.

Like the message that people don’t care about a little extra thickness in their phone if it means accommodating a bigger battery – and indeed that, as the reception to this year’s new iPhones shows, they’ll welcome it – it may take a little time for the industry to recognize these evolving demands. There’ll be technical hurdles to overcome, but I do believe that foldable screens represent one strong contender for how the phone market will evolve.

“Yes, it’s great; no, you shouldn’t buy one” has been my tl;dr response to people asking me about the new Razr. As a fan of the original phone, and indeed the StarTAC before it, it’s been fun reminiscing again about what made those old flip-phones so appealing, not least their deeply tactile way of hanging up on calls. What I’m really looking forward to, though, is a time when I can actually recommend people put a foldable phone on their shortlist. That really can’t come soon enough.

Horrific Blobs Of ‘Plastitar’ Are Gunking Up Atlantic Beaches

When more than one type of pollution gets wrapped up in the same space, the result can be pretty darn yucky—not to mention dangerous. And the gobs scientists discovered recently on the beaches of the typically picturesque Canary Islands certainly fits the bill.

Plastitar—or a combination of microplastics and tar balls—is a pollution conglomerate discovered two years ago by researchers based across the Canary Islands. In recently published research, they described how they found the icky substance on half of the rocks investigated on Tenerife’s Playa Grande as well as areas of El Hierro and Lanzarote in the Atlantic island chain. 

The formations, which look like big squishy black balls littered with colorful plastic sprinkles, result when oil spills washing up on shore. The oil from a spill eventually becomes a tar ball which sticks to the rocky Canary Island shores. That goo captures plastic and debris from waves of ocean almost like “Play-Doh,” lead author Javier Hernández Borges told the Guardian. After time passes, those itty pieces of plastic are permanently wedged in the hardened tar’s crevices. 

Plastitar in Playa Grande beach. C. Domínguez-Hernández et al.

Plastitar is only one recently discovered way that marine plastic debris has accrued  into more permanent formations. Plastiglomerates, for example, are types of stone that are made of natural debris and material held together by molten plastic. They were first discovered in Long Beach, California, in 2006. More than 200 samples have since been collected, frequently from Hawaii. Pyroplastics, on the other hand, are made when synthetic  plastics are burned—and they easily escape detection because they so closely resemble pebbles or rock fragments. Plasticrusts are the eerie effect of melted plastic that covers rocky surfaces, more or less becoming a geological marker of our  plastic-loving period. Finally, anthropoquinas are sedimentary rocks that have become cemented with human trash like bottle caps, earrings, and plastic fragments.

[Related: Microplastics are everywhere. Here’s what that means for our health.]

The effect of plastic on human health is still a bit of a mystery—but we now know that microplastics are pretty much everywhere. They can be found in the air, drinking water, food, and even human blood. Some potential risks of microplastic exposure are metabolic disturbances, neurotoxicity, and increased cancer risk. The pollution can delay how aquatic life grows and cause it to act abnormally. 

It’s much clearer that oil spills and tar can severely hurt wildlife, by physically harming animals or leaving chemicals and pollution on habitats and breeding grounds for years. This makes plastitar a scary combo. 

The combination of tar and plastic materials is a “a double threat to the marine ecosystem with unknown environmental consequences,” the study authors write. Because marine organisms eat plastics , plastitar might cause “intestinal blockage, internal injuries, oxidative stress and damage, inflammatory responses, among other important issues.”they warn. .

Not to mention how hot these balls of tar can get. Standing on asphalt on a summer day can immediately make your temperature soar, and having a similar dark material line the coasts could have disastrous consequences, Hernández Borges notes in an interview with Wired.

Meanwhile, the world is producing twice as much plastic as it was two decades ago and four times as much as 30 years ago. Only 9 percent of plastic waste properly gets recycled. Around 3 million tons of microplastics are released each year into the environment, along with over 5 million tons of larger chunks of plastic that may eventually break down into microplastics. We even know now that there is a global plastic cycle that mimics natural cycles like carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus.

9 Ways To Speed Up Chrome When It’s Running Slow Or Freezing




If Chrome is slow and underperforming, some elements such as the extensions or browsing data might get in the way.

Also, users saw

Chrome lagging even this year because of too many open tabs.

For that, you have plenty of useful plugins, but we recommend only an efficient one.

Try Opera One, a browser with various functionalities already built-in!

A flawless browser like Opera has most functions already under the hood.

Here’s what’s included by default:

Easy and intuitive workspace management

Ad-blocker mode integrated to load pages faster

WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger

Customizable Ul and AI-friendly

⇒ Get Opera One

Is Chrome running slow on your computer? Do you want to speed up this browser? Go through this article to find the most helpful information.

Google Chrome is the browser of choice for many because of its features and compatibility. It is one of the fastest and safest browsers out there for various purposes like casual browsing, news reading, or anything.

However, Chrome is also fairly system resource heavy, which can slow browsing down considerably on more outmoded desktops and laptops.

If you notice that Chrome browser is running slow on Windows 10/11 PC, it can be a very frustrating matter for you. It is because you may be using this browser for professional reasons.

Why is Google Chrome so slow all of a sudden?

While surfing the web or doing anything on Chrome, you may suddenly find that it has become very slow and useless. It happens due to the following reasons:

A Chrome tab has crashed

You are visiting a very unoptimized JavaScript-heavy website

There is been any change in the extensions

Your computer has suddenly launched a service in the background

Chrome is not up to date

You may find some other reasons too. But, these are the most commonly seen things that hurt Chrome user experience more.

Does my Chrome need an update?

Chrome or any web browser should always be up to date. Even though the modern applications update themselves automatically, sometimes, you may need to give manual effort as well. You may find it very slow when there is a pending update and Chrome needs to restart.

If you continue using an outdated version of Chrome, it may run slow and freeze frequently. You will often see that the browser is lagging while surfing usually.

However, if Chrome is off the pace, trying out the methods mentioned below will surely help.

Quick Tip:

If you’re tired of Chrome’s lackluster performance, consider switching to Opera One, and enjoy a speedy, lightweight, and secure browsing experience that will make it worth your time.Whether you notice Chrome is running slow on PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iPhone, or even iPad, you can consider using the Opera One browser.

Opera One makes your browsing experience more secure with it’s built-in VPN, Ad blocker and AI. The browser brings features that help you stay organized like workspaces, tab islands and more.

Opera One

Team up with Opera, the fastest browsing solution that moves at your pace!

Free Download Visit website

How do I make Google Chrome faster again? 1. Cut back Chrome extensions

Disabling unnecessary extensions will fix Chrome running slow issue not only on Windows but also on Mac and Linux.

2. Clear your browser’s data

You can also perform this task automatically by using specialized optimization and clean-up software.

The PC optimization tools free up space, clear your online tracks, including your browsing history and cache, and speed up your system.

Thus, in case you need to clear up your browser data instantly and even increase your internet speed at its peak, invest your time in the best memory cleaner software on the market.

As one of the best programs for this purpose, we gladly suggest CCleaner, which does complete routine maintenance.

CCleaner can remove any unwanted files left by applications, as well as surfing history, cookies, recycle bin, memory dumps, file fragments, log files, system caches, and application data.

With the ultimate cleaning program for Chrome, you can become the master of your browser and make it perform smoothly and swiftly.

If Chrome is running slow on your Windows 10 or 11 PC like a surface laptop or a desktop computer, this cleaner tool can save your day by doing a lot of things automatically.

⇒ Get CCleaner

3. Turn on Chrome’s Prefetch option

Using the Chrome address bar, go to the following location: chrome://settings/cookies

Toggle on the option Preload pages for faster browsing and searching.

Relaunch Chrome.

4. Switch to another browser

The majority of us use Chrome. It’s the leading browser in the market provided by the largest tech company in the world.

But, considering the alternatives, you have more than a few reasons to cop out and go for something lighter and more privacy-oriented than Google’s flagship browser.

Our recommendation is Opera which, all things considered, ticks all the boxes.

Expert tip:

And that’s merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to accelerating your browsing.

Opera’s fully customizable UI allows you to work with shortcuts, joggle with multiple tabs, and easily find your way through them thanks to the tab previews or tab menu, and of course, access your favorite sites quicker than ever through the Speed Dial feature.

Opera also has a free in-built VPN that keeps your identity private and allows you to access geo-restricted websites and services. Along with that, it supports the picture-in-picture/video pop-out feature that helps you to watch videos from a website on a different tab or application.

Other features of this browser include an integrated snapshot tool, a speed dial separate tab, and support for quick access to instant messaging apps and social media.

⇒ Get Opera

5. Remove images from websites

Go to the following location on Google Chrome: chrome://settings/content/images

Check Don’t allow sites to show images.

Relaunch Google Chrome.

Ads are another thing that can considerably slow down browsing. Ads are similar to images as they add lots of extra content to pages.

The uBlock Origin adblocker is one that you can add to Google Chrome. The good thing about the uBlock extension is that it’s more system resource-efficient than other alternatives.

The extension also blocks pop-ups and other media elements on website pages.

7. Enable hardware acceleration

Go to the following location: chrome://settings/system

Toggle on Use hardware acceleration when available.

Restart Chrome

8. Enable Closed tab cache

Using the address bar, go to the following location: chrome://flags/#closed-tab-cache

Now, enable the Closed Tab Cache.

Relaunch the browser.

Enabling this feature will help, particularly if Chrome becomes very slow after opening a closed tab.

9. Don’t open too many tabs

Tab overload can also slow down the Chrome browser. This will usually happen if you open more than 10 pages at a time.

Each of those tabs needs some resources, and Chrome’s Task Manager highlights that open page tabs can hog more RAM than extensions. Thus, Chrome runs faster with fewer tabs open.

There are numerous tab management extensions that minimize the number of tabs open in Google Chrome.

OneTab is an extension that enables you to preserve RAM by moving pages to an inactive tab list from which you can reopen them when required.

Each of those tips should speed up your Chrome browser a little more. Now you can browse through website pages somewhat more quickly than before.

What is the Chrome Cleanup Tool?

The Chrome Cleanup Tool is an excellent program from Google that helps to identify the harmful programs that cause various problems to Google Chrome. This program also can remove these programs automatically.

In general, this tool finds potentially unwanted programs (PUP), adware, malware, and many other harmful programs on your PC.

How to use Chrome Cleanup Tool?

Go to the following address on your Chrome: chrome://settings/cleanup

It will automatically start scanning for harmful software and clean them.

Google recommends you to use this tool when you face unwanted problems on Chrome.

This article has featured the best methods to fix the Chrome running slow problem. To further boost Chrome, check out some of these extensions.

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How To Back Up Your Data When Your Windows Pc Won’t Boot

Learning to back up data without booting Windows is a valuable skill. For one thing, you never know when your Windows computer is going to crash. What’s worse? Your PC might be kaput when you need it the most. Ouch!

Avoid getting locked out of your precious data; learn this valuable skill – back up your data without booting Windows at all.

1. Prepare Your Tool

Before we can do the backup, we need a set of programs that will help you access your old files. One of these programs is an operating system that you can boot from the USB drive. Any lightweight and simple Linux distro will do the job here.

Get a flash drive with at least 4GB of memory space.

Next, you will need an external hard drive with enough space to store the backup of your files.

2. Create Your Bootable USB Drive

The Linux distro that we are using for this job is Puppy Linux. It is very light at under 250MB.

1. Download Puppy Linux ISO. Make sure to select 32-bit if you are unsure of your PC architecture.

2. Download Rufus USB tool and install it on a working Windows computer. (You can just run it if you have downloaded the portable version.)

3. Plug your USB drive to the working PC.

5. On the start page there are a couple of settings you need to do. First, select your flash storage in the first menu. Don’t tamper with the remaining parameters.

Wait until the Rufus tool shows “READY.” Now your bootable USB drive is ready.

3. Run The Bootable Media on Your Affected PC

1. Eject your bootable USB drive from the working computer, and plug it into your computer with the faulty OS.

2. Turn on the computer and press the relevant shortcut key to enter the BIOS settings. (Different computers uses different buttons to enter the BIOS settings. It can be Esc or F10 or Del or F12; pick one that works for you.)

3. In the BIOS settings change the boot-up option to boot from the USB drive. (You might need to change the “Boot option” to “Legacy mode,” too, if it was using “UEFI.”) Save and exit.

4. The computer will now boot from the Puppy Linux USB drive. If successful, you should arrive at Puppy Linux’s desktop.

4. Back Up Your Data without Booting Windows

1. Examine the Home screen of Puppy Linux. At the bottom-left corner of the screen you will find some icons. These icons are the available storage and partitions on your hard drive. Your USB storage should also show up here.

4. Select your Windows username and open it. At this point all your previous files should be staring at you.

Now you have all your files back.

Final Words: Backup Data without Booting Windows

You shouldn’t have to lose all your files or send your computer in for repair when your Windows OS doesn’t cooperate. Take charge of your computer, and get your files back from your computer. Note that you may not be able to recover installed apps, but your documents are sure to be intact.

Image credit: OWC external hard drive

Nicholas Godwin

Nicholas Godwin is a technology researcher who helps businesses tell profitable brand stories that their audiences love. He’s worked on projects for Fortune 500 companies, global tech corporations and top consulting firms, from Bloomberg Beta, Accenture, PwC, and Deloitte to HP, Shell, and AT&T. You may follow his work on Twitter or simply say hello. His website is Tech Write Researcher.

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