Noob question: how can I use Nextcloud to back up all my files on my computer?


Brand new to this. I have Nextcloud desktop client installed, an old laptop with LInux Mint on it. I’m connected to The Good Cloud as my provider. I just want to back up all the files on my computer to Nextcloud, can’t figure out how to do it.

As well, I would ideally like to have it set up so that it periodically updates that backup to the cloud, if possible. I know Idrive can do this, but I couldn’t figure out how to install that on Linux, and that’s why I installed Nextcloud. I hope you can help me make it work.

Thanks a lot!


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So you want to backup your device (a lonix computer) to your nextcloud, am I right?
Youvcan use a tool called rsync for that. There are many programs with that technology, some with GUI some without.
I use a tool called déjà vu for one case.
But remember the nextcloud is synchronized in both directions. So if you have a malfunction at your computer or your server an the data in your nextcloud gets corrupted it will synchronize corrupted data. So choose a program which does a good versioning and if possible testing of the data.

Didn’t you read his post:

That means, no rsync connection, only Cloud.

@Adrianhouse :

you can use a backuptool like the “MintBackup Tool” and use as target a folder of your cloud, mounted with davfs

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Thanks a lot for your reply. I found this article:

So would I just install Deja Dup and then somehow replace Google Drive with Nextcloud as the backup location?

Thanks again

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Great, thanks a lot. I’ll check that out as well!

Yeah I read the post.
rsync can sync on whatever (local) location you want to put your stuff.
So as well into your local nextcloud folder which gets synced with your nextcloud server.
If you want to push it direcly to the server you can use webdav as you recommend. In my experience this way ist just pretty slow compared to the Nextcloud client (which kind of also uses webdav)

If there is a Nextcloud possibility. That would be the best way. Otherwise sync your backup into your Nextcloud folder whicht gets synced with your server.

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Nextcloud isn’t backup software, but if you want to just sync files from your computer, it’s very simple. You can sync any folder(s) you want using the desktop sync client.

You can find info about using the desktop client here.


You installed the Nextcloud Client. Are you connected to a Nextcloud server?

Thanks a lot, that seems the simplest. Do you think that’s better than the solutions outlined above?

@REAPERSbattlecry and @ernolf is it better / easier to just use the Nextcloud desktop client to sync my folders, or will that slow down my computer?

Thanks everyone.

p.s. whoa! I see that to increase my storage on The Good Cloud to 500 gb will cost me 150 Euros a year! IDrive is only $10 a year. Maybe i’m better off trying to figure out once more how to install that in Linux (tried once and failed, hence NExtcloud…).

I don’t know. Is that the same as ‘provider’? I was given ’ The Good Cloud ’ as my provider when I signed in to Nextcloud.

Synchronizing files is not backup. Use a proper backup software instead.

Nextcloud is software that runs on a web server. You can install that web server and other software on your own system and run it.

A “provider” does the above for you as a service.

It must be this one:

It is a free option with 2GB of free storage.

Nextcloud is first and foremost a WEB application. The main product is a server side application. The clients are add-ons which is there to greatly enhance the usability and power of the server side application.
Installing the client canj be used to always have your files a safe place. However this is the easiest way to explain it:

Like google drive, you installs a client, which connects to a webservice and syncronizes the files and folders from the location on your local machine you choose, to an online storage. The difference is the Nextcloud is a self hosted - or in this case there is a company not affiliated with nextcloud who has setup a service build on nextcloud - Open Source web application that offers the same core features as OneDrive and Google Drive. You can choose if you wanna build/spin up your own Nextcloud server, or signup with a provider like “The good cloud”. The benefir of the latter is that you do not need to be a techi, but the experience is very limited on the free tiers.

Can it be used to backup your files? In a sense. It syncronizes (copies) your files each time it is saved to your disk, to the Nextcloud server you are connected to. However if not configuring the client correctly, it will synchronize all changes - including if files dissappears.
If avoiding the client, but uses other tools that can do WEBDav, you can utilize Nextcloud as a backup solution, as then you are completely controlling the flow of your files. There is no Nextcloud client builtin features to accidently delete files in other tools. A WEBDav capable tool that only pushes files - either periodic or incremental - is an effecient backup method. The devil in the detail is how safe your files are. What is backup in its purest form? Long time storage you can guarantee to always be there if ever needed? Then this is not a proper backup solution. Day-to-day ensurance that files can be restored if overwritten/deleted by accident? Nextcloud is a fantastic tool.
There is a reason backup solutions are expensive and why there is a market for dedicated backup software.

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@rawtaz thanks for the advice.

thanks @KarlF12 . I’m learning a lot I think. More complex than I thought!

@kerasit thanks a lot for the detailed explanation. I’m learning more but it is all still pretty confusing for me. I’m going to have another crack at it with the information you’ve all kindly provided for me and hopefully I’ll be able to set up a situation that works for me and my old PC and doesn’t break the bank.

Cheers and have a great day,


One more quick question: if I buy a plan on Idrive, e.g. the 500gb plan for $10 a year at IDrive® pricing plans, should I be able to use the Nextcloud desktop client to sync my files to my Idrive account, and just replace The Good Cloud with that? Thanks again.

No, not at all.

IDrive seems to be all their own ecosystem.

Nextcloud Client only works with Nextcloud backend. Some providers - like the good cloud - use excactly that. What you pays for is that they manage it, operate it and you are free of all the “troubles” maintaning. But to use any Nextcloud client, you needs a nextcloud server; your own or someone elses.

OK thanks again. Well, no idea what to do because installing and using idrive on Linux looks beyond my level, and I can’t afford to use the Good Cloud.

For your excact use case, if it HAS to be open source and you are privacy oriented:
Sync Things. Yes, you will have to install a server in your home, but it is easy.

If you just needs backup and dont mind the invasiveness, google drive or dropbox. Both of these services own clients, supports what you are looking for.

I can still recommend Nextcloud though. If you have any older machine laying around, then flash it with Ubuntu, install SNAP and under that one: docker. Download and deploy the Nextcloud AIO docker image, and follow the instructions to get a local nextcloud running.

ALternatively: Just run rsync -azP every hour to any other rsync capable machines. Even Windows has this feature now if enabling it…

The software Nextcloud is not really a good backup solution. With e.g. Nextcloud you can sync data. But maybe errors also syncted. I use Nextcloud more for sharing or i copy data to different places. The most data i backup locally on HDDs or SSDs.

Nextcloud Hoster
You can search the internet e.g. with Managed Nextcloud and you find e.g. in your country or all over the word Nextcloud providers. You can use The Good Cloud. But the advantage of Nextcloud is that there are a lot of Managed Nextcloud around the world.

In which country do you live? Maybe i find a hoster in your country for you.