We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What is a Cold Backup?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated: May 16, 2024

Also known as an offline backup, a cold backup is a method of creating a secondary copy of data contained within a given database or computer system. This strategy is different from some other backup processes, in that the system and the data is not accessible while the backup is in progress. Once the cold backup is complete, end users can log back into the system and access the data at will.

The cold backup is the opposite of what is known as a hot backup. With a backup that is hot, the system is continuing to operate and users can freely access data during the backup process. With many systems, users are likely to experience at least some additional time lag in retrieving information, since a portion of the system resources are in use with the backup process. With a hot backup, additional care must be taken to capture any changes or additions that users enter during the backup process. Businesses that are open around the clock often prefer to go with the hot backup strategy.

For businesses that prefer to use a cold backup process, the activity typically takes place once the business day is complete. Companies that operate around the clock may choose to schedule the backup for early morning hours, when users are the least likely to require access to the system. This approach helps to minimize the potential for the backup to prevent employees from assisting customers as the copying is taking place.

A cold backup may be conducted using a preset schedule that identifies the specific time for the backup to automatically initiate. For example, the backup may be configured to begin each morning at 2:00 a.m., providing time for the action to complete before employees begin to arrive for the beginning of the business day. It is also possible to conduct a cold backup on a demand basis. This approach is often helpful when there is a need to refrain from initiating the backup until specific tasks, such as updating data in a billing system, is completed for the business day.

Attempting to access a computer system while a cold backup is in progress can produce several different results, depending on how the system is configured. In some cases, the system will simply not allow the login attempt to complete. Other systems may allow the login to override the backup process, effectively bringing the backup to a halt. Typically, it is not recommended to interrupt a cold backup in progress, since this could result in losing data, of even causing the system to lock or freeze for a short period of time.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including EasyTechJunkie, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.