Backup to external device · NAS server

Backup your files to an external drive or a shared file DSM 6.0

Synology has in-built the possibility to back up all your Synology data to:

  • An external USB or a shared folder
  • A network drive
  • A cloud service

In this guide, I will go through the necessary steps to back up all your NAS files to an external USB or a shared map within your NAS. The steps are the almost the same on both cases, the only difference is where to store your files in step 6.

Step-by-step guide on how to back up your files

1. There are three USB ports, two USB3.0 in the back and one USB2.0 in the front. You can connect your USB external hard drive any of the ports, the only difference will be the speed transfer. If recognized, the USB unit will appear as a folder in your File Station.


2. Click on the menu button synology NAS menu button

3. The old backup button called “Backup and Restore” has been replaced by “Hyper Backup”. Click on it:

hyber backup synology

4. Click on the plus button at the lower left hand corner and click on ” Data back up task”:

add data backup task synolgoy

5. Click on “Local shared folder & External storage”:

backup destination synology

6. Now you need to:

  1. Select destination folder (If your USB HDD drive has been recognized, it will appear as a folder in your File Station)
  2. Click next

select destination folder buckup synology

7. Select which folders to backup:

select shared folders to back up synology

8. Select which applications to backup:

select applications to backup synology

9. Do as follows:

  1. Give a name to the backup job
  2. Enable task notifications if you want to receive an email when the back up job has been completed
  3. Enable compression of data and client side encryption
  4. And schedule your backups

backup settings synology

10. Enable backup rotation: It will save past copies of files so you can restore them if needed. Use the Smart Recycle to get backups hourly, daily and weekly and click Apply.

rotate settings backup synology

Your backup will start. If you want to edit or delete the backup, click on the list icon:

backup edit delete synology


16 thoughts on “Backup your files to an external drive or a shared file DSM 6.0

  1. Hi Ruth, thanks for the guide. I have a DS415+ that I must have started using before “Backup and Restore” (B&R) became “Hyper Backup”. With B&R, encrypted shared folders were directly transferred to the external device, that is, they were still encrypted with the same key that was used on the Synology itself. You could easily tell by connecting the external drive to a PC. You could use Windows Explorer to browse the unencrypted files, while encrypted files were renamed “ECRYPTFS_…”. With Hyper Backup, things seems to work differently. When you set up the task, if you don’t enable client side encryption, a dialog box pops up to confirm that’s what you want. The first time I went through it, I didn’t understand the reason for the pop-up because I assumed backup just meant backup – I did not expect it to also decrypt my encrypted folders, which is what is actually does. The other difference is that it seems you can no longer use Windows Explorer to browse your backup files. Instead, you must use download and use Hyper Backup Explorer.

    Can you comment on these differences? In particular, I see both of these changes as disadvantages of Hyper Backup. I don’t think backup should also decrypt my encrypted stuff, and if I want encrypted backup, “enable client side encryption” encrypts the whole backup, which in my opinion is unnecessary. Also, I liked not having to use yet another program to browse my backup files. Nothing against Hyper Backup Explorer – it seems consistent with the quality I expect from Synology and is self contained (does not require installation) – but I liked being able to use Windows Explorer (granted, not for encrypted files). Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pete! I don’t think I have the competence to do a better analysis that you have done here! I also think that your comment is way too interesting to leave it as a comment. Would you be interested in posting it as a guest blogger here? I am sure others would be interested too and perhaps also share their insights with us. Let me know, Ruth

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Ruth, sure, I would be fine with that. Just let me know what I need to do. In the meantime, I have experimented with Hyper Backup a bit more, and I think I understand Synology’s external backup options a little better. Regards, Pete

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Ruth,
        I have a DS416J with 2x4TB drives (Hyrbrid Raid) and need a good local backup solution. I am currently have 1.2TB of data and backup to an external 2TB hard drive, however, it is quickly filling up. Do you have any recommendations on a local USB external backup solution that would back up 4TB?


  2. Hi Ruth,

    I just posted on the old site. I have a 5 disk raid 1 external enclosure with usb 3 and esata connections. Would you recommend usb 3 or esata for connecting to synology. I have the 1812+

    Also I’d like to have synology nas autobacked up to this external drive but then be able to unplug the ext drive from my nas and plug it into my laptop to access the files. Can this work using synology’s backup app or does it save the files in a synology specific format that only by plugging it into a synology nas will it be recognized. Trying to create an off site option where I can unplug the ext drive and store it off site and bring it back monthly to do another backup but also have the flexibility to be able to read the backup files without going thru synology’s OS.




    1. Hi Technurse, regarding usb vs seats here is a great thread that can guide your choice:
      Regarding the backup question, I can access my files from my external harddrive when I connect it to the computer, so you should be able to do it too. (Haven’t done it for a while, but I am not aware of any changes).
      We are going to publish a blog post next week on backups, stay tuned ! /Ruth

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Ruth,
    I’m new to Synology so DSM 6 is all I know…
    I have managed to configure a backup to an external drive – but cannot seem to get it to work with other drives…
    As I rotate my off site drives (of which there are three), do I need a separate backup job for each..?
    Are they specific to the mac addresses of the external drive..?
    Or am I missing something really simple here..?
    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance for your comments.


    1. Hi Pseuperb,

      You need to create two TB backup tasks, for each of your two usb drives. Of course one task will always fail, because the corresponding usb drive isn’t attached. When you want to do a backup on the other drive, just eject the connected drive, and connect the other one.

      This is what synology said to another user who had the same question:
      Due to the way Hyper Backup handles the versioning, it is no longer possible to really use multiple USB drives for the same task. The subsequent backups will fail when the database is inconsistent. It is required that you create a separate backup task for each USB device.

      Here is the link in case you want to read more about it:

      Hope this helps you,


  4. Hey Ruth, I noticed that since Hyper Back Up that the backed up data is not in a format that you can just access as raw data. Previously with Back up and Replicate the backed-up data was essentially just a mirror of the source data which you could easily plug into another computer and access individual files, for example a word document or photo. Maybe I’m doing something wrong here when I configure the back-up but how do I get the data backed up to be readily accessible on any other computer by merely plugging the external drive in and not doing a restore?


      1. I did not know about that tool at all no, I will try that now. I just read more carefully the other comments and note that is an issue shared by others as well. So it seems you need to have this “viewer” in order to view the backed-up files. Are you aware of any other Synology tool that backs up data but does it like previous versions which do not need such a viewer? Thanks for the direction so far!


  5. I have a question about backup to external drive.
    If I have 1TB Data, and I schedule to backup every night. And The external drive is 8TB.
    Does it mean it will use up all the space after a week?


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