This isn't a backup, but it includes new tools to make it easier to find and remove large or unwanted files before you make a backup. You can use Disk Utility if you need to erase or format a storage device. Get help by chat, phone, or email. You can also set up a repair or make a Genius Bar appointment.
Back up your Mac Backing up your Mac is simple and important. Create a backup. Store files in iCloud You can also use iCloud and iCloud Drive to store files, such as your photos, documents, and music. Set up iCloud and iCloud Drive. Restore your Mac from a backup When you have a backup, you can use it to restore your files at any time, including after the original files are deleted from your Mac.
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Restore from a backup. Prepare your Mac for service Making a backup is an important part of preparing your Mac for service, especially because some types of repair might require erasing or replacing your hard drive. Get your Mac ready for service. How much space do I need for a backup? Free up storage on your Mac macOS can save space by storing your content in the cloud. Use Optimized Storage in macOS. Sign up here. Everyone who uses a computer needs a dependable way to back up its data. Backblaze is economical, fast, reliable, and easy to set up. As broadband speeds slowly but surely improve, online backup services are becoming an increasingly smart addition to your overall backup strategy: Pay five bucks a month give or take , install an app on your computer that runs in the background, and presto!
I use Windows regularly, too—and I did so while testing services for this guide—although usually in a virtual machine running on a Mac. Until recently, that usually meant copying important files to a hard drive, optical disk, thumb drive, file server, or other local media meaning media in the same physical location as your computer.
But local backups are susceptible to many of the same hazards—theft, fire, flooding—as your computer, so a good backup plan should include some kind of off-site backup. And compared with backing up to a local drive and then taking that drive to a safe deposit box, an online backup is an easy and convenient way to create an off-site backup. While some online backup services are tailored to the needs of businesses and other large enterprises—including versions of the services I evaluated—the ones I tested are designed for an individual or a family with one or a few computers in need of simple, reliable, and affordable backups.
Online backup services and you can find loads of them these days are increasingly commodity services, so picking the best one requires looking beyond the obvious feature of copying files from your computer to the cloud and back again. I narrowed the field in a few passes. First, I looked strictly at services that offered a ready-made, easy-to-use combination of backup app and cloud storage.
I excluded services that provided inexpensive cloud storage but required you to supply your own software. I say a bit more about those services later, in Using online bulk-storage services for backups. I also focused exclusively on home services, excluding services aimed at especially tech-savvy people or businesses with IT departments. At the same time, I found no apparent advantage, in terms of features, to the services charging more—even those that charged much more. Finally, I settled on the following three must-have features, which I consider to be essential for any reliable, secure online backup service:.
All six services offer features that have become de rigueur in online backups, such as delta encoding that is, after you have uploaded your files initially, future backups upload only the portions of those files that have changed and encryption.
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To pick the best service from those six, I considered ease of use, reliability, performance, and many optional but nice-to-have features. In general, a service offering more of those features and better implementations of them moved higher on my list. In rough order of importance, the features I looked for were:.
Even though I have a great deal of experience with some of the services described here, I began my testing with a clean slate: For apps that offered control over network throttling, CPU usage, and threading that is, sending or receiving multiple chunks of data at once , I performed the tests at least twice: I had conducted my testing of the other apps for a previous update with an upstream connection that maxed out at The highest throughput I measured was Keep in mind, however, that my controlled performance tests may differ from your real-world results, for any of numerous reasons.
For example:. Backblaze includes all of my must-have features along with half of my nice-to-have features—including deduplication and the capability to back up external hard drives. It also offers restoration via physical media sent to your doorstep the service is even free in the end, after a reimbursable fee. And it can run continuously, with qualifications.
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Perhaps the best thing about Backblaze is its ease of setup. At the end of the installation process, Backblaze starts running immediately, backing up all of your important files. You need have no further interaction with the app, and even if you do decide to change settings, it has very few of them for you to worry about. First, you may want to change what it backs up.
Apart from optionally including external hard drives in your backups, it works on a strictly exclusionary basis. If you want to use the personal-key option, which I recommend, you have to enable it manually. To do so, click Settings, go to the Security tab, read the explanation there, and follow the steps shown to enter and confirm a password. As of an August update to the Backblaze software that increased the number of threads it uses even with default settings, the backup performance is significantly better compared with the previous version.
How to find the best cloud backup service?
With default settings, my tests showed throughput of Backblaze warns against choosing a number higher than 6, but I was able to go all the way up to 20 on my test machine without any apparent ill effects. With performance bumped up as high as it would go, my tests showed throughput of Your mileage may vary for numerous reasons, as I explained earlier. Backblaze performs block-level deduplication on your computer—if two files are, say, 90 percent the same, the service uploads the common 90 percent only once, thus reducing overall data-transfer requirements. Although you pay a fee for this service, if you send back the drive, the company refunds the fee.
This service is marvelously convenient and thoughtful, but a word of warning: Not one of the backup services discussed in this article is perfect.
I want to emphasize this fact because the Backblaze flaws I list below are ones that I consider not to be dealbreakers for most people. However, one or more of these items may well be a dealbreaker for you, and in case they are, I offer recommendations of alternatives. You then select the file s you want to restore and click a button, and wait for an email notification that your files are ready.
Then you download a zipped file. That means you may have to dig through a bunch of folders to find your files, and then dig through the corresponding folders on your computer to drag or paste the files back where they belong. The option to restore files directly to their original locations renaming or overwriting existing matching files, as you specify , is far more convenient; all the other apps I tested except ElephantDrive can do this.
Carbonite is similar, with a day retention policy, but the other apps I tested have configurable retention settings, up to and including indefinite retention.
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If this limitation is a big deal to you, consider a different service such as IDrive or a custom service that combines your own software and third-party cloud storage. I looked into this topic in my tests of Backblaze after a reader inquiry, but I did not test the other apps in this review for metadata support.
Metadata includes such details as file ownership and permissions, creation date, and for Mac owners Finder tags and comments. Some people, and some apps they use, depend heavily on metadata, while others are barely aware of its existence. But, fair warning: If metadata integrity is essential to you, Backblaze is not your friend. In my tests, the only type of metadata Backblaze reliably restored was the resource forks found in certain Mac files.
This is the sort of thing you should test for yourself with any cloud backup service, before making a commitment, by running a free trial version. This policy goes back to the economics of offering unlimited storage , according to the company. Backblaze also includes no syncing or sharing options; your files stored in the cloud are strictly backups. The other five services I tested offer syncing, sharing, or both although Acronis True Image offers syncing only on Windows. IDrive Online Backup has improved a great deal since our previous major update to this guide.
All those changes, added to an excellent core set of features, make IDrive a solid second-place choice and, for some people, a better first-place choice than Backblaze.
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First, IDrive offers indefinite retention of deleted files although you can optionally purge files that you have deleted from your computer, either manually or on a schedule and of up to 10 previous versions of each file. You can back up your data on a schedule, but your only option is once a day although you can choose which days, and which time of day, backups occur. Of any app I tested, IDrive had the best throughput, Unfortunately, IDrive lacks deduplication: If you have multiple identical files, the IDrive app uploads all of them to the server.
In addition, to see older versions of files, you have to right-click or, optionally for Mac owners, Control-click them, and nothing else in the interface suggests how to display previous versions. And as a bonus, it syncs files in your Dropbox folder across all your devices. But most such services, which specialize in syncing and sharing, encrypt user data with a key that the company holds.
Numerous services offer low-cost cloud storage without any fancy backup features.