Carbon Copy Cloner

Carbon Copy Cloner is an essential Mac app from Bombich Software Inc. that offers reliable backup, restore, cloning and integrity-checking capabilities for the Mac. Features include bootable backup clones, network and disk image support, incremental backups (with optional archiving), scheduling, built-in help/guidance, graceful handling of I/O errors, task history, editing of scheduled tasks, task-chaining for creating more complicated backup schemes, the ability to add a Recovery partition and much more. Version 5 brought APFS support for macOS 10.13 High Sierra and later, along with improvements to SafetyNet, scheduling, task management, restore and more.

Carbon Copy Cloner 5.1.16 is priced at $39.95 for OS X 10.10 and up, with a 30-day trial period and upgrade discounts. (Older downloads are available for earlier Macs.) The latest release addresses some problems with Apple’s macOS 10.15.4 update, among other changes. (See also macOS Catalina Known Issues.)


iMazing is a cross-platform app from DigiDNA SARL for backing up, cloning and restoring all the data on iOS devices (including photos, music, videos, text messages, call history, voicemail, contacts, notes, voice memos, ringtones, etc.), transferring files between iOS devices and desktop computers (Mac and Windows), and managing music and other files. iMazing can be particularly helpful when you need to back up or clone an iPhone or iPad that iTunes refuses to back up when it’s tied to a different Mac that’s no longer available, or when there are compatibility problems among iTunes, iOS and OS X/macOS versions.

A rich set of features includes app management and download (after iTunes abandoned that), support for iOS device configuration profiles, a file/folder browser, drag-and-drop support, creation and renaming of folders, the ability to display and save detailed information about the phone (including battery info), bookmarks for files and folders, access to iCloud, HEIC file format conversion, “Time Machine-like backups of iOS devices via Wi-Fi”, compatibility with High Sierra (APFS), “a new backup archives format compatible with all kinds of portable storage, including NAS drives”, power-user features and more. (See iMazing FAQ for additional details.)

iMazing 2.11.2 is priced at $44.99 (single computer license) for OS X 10.9 and up with iTunes 12.2 and up, supporting all iPhone, iPad and iPod devices from iOS 4 up, and it offers a 30-day trial period. (There’s also a Windows version.) A Universal license for two computers (Mac and PC) is $49.99, and a 5-computer family license is $69.99. The latest release includes support for iOS 13.4:

Improvements in 2.11.2

  • iOS: version 13.4 is now fully supported
  • Photos: ability to select moments and export them using drag & drop
  • Music: importing compilation albums is now handled properly
  • Translation: minor changes in Portugese

Fixes in 2.11.2

  • Photos: various minor fixes
  • Music: fixed exporting tracks to the macOS Music app – in some cases the target path in the Music library was wrong
  • Translation: fixed incomplete sentences in various languages
  • Mini: fixed a crash when accessing Device Settings
  • Backup repair: fixed a potential crash


Retrospect is a full-featured, cross-platform backup system from Retrospect, Inc. (originally created for the Mac, decades ago, by Dantz Development Corp). Its many features include cross-platform support; networking; support for all kinds of media, including tape, WebDAV cloud storage, network-attached disks; all kinds of hard drives, etc.; bootable clones; data compression and deduplication; incremental backups, including block-level incremental backups; encryption; verification; backup searching and filtering; multitasking; remote management; reporting and notifications (with Growl support and email notifications); media sets; SMART checks; scheduling; roll-backs; wake-on-LAN; support for virtualization and more.

Retrospect 17 comes in various editions at different price points, from a Solo version at $49 to a Desktop version at $119 to more expensive multi-server and multi-client licenses with support for tape, etc. (A 45-day trial is available.)
System requirements specify Mac OS X 10.6 or later (along with other platforms). The latest release includes automatic onboarding.


Arq is a cross-platform backup program from Haystack Software (Stefan Reitshamer) that saves files to online storage, including Amazon (Glacier, S3 and Amazon Cloud), Dropbox, Backblaze B2, OneDrive, Google Drive or any SFTP server, such as a NAS [network attached storage] device at home or a virtual private server [VPS] at a hosting company).

The online capability makes Arq a complement to Time Machine and Time Capsule, while its wealth of features includes automatic backup of selected folders (including all file types and file sizes); multiple versions; upload of changes only (for speed and reduction of bandwidth); local encryption for security; an open, documented storage format; full support for all Mac data and metadata; Backup Bouncer verified accuracy; control over bandwidth usage; budget controls; backup to multiple servers (including different types with different schedules and budgets); controls over backup times; email notifications; and more.

Arq 5.17.2 is priced at $49.99 per user (covering multiple drives and computers, or one server) for OS X 10.7 and later, or Windows, with a free 30-day trial. (Arq_restore is a free, open-source, command line utility for restoring from Arq backups, though the Arq app would normally be used for restores.)


ChronoSync is a Mac app from Econ Technologies, Inc. that can synchronize and backup to almost any storage connected to a Mac, including local files (folder to folder sync), other Macs or PCs, external drives, and cloud services. You can schedule tasks, customize rules/filters, define scripts that can run multiple syncs simultaneously, automatically archive deleted or replaced files, use NFS file servers and more.

ChronoSync 4.9.9 is priced at $49.99 for OS X 10.11 and up with a 15-day trial available. (Older versions are available for earlier Macs.) The latest release improves Google Cloud connections and disk image handling, along with minor bug fixes.

ChronoAgent 1.9.7, priced starting at $14.99 per license, “is an invisible application that runs silently in the background on a Mac and provides ChronoSync or InterConneX a direct connection to a remote Mac”, protected by a login and optional encryption. ChronoSync can be used as a backup server, pushing or pulling data as required.

InterConneX 2.0.1 is a free file management app for iOS 9 and later that can consolidate mobile files in a “sharespace” container and synchronize files with Macs running ChronoSync. Version 2.0 improved robustness (in conjuction with a ChronoSync update) and brought a new “adaptive interface which allows multitasking and support for drag and drop.”

ChronoMonitor 1.1.4 is a $3.99 app for iOS 8 and up “that monitors Macs running ChronoSync or ChronoAgent.”


SuperDuper is a Mac disk cloning/backup utility from Shirt Pocket Software (Dave Nanian), designed to copy your startup drive (or other disk volume) for quick recovery in the event of disk failure or software problems. Its “smart copy” feature can update a clone quickly after the first full backup, copying only the files that have changed, which is typically far faster than recopying the whole volume.
Other features include bootable clones, backup to disk images (compatible with Apple Software Restore), which offer a way to backup over a network; customization via “Copy Scripts”; logging; “sandboxing”, which shares your primary boot volume’s data files (and applications) to an experimental boot volume; options to shutdown, restart or eject after cloning; the ability to run Unix shell scripts; Time Machine compatibility; AppleScript support; APFS snapshot support and recovery volume support; scheduled backups; and the ability to store a bootable backup alongside Time Machine backups, among other capabilities.

SuperDuper 3.3.1 is priced at $27.95 for OS X 10.10 and up. (Older versions support systems as early as Mac OS X 10.2.) In trial mode, prior to purchase, SuperDuper can clone a drive but lacks Smart Copy and other features when unregistered. The latest version is “fully compatible with macOS Catalina (10.15)”, among other features.

Version 3.3 lets you ignore “missing drive” errors during scheduled copies, and also improves Smart Wake, which ensures your backups happen whether your Mac is awake or asleep… and won’t turn on your screen if your Mac is already awake. This new version also improves Smart Delete, an awesome new capability that minimizes the possibility of disk full errors while maintaining safety with no speed penalty, native Notification Center support, a Finder extension to quickly run copies, and other improvements. SuperDuper can even create and copy from snapshots, which means with an APFS backup drive, you can restore today’s Smart Update, yesterday’s, etc.


Freeze is a native OS X app for working with Amazon’s low-cost Glacier cloud storage. Features include support for multiple accounts, browsing and deleting of Glacier vaults, drag and drop file transfer, comparison and sync with local folders, duplicate file highlighting, parallel and multi-part uploads with resume for interrupted transfers, and transfer speed controls. (See Freeze FAQ for more details.)

Freeze 3.12 is priced at $34.99 for OS X 10.11 and up (and requires an Amazon AWS account).


Winclone is a Mac utility from Twocanoes Software Inc. for backing up (cloning), restoring, and migrating Windows installations in Boot Camp, including PC-to-Boot Camp migration, network Boot Camp migration, network sharing of Winclone images and Mac-to-Mac Boot Camp migration.

Features include scheduled background updates of Winclone images, restoring to DOS-FAT32, ExFAT and NTFS volumes, saving to external or network storage, fast incremental imaging, the ability to shrink/expand the Boot Camp file system. Windows User folder backup, support for Core Storage volumes, as well as third-party NTFS drivers, EFI/legacy boot options, NTFS read/write support, and more.

Winclone 8.0.1 “Standard” is priced at $39.99 for macOS 10.14 and 10.15 (with older versions available to support earlier Mac systems). Winclone Pro is a $499.99 version (50-Mac license) designed for administrators who need to package and deploy Boot Camp clones to multiple Macs.

Synchronize Pro X

Synchronize Pro X is an “industrial-strength” backup and file-sync app for older Macs from Qdea. Features include the ability to handle very large numbers of files with fast transfer, detailed control over sync operations, conflict resolution and manual overrides plus sync previews, automatic sync of watched folders, archiving of files, configurable error handling and warnings, incremental backup, scheduling, bootable backups, logging, AppleScript and more.

Synchronize Pro X 6.9 is a 32-bit application for Mac OS X 10.6 through macOS 10.14 but does not make bootable backups of macOS 10.13 or 10.14 systems, and no version is planned for macOS 10.15 or later. Licenses are available via email or phone contact. Synchronize X Plus is a lower-priced version with fewer features. A one-week demo is available.


Backup notes talk about TIme Machine issues and macOS process priorities, Time Capsule hard drive compatibility, ChronoSync, etc.

MacInTouch Community discussions also include the following topics (among others):

T2M2 (The Time Machine Mechanic)

T2M2 (The Time Machine Mechanic) is a Mac utility app from Howard Oakley (The Eclectic Light Co.) that helps check on the integrity of Apple’s Time Machine backup system, analyzing your Mac’s system logs to check for anomalies and errors and reporting on backup volumes, file counts, space usage, deletions, scheduling, errors, intervals, deep scans, compaction, and more. The app includes detailed built-in help and a “Back up Now” button.

T2M2 1.12 is a free download for macOS 10.12 and later.

Much of the time, Time Machine backups work fine. Every hour or so, your Mac automatically makes a new backup, and when you need to retrieve something from those backups, it’s there, ready for you. But Time Machine can and does go wrong, and often does not warn you that it has stopped making backups regularly, has stopped working altogether, or that errors have occurred. You may only discover this when you go to use your backup; it is then too late. The Time Machine Mechanic, T2M2 for short, is an easy-to-use tool which checks that your backups are being made correctly. It tells you details such as how much has been backed up, and when. It reports any errors which have occurred, and keeps you fully informed about what has been going on with Time Machine.


MacInTouch Community discussions include the following current topics, among others: