Recommendations for incremental backup tool for Windows



  • I’m looking for recommendations for backup software for Windows (7 Home Premium, to be precise) that does the following:

    • Fully automatic scheduled backups, no user action required
    • Incremental backups (so it only backups what’s changed, not a full copy every time)
    • Deletes oldest backups when disk is full to make room for new ones
    • Easy to use (no complicated UI etc.)

    Yes, in short I’m asking for Time Machine for Windows :) Since I’ve not really used Windows much for the last decade or so, trying to find something that fits these requirements has mainly led me to not see the forest for the trees anymore. One thing I do know is that Windows Backup is a big fail on the incremental and deletion fronts, since it seemingly can do neither (despite several claims on web sites that it will create incremental backups, in practice, I can’t find a way to make it do that).

    I thought I’d ask here, as I don’t feel like installing a dozen or so apps to test them and see which one works best (since this isn’t for me, I’d have to do that on someone else’s computer in someone else’s house, and I have plenty of things I’d rather be doing).



  • @Gurth If you want to back up to Amazon Glacier, CloudBerry Online Backup (home edition) is amazing and the best ever.

    For backing up to another disk, I seem to recall being pleased with SyncBack. (Not when it comes to UI quality, but for reliability. Had a bunch of critical systems using SyncBack at a previous job, always had a backup, never any problems restoring.)

    I am curious as to why you think Windows Backup doesn't work, though-- I've never had any problems with it? Your inability to find a setting for incremental backups might just mean that's the default behavior. (Which I'm 99% sure it is. And possibly the only behavior.)


  • sockdevs

    @Gurth i use crash plan for my file backups.

    restore speed isn't phenomenal, but the price is good, and i already have everything truly irreplaceable backed up in multiple places, including a set of printouts in a safe deposit box.

    it does a good job, i've got 500GB of data backed up to it now, and when i run a file restore test about once a quarter it always does so flawlessly.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @accalia said in Recommendations for incremental backup tool for Windows:

    including a set of printouts in a safe deposit box.

    got some dirt on a Senator?


  • sockdevs

    @Jaloopa said in Recommendations for incremental backup tool for Windows:

    @accalia said in Recommendations for incremental backup tool for Windows:

    including a set of printouts in a safe deposit box.

    got some dirt on a Senator?

    yes, but that's not in the dafety deposit box. that's buried in a submarine safe in an undisclosed location several states away, and various mechanisms have been set in place to reveal said location upon my death to various people who would use said dirt to negatively affect the senator.



  • @blakeyrat said in Recommendations for incremental backup tool for Windows:

    For backing up to another disk

    Sorry, I forgot to mention: this is for a local backup to a hard drive attached to the computer.

    I seem to recall being pleased with SyncBack.

    I came across that on my search earlier today, and now I think I’ll give at least the free version a go — thanks.

    I am curious as to why you think Windows Backup doesn't work, though-- I've never had any problems with it? Your inability to find a setting for incremental backups might just mean that's the default behavior. (Which I'm 99% sure it is. And possibly the only behavior.)

    Because each of the daily backups it's made since I installed the drive about a week ago, are 118 GB in size (give or take a few megs). My impression was that it’d only back-up new and changed files, but today the computer’s owner asked me to see why Windows Backup said the disk was full. Now if it’d do things like Time Machine (making hard links to existing backups of unchanged files), I wouldn’t be surprised about all the backups being about the same size, but in that case it couldn’t have filled up the disk with just the incremental changes of the last week.

    When I investigated and started reading some forum threads, I found conflicting claims: some posters say it makes incremental backups, others reply to say it doesn’t … I get the impression that it’s supposed to make incremental backups, but that it may not always do so for whatever reason.



  • @Gurth said in Recommendations for incremental backup tool for Windows:

    I’m looking for recommendations for backup software for Windows (7 Home Premium, to be precise) that does the following:

    • Fully automatic scheduled backups, no user action required
    • Incremental backups (so it only backups what’s changed, not a full copy every time)
    • Deletes oldest backups when disk is full to make room for new ones
    • Easy to use (no complicated UI etc.)

    Yes, in short I’m asking for Time Machine for Windows :) Since I’ve not really used Windows much for the last decade or so, trying to find something that fits these requirements has mainly led me to not see the forest for the trees anymore. One thing I do know is that Windows Backup is a big fail on the incremental and deletion fronts, since it seemingly can do neither (despite several claims on web sites that it will create incremental backups, in practice, I can’t find a way to make it do that).

    I thought I’d ask here, as I don’t feel like installing a dozen or so apps to test them and see which one works best (since this isn’t for me, I’d have to do that on someone else’s computer in someone else’s house, and I have plenty of things I’d rather be doing).

    Preface: I didn't read anyone's replies

    Have you thought about SyncToy? it does differential backups on the block level.



  • @blakeyrat
    I use syncback too. Nice tool if your backup is just moving files.


  • sockdevs

    @Luhmann said in Recommendations for incremental backup tool for Windows:

    Nice tool if your backup is just moving files.


  • sockdevs

    @accalia uhh.... wtf happaend there?

    I CLICKED DISMISS!



  • @accalia said in Recommendations for incremental backup tool for Windows:

    @Gurth i use crash plan for my file backups.

    restore speed isn't phenomenal, but the price is good, and i already have everything truly irreplaceable backed up in multiple places, including a set of printouts in a safe deposit box.

    it does a good job, i've got 500GB of data backed up to it now, and when i run a file restore test about once a quarter it always does so flawlessly.

    +1 for CrashPlan, it's what I use.



  • @accalia
    I did too!



  • @rad131304 said in Recommendations for incremental backup tool for Windows:

    Have you thought about SyncToy? it does differential backups on the block level.

    I also came across that, and am considering it a viable choice — depending on how complicated it turns out in practical use.



  • +1 for CrashPlan.

    Please note that the software is free. You only pay for their cloud-based backup solution, which is entirely optional. If you want to backup to disk - or even to a friend - this won't cost you a dime.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @accalia said in Recommendations for incremental backup tool for Windows:

    @accalia uhh.... wtf happaend there?
    I CLICKED DISMISS!

    NodeBB backed up your post


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