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Retrospect is the most trusted name in Mac backup and recovery, with more than two decades of field-tested expertise - protecting Macs and Windows PCs and servers worldwide from data loss due to user error, computer failure or site-wide disasters such as fire, theft or flood.


  • Protect servers, business-critical applications, desktops and notebooks with a single, easy to use product.
  • Manage multiple backup servers remotely from a single screen, easing management for larger installations.
  • New! Back up to and restore from offsite cloud storage. Use powerful filtering more...

What's New


Engine - Fixes

  • Move more block level incremental backup logging into debug logging (#4494)
  • Restore issue for file with block level incremental backup enabled on two members with first marked missing (#4552)
  • Restore issue from a backup with no file changes transferred set with block level incremental backup enabled (#4357)
  • Copy more...


OS X 10.6.8 or later

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Most Helpful Reviews...

MacUpdate most helpful reviews user icon
from signalprocessor

After Time Machine's been acting up since 10.9, I thought it would be a good idea to check out Retrospect again. Retrospect used to be a trusted, well-rounded backup solution for power users. It has a lot of great features Time Machine lacks, more...

5 people found this review helpful
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Hermie Member IconReview+44

Works as advertised for *moi*. Minus one star for not sticking with the Instant Scan Off settings (done in the Retrospect Pref Pane nowadays) after updates.

Nota Bene: I know there have been problems with the Instant Scan feature, but I have it switched off anyway because it doesn't fit with my work flow.

Reply0 replies
jol9904 Member IconReview+0

as a user until version 8, I strongly recommend to avoid using retrospect above version 8.

For those looking for an alternative, I chose bacula.org :
- designed for tape backup but usable with files/disks
- client available for linux/macos/windows (macport client available)
- server available for linux/macos , reported to work on windows
- free and open-source
- very customizable but hard to configure
- once properly configured, forget it and use the web ui for restorations / unscheduled backups
- fast incrementals, reasonable fulls, fast restores (using disks)
- commercial version available with some plugins like incremental vmware/outlook/database backups etc. (i don't use it)

Reply2 replies

If you haven't used Retrospect above version 8 then why are you giving it a half a star rating? The setup of the app has completely changed since then.


hermie : i didn't say i didn't try Retrospect above version 8.
I stopped using it after several trial periods of different versions above 9

signalprocessor Member IconReview+24

After Time Machine's been acting up since 10.9, I thought it would be a good idea to check out Retrospect again. Retrospect used to be a trusted, well-rounded backup solution for power users. It has a lot of great features Time Machine lacks, including advertised support for de-duplication, support for Linux and Windows clients, data verification, and powerful scheduling features.

After four days with it, here's what I can say about it:

- Holy hell

- The client's "instant scan" feature takes 50% CPU, constantly, for four days continuously, and had to be disabled via the command line

- The client chewed up almost 1GB of memory

- Clients that weren't added to a backup set reported they were backed up successfully even if they never were- not even a byte

- De-duplication doesn't work at all. I had two clients with 200GB of the same iPhoto folder. Both clients using the same Media Set, the images were copied twice. (Actually, the resulting backup was about 1.5x the size of both clients)

- Even though many clients were on the same network segment, Retrospect could only locate some of them. The rest had to be added manually

- Just the scan before a backup starts took over 2 hours per client- this is before any data is even copied!

- It's expensive. Good software is worth the money- especially for something critical like backup. Unfortunately, it's not remotely worth it.

I hate leaving negative reviews, but Retrospect stinks of abandon-ware, likely on life support until it can be sold to yet another company or put to bed for good.

Reply3 replies

As a previous user of Retrospect when it was the only game in town, I appreciate your assessment. Every now and then, I, too, get the urge to wonder if the latest version is an improvement over the languished versions that came out in recent years, or just an old dog with fleas. I think you nailed it: give it a bone and let it rest in peace.


What Bowlerboy_jmb said. :) Thanks for the effort and the report. Saved me a lot of time.


I find the "Known Issues" section of Version not only alarmingly honest (which should be respected) but also frightening dismaying. Perhaps the most succinct that can be said about Retrospect might be:

Engine unreliable and we can't fix it. Console finicky and unresponsive to medication.

Workaround: Use something else to backup your data.

Jweisbin Member IconReview+31

I need tape backup and that's the only reason I use Retrospect. This program has tortured me for years. A backup program that's been plagued with serious bugs from day one. It's shameful.

Current version 10.2:

email notifications still broken
randomly loses ability to connect to clients
media sets say they are "in use" when they are not
RetroISA uses more than 100% if CPU and has to be disabled via command line on clients (no other way)
randomly, some folders get backed up multiple times with no de-duplication, which runs quickly through tapes

Reply1 reply

For an alternative Mac backup solution with tape support you may want to look at TOLIS Group's BRU Server if you haven't already.

Jjpong Member IconComment+121

They can charge whatever they want. But $479? I'm shocked. I paid $49.99 for this backup application or something some 13 years ago.

Reply1 reply

You're comparing the cheap-o Retrospect Desktop with one of the Server versions. Of course the latter costs more — it always has.

Donmontalvo Member IconComment+1285

Can someone save me the trouble...does/can Retrospect 10 back up the Mac when no user is logged in? I mean, including all /Users folders?

Reply3 replies

Retrospect 10 can't back up and _restore_ even when a user is logged in, so no. Unless you are backing up to vintage tape machines there is no need to suffer through this particular abomination.


LOLOLOL...I share your thoughts. :)

But I havea client asking if it's worth a look. I won't waste my time with it, hoping someone else has.


Jon Rasmussen

Yes. I do it every day. It works extremely well.

CFrag Member IconReview+97

Retrospect used to be *the* backup software. Back when I used to backup to tape (and SCSI-Terminator Voodoo was part of the game), perhaps with an Iomega or TEAC tape drive. I just came back to see how it had evolved because I am looking for a better way to back up the mountain of image data accumulating on the server.

Ugh. It seems Retrospect has not aged well. Or rather, it has not progressed much from when I used it. It may be that Retrospect is not aimed at small businesses. Or that the kind of backups I use now is not within Retrospect's core solution (for example, I have no high security requirements for my backups).

In any event, it seems that I get better results (i.e. not having to mess with proprietary archive formats) using a combination of Time Machine, and simple mirroring to a remote RAID. YMMV.

Reply0 replies
Peternsteinmetz Member IconComment+64

Backing up to a proprietary format with an awful GUI - NO THANKS. I just barely managed to recover my backups from retrospect a few years ago and will not be going back.

Reply0 replies
Jimblue Member IconComment+337

isn't it funny how the once #1 and best backup software for years and years for the mac can so quickly fall by the wayside? i guess it just go to show once you are #1, you need to keep working very hard so that another company doesn't quietly come up behind you and make better software. never rest on your laurels -- never become complacent.

this software may be back to being great again, but they lost me many years back. there's yet another thing for #1 companies to learn: once you lose somebody he might not ever look back.

for old time's sake, i wish they reclaim their former glory.

Reply1 reply
Jon Rasmussen

I struggled with Retrospect from the time the were #1 to their purchases by EMC and Roxio. EMC almost killed them. I was hopeful that Roxio would be better but no. Now that they are on their own again they are doing well. They care about their customers they have updated their software numerous times in the past year. The options they have are very good. I'm now happy with them again and encourage others to invest in it. They will have to learn new ways of backing up because things have changed since they were backing up to tape 20 years ago.

Look at them seriously again.

Islandmacman Member IconReview+147

Bit the bullet, bought the upgrade and upgraded servers, desktops, the whole nine yards....

It works ok - the issue I sometimes see is a freeze during restores. A force quit and relaunch resolves it, but it just seems flaky at times.

With all the force quitting I've been doing, the app never lost settings or users. Is that a good thing? lol

But when it works, it works well. Not bad for the money.

Reply0 replies
Version 9.0.0
user icon+4
> 2 66


Current Version (11.x)


Downloads 51,734
Version Downloads 463
Type Utilities / Backup
License Demo
Date 28 Mar 2014
Platform Intel 64 / OS X / Intel 32
Price $479.00