What’s new in Apple’s Backup 3

Banner Apple today released Backup 3.0, the fast, easy, and powerful way to protect important files from accidental loss. Use Backup 3 to back up files to your iDisk, to recordable CD and DVD discs, or to a folder on a FireWire disk (such as your iPod), your own hard drive, a network server, or other mounted volumes.

Apple’s new Backup 3 lets you create multiple backup plans for backing up important data, such as your home folder, your essential personal data files, and your iLife content (photos, movies, and music). And, you can schedule backups to any destination so you never forget a backup

Backup 3 adds new features, including:

• One-step iLife backup. Backup comes with preset backup plans for your iLife content (iPhoto and iTunes Libraries, and iMovie, iDVD, and GarageBand projects) and other Mac essentials (personal settings and your home folder). Each plan has a destination and schedule already set up, so with a click of a button, your backups will be set to run automatically.

• Flexible backup plans. You can customize the preset plans or create completely new ones for particular files and folders you want to back up. QuickPicks make it easy to add hard-to-find files, like your Address Book data or your Mail messages. Using built-in Tiger Spotlight, you can search for particular files to add—or you can just browse files and folders on your hard drive. 

• Multiple backup destinations. You can create different backup plans for different backup destinations, or choose to back up the same plan daily to one destination and weekly to another. Schedule regular daily backups of small files like preferences to your iDisk, and monthly backups of large files like your iTunes library to CD, DVD, or an external FireWire drive such as your iPod. You can set a schedule for any backup destination, including CD or DVD.

• Incremental Backups. Backup 3 now saves new versions of files that have changed every time it performs a backup. The result is an efficient use of storage that saves you time and media costs if you use disposable media like CDs or DVDs. And you can always find an older version of a file if you need it. 

• Advanced file restoration. If you ever need to restore a file that’s been lost or damaged, Backup 3’s Restore pane makes it easy to find the backup you’re looking for. Backup 3 also comes with new restore options such as restoring to an alternate location and restoring only files that are missing from their original location. 

• Better backup management. Keep your backups on track with Backup 3’s new main window summary of all of your backup plans. You can see the status of recent backups and the next scheduled backup. If you need to know more, the History pane tracks detailed information about each backup that occurs. In addition, anytime you miss a backup because your computer is asleep or turned off, Backup 3 prompts you to run the missed backups when your computer is available again.

• Shared backup to iDisk. You can now back up more than one Macintosh computer to the same iDisk. If you need to restore data, you can restore files to either Mac or to a different location entirely.   

System Requirements:
• Mac OS X version 10.3.9 and later or Mac OS X version 10.4.2 or later.
• A PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 processor

To create backup CDs or DVDs with Backup 3, you must have a CD/DVD drive supported by Mac OS X. All internal Apple-supplied drives except DVD-RAM drives work with Backup 3. You can find a list of supported devices here.

If you do not have a full, active .Mac account, Backup 3 functionality is limited. If you have a .Mac trial account, you can back up only 100MB per backup. If you do not have a .Mac membership at all, you can still use Backup 3, but you can’t back up to iDisk and you will also have a 100MB per backup limit. Backup 3 requires Mac OS X v10.3.9 or Mac OS X v10.4.2 or later. Non-standard (symlinked) Home folder configurations are not supported.

Learn more about Apple’s .Mac and sign up for a free trial here.

[MacDailyNews and iPodDailyNews are Apple .Mac affiliates. Thank you for your support.]

Related articles:
How to use Apple’s new .Mac Groups – September 20, 2005
Apple debuts new .Mac features: .Mac Groups, Backup 3, 1GB storage, French & German Localization – September 20, 2005


  1. “Backup can’t even make use of the iDisk space, it needs to go to CDs, DVDs or an external harddisk….”

    No, you can backup to an iDisk as well (it clearly says that in the article above too). Actually you’ve been able to do that now for a long time. Of course you are bound by the 1GB iDisk capacity.

  2. What good is 1GB? My photo library in iPhoto is over 2 GB – so if I am using idisk as a backup source, my photos can’t be backed up, my iLife data can’t be backed up…

    What I’m trying to say, is that this utility should be given to everyone that has the OS – you shouldn’t need to pay an additional $100/year for a decent backup utility.

  3. Folks

    Don’t expect such a service for free. Disk space costs money and Apple shouldn’t be expected to pick up the tab. I wouldn’t do it either. If you don’t think you get enough I suggest that you look at off site back up services. They are very expensive however. My best suggestion is to get 2 external hard drives. Keep one at home and a second one at someone else’s house or at your office. Swamp them every once in a while

    I think .Mac continues to get better and for $100 is a heck of value.

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