Quick Start Guide

Retrospect Backup is a powerful data protection suite with a multitude of features. Before we dive into the details, let’s walk through a simple example of using Retrospect Backup to protect a Word document on your desktop.

On-site Backup to a Drobo with Retrospect Backup for Mac – 03:41

We are going to back up the Word document, and then we are going to restore it.


You see the Word document at the top right of the screen on the Desktop. Let’s back up the Word document using Backup Assistant. The Backup Assistant is how you set up your backup strategy using sources (volumes and clients), media sets (destinations for your backups), and scripts (the backup plan for your sources and sets).

  1. Launch the Backup Assistant by clicking "Backup" at the top left of the screen in Retrospect.

  2. In Backup Assistant, select "Set up Custom Backup".

  3. To back up only the Desktop, we need to create a favorite folder. Click "Browse" on "Macintosh HD", browse to your Desktop under /Users/your_name/Desktop and click "Add as Favorite Folder". Then select "Desktop" in Backup Assistant.

  4. Next, we need to create a destination for the backup to be stored on, called a media set (or a backup set). Click the "+" icon at the bottom to create a new media set. We are going to use "Disk", but you can also use "Cloud" or "Tape" as a destination. Type in a media set name.

  5. Retrospect supports many types of encryption, including AES-256, to ensure only you can read your backups, even if you store your backups in the cloud. Select "AES-256" and type in a password. Please write down your password. If you lose it, your data will not be recoverable by anyone.

  6. We are going to select a NAS share, but you should select the appropriate destination, be it an external hard drive or a NAS. Click "Add".

  7. The media set is created. Select it and then click "Continue".

  8. Backup Assistant is done. You can see the summary here. Click "Start Now" to start the backup.

  9. The backup is now running. Your Word document is being safely protected on the destination you chose.


Let’s now delete the Word document from the Desktop and restore it with Retrospect.

  1. Launch Restore Assistant by clicking "Restore" in the top left corner of Retrospect. Click "Restore selected files and folders".

  2. Select the latest backup and click "Continue".

  3. Now you need to choose where to restore the backup to. Select "Desktop" to restore the desktop files, including the Word document, back to where they were.

  4. Retrospect offers granular restore options. For this scenario, we select "Always overwrite corresponding files". Click "Continue" and then click "Restore".

  5. The restore is now running.

  6. Our Word document is back on the Desktop.