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.

    Quick start mac 1 dashboard

  2. In Backup Assistant, select "Set up Custom Backup". You can also use 1-Click Backup to protect your entire computer environment.

    Quick start mac 2 backup assistant

  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.

    Quick start mac 3 backup assistant sources

  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.

    Quick start mac 4 backup set

  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.

    Quick start mac 5 backup set encryption

  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".

    Quick start mac 6 backup set destination

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

    Quick start mac 7 backup set done

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

    Quick start mac 8 backup assistant done

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

    Quick start mac 9 activities


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".

    Quick start mac 10 restore assistant

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

    Quick start mac 11 backups

  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.

    Quick start mac 12 destinations

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

    Quick start mac 13 restore settings

  5. The restore is now running.

    Quick start mac 14 restoring

  6. Our Word document is back on the Desktop.

    Quick start mac 15 restored

1-Click Backup

1-Click Backup allows you to click a single button to create a complete backup strategy for your environment:

One click backup mac

  1. Click "Backup" in the top left of the menu.

  2. Select the destination you would like the backups to be stored on.

  3. Click "1-Click Backup".

Retrospect automatically creates a ProactiveAI script named "1-Click Backup" that includes all available sources and goes to the selected destination, named "1-Click Destination". Retrospect is even smart enough to back up the data on the destination that is not within the backup.

Note that you cannot run this more than once. It will generate an error that the catalog and set already exist: "A Catalog with this name already exists at this location (-2262)". This workflow is designed for the first launch of the product to get you up and running.