Greatest Disk Clone Software program for Mac in 2023

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A handful of macOS apps allow you to make near-exact copies of your Mac’s storage units, which will be helpful for backing up in case of a knowledge emergency.

Typically it is helpful to make a full, full, actual copy of one in every of your Mac’s drives – particularly the Startup Disk. As a result of complexity of macOS’s UNIX underpinnings and the massive variety of recordsdata put in with macOS, making a disk clone is usually a daunting activity.

There are a number of apps you need to use to make a disk clone or to again up and restore your Mac’s drives and volumes. These embrace, however are usually not restricted to:

  1. Apple Disk Utility
  2. SuperDuper!
  3. Carbon Copy Cloner
  4. balena Etcher
  5. Clonezilla
  6. ChronoSync and ChronoSync Specific
  7. Disk Drill
  8. Get Backup Professional 3
  9. EaseUS Todo Backup
  10. dd
  11. rsync
  12. Raspberry Pi Imager

There is a distinction between cloning a drive or partition, and backing it up.

Backing up means copying recordsdata and folders in the identical hierarchy because the supply drive or quantity, and presumably storing the backup in a proprietary format for later restoration utilizing the identical software program.

Proprietary backups are OK, however it’s possible you’ll wish to make a precise copy of a drive or quantity on the block stage.

Most drives retailer information in blocks on disk – and information is normally learn and written in block-sized chunks. Most drive blocks are 512 bytes in dimension, however can be 1024, 2048, or 4096 bytes.

Drive mechanisms, or “mechs” normally have inside buffers which make disk I/O quicker by storing lately used blocks in a drive cache for quicker I/O. Utilizing sure instructions it is attainable to bypass disk caches and do “uncooked” I/O which reads or writes information on disk instantly.

For true and actual disk clones, a block-by-block copy is important.

There are additionally many cloud-based backup companies on-line, and whereas helpful, they are not actual gadget cloners, so we cannot cowl them right here.

Apple Disk Utility

The only strategy to make a block copy of a drive or quantity on macOS is to make use of Apple’s Disk Utility. Apple’s utility has the flexibility to make actual block-level disk clones and save them in disk picture (.dmg) format.

The .dmgs can then be restored to a different gadget later.

To make a disk picture with Drive Utility, open it in /Functions/Utilities/, and choose a quantity from the listing on the left. Management-click or right-click the amount, and choose “Picture from” from the popup menu.

Screenshot of Apple Disk Utility in macOS

Choose a vacation spot to create the .dmg file at, and choose both “read-only” or “DVD/CD Grasp” from the popup menu within the lower-right nook of the Save panel.

Screenshot of Save As menu and file browser in macOS

Click on “Save” and enter an admin password when prompted for the disk images-helper software. This privileged helper software is a part of macOS and requires particular permissions to make the copy.

Screenshot of permissions menu for diskimages-helper tool

When you enter an admin password, Disk Utility will start copying the chosen quantity to the vacation spot, storing a precise block-level copy contained in the .dmg file. As soon as the copy completes, Disk Utility will notify you of success or failure.

Screenshot of creating disk image from Files operation menu

Word that the present macOS Startup Disk quantity cannot be cloned or copied utilizing Disk Utility.

To repeat a Startup Disk, you will have to boot into another macOS quantity, run Disk Utility from there, then clone the macOS boot disk you wish to copy. Or you may boot into macOS Restoration by rebooting and holding down the “R” key on the keyboard.

Restoring from Apple Disk Utility

To revive a macOS quantity from a disk clone .dmg file, begin up into any macOS bootable quantity aside from the one you wish to restore to, run Disk Utility from there, then choose “Scan Picture for Restore” from the Photographs menu within the menubar.

Choose the .dmg file you wish to restore within the Open panel, enter an admin password, and let Disk Utility scan it. That is mandatory so Disk Utility can confirm that the picture will be restored to a bodily disk.

As soon as the scan completes, click on “Executed” within the progress window.

Subsequent, Management-click, or right-click the bodily disk quantity you wish to restore the .dmg to, and select “Restore” from the popup menu.

Word you are selecting the vacation spot quantity first, not the .dmg. Most volumes which might be writable and listed in Disk Utility will be restored to.

Screenshot of restore option in Mac Disk Utility

Within the sheet that pops up, click on the “Picture” button to the proper of the “Restore from:” popup menu, and choose the .dmg file you created beforehand. Basically that is the reverse of the method you used once you created the .dmg.

The quantity chosen to revive to might be fully erased and the .dmg’s contents copied as an alternative – so watch out earlier than clicking the “Restore” button within the sheet. When you do, the reverse copy course of will start and the .dmg might be restored to the chosen quantity.

Word you may also primarily clone straight from one quantity to a different by deciding on any quantity besides the Startup Disk from the “Restore from:” popup menu – as an alternative of choosing a .dmg to revive from.

In Disk Utility, “Restoring” primarily means cloning – whether or not the supply of the clone is a saved .dmg file, or a bodily quantity.

One main benefit of doing block copies is that each one the metadata from the supply quantity will get copied precisely to the vacation spot together with the info itself. That is notably essential when cloning bootable drives since elements of macOS’s UNIX underpinnings require sure UNIX permissions to be set on some system recordsdata to ensure that the OS to work correctly.


SuperDuper! from Shirt Pocket is maybe probably the most beloved of all macOS disk cloning apps. Launched shortly after Mac OS X’s preliminary introduction in 2000, SuperDuper! has been round for many years and is very dependable.

It is also quick, has a lot of choices, and is free for fundamental disk copying. The paid model provides options resembling scheduling, Good Replace, Sandboxing, and scripting.

Screenshot of Super Duper disk cloning software

SuperDuper! is not a block copier, however it’s clever about the way it copies drives – it is aware of methods to accurately set file permissions and different metadata to insure copied volumes are bootable when restored.

The paid model additionally is aware of methods to do incremental copies so in case your supply disk modifications, SuperDuper! can save time by solely copying over the brand new modifications to the vacation spot disk.

Further cool options of SuperDuper! embrace the flexibility to run shell scripts and set up .pkgs earlier than and after copy, restore disk permissions earlier than copying, and selecting whether or not to backup all recordsdata on a quantity or simply consumer recordsdata.

SuperDuper! prices $28 on the Shirt Pocket web site to totally unlock, however contains free components.

Carbon Copy Cloner

Additionally one of many oldest disk copiers for macOS, CCC as it’s higher identified could make copies of drives and volumes in full or incrementally, utilizing schedules, and utilizing snapshots that archive disks at moments in time for later restoration/restoration.

The latter characteristic is helpful to get better recordsdata in the event that they go lacking, get deleted, or for those who simply wish to return to an older model from a sure date. CCC may make clever incremental copies from NAS sources shortly by utilizing indexing.

Screenshot of CCC disk copier for Mac

CCC works utilizing Duties, that are units of backup or restore procedures to run on particular volumes.

Duties will be grouped and scheduled, and you may view Duties individually, by teams, or by volumes they’re related to. A easy tabbed interface makes switching views simple.

There are a number of different options resembling pausing and resuming backups, a dashboard, easy mode, and watching folders to induce incremental backups routinely any time the content material of a folder modifications.

One other very helpful characteristic is the flexibility to look copied backups.

CCC additionally contains an non-compulsory menubar icon for fast entry to duties, the flexibility to run preflight scripts, electronic mail notifications for backup duties, and battery choices for laptops.

There’s additionally a macOS Media Installer Assistant which helps you make bootable macOS installer disks.

It must be famous that CCC could make block copies of some volumes, however provided that sure circumstances are met, and solely on the preliminary backup. All subsequent incremental backups of the identical quantity are on a file-by-file foundation.

Carbon Copy Cloner prices $50 from the official web site, however there’s a 30-day free trial accessible.


Etcher from balena is an easy and stylish disk clone app that’s easy to make use of.

The UI is straightforward: set a supply to repeat from, a goal storage gadget, and click on the Flash! button.

Screenshot of Balena Etcher

Sources can embrace bootable .iso OS picture recordsdata, a picture file saved in balenaCloud, or for block-exact copies an hooked up storage gadget.

Clicking Flash from file shows a typical Open pane, from which you’ll choose a .iso picture file. As soon as chosen, click on Choose Goal to pick a bodily native storage gadget to flash the picture file to.

The gadget will be any disk, a USB thumb drive, or different learn/write media.

Not like most different cloning apps, you choose a uncooked bodily disk on the gadget stage in Etcher. These are listed by gadget title (embedded firmware title, truly), and BSD disk quantity, which you’ll view in Terminal by typing:

is bodily BSD disk quantity 9, mounted within the dev/ (gadget) listing. Most BSD bodily units are related to macOS by way of its BSD underpinnings within the /dev listing.

Beware that when deciding on a bodily gadget as a vacation spot in Etcher, you are deciding on your complete gadget, not only one quantity on the gadget.

If you click on the Flash! button, you are erasing your complete gadget – together with all volumes of every kind which may be on it.

So watch out earlier than clicking Flash!. It is simple to destroy a number of volumes with a single click on.

You’ll be prompted for an admin password after clicking Flash!, however when you enter the password and click on OK, there is not any going again – every part on the gadget might be destroyed immediately.

As a substitute of flashing from a file, you may clone one bodily gadget to a different straight by clicking the Clone drive button, together with the gadget containing the Startup Disk by clicking the “Present hidden” merchandise on the backside of the scrolling listing:

Screenshot of source selection menu in Balena Etcher

Etcher is brilliantly easy and small, and is without doubt one of the best methods to make uncooked bodily copies of storage units in your Mac.

Sadly there is not any Apple Silicon-native model of Etcher but, nevertheless it runs simply high quality within the Rosetta 2 emulator, and we anticipate balena will create a Silicon model quickly.

  • Clonezilla
  • Clonezilla is a text-based disk clone app that lets you make actual copies of disks by flashing its downloadable picture to a USB thumb drive, or burning it to a CD after which booting into it. Full utilization is past the scope of this assessment, nevertheless it’s pretty technical so novice customers that aren’t snug with a text-based UI might wish to keep away from it.

    Screenshot of CHC Clonezilla software

    Full documentation is accessible together with step-by-step examples and video tutorials, from the software’s web site.

    ChronoSync and ChronoSync Specific

    ChronoSyncfrom ECON Applied sciences, Inc. is a Swiss military knife of quantity copiers, backup, and a number of different duties.

    Its major utility interface is centered round synchronizer duties, which will be grouped into containers, and scheduled. There’s additionally a setup assistant to make activity creation simple, and the app’s Ui is straightforward, simple to make use of, and polished.

    Screenshot of ChronoSync for macOS

    As soon as a activity is created, you may configure and edit it by double-clicking from the listing on the left in the primary window.

    You’ll be able to set supply and vacation spot, reverse the path of syncing, do bidirectional syncs, mirroring, make bootable quantity copies, or simply make and sync information volumes with none system recordsdata.

    Screenshot of ChronoSync Organizer

    ChronoSync additionally helps syncing to and from iCloud in each instructions, and on standard cloud storage areas resembling Amazon S3, Google Cloud, Backblaze, SFTP servers, and others.

    There’s additionally intensive error and log dealing with, metadata, and particular file dealing with, together with a Guidelines interface that may restrict which recordsdata get synchronized.

    ChronoSync features a host of helpful different options resembling backing as much as disk photos, making bootable backups, folder backups, and the flexibility to again up your consumer’s dwelling folder.

    Remember that with a purpose to use automated scheduled backups, ChronoSync does have to put in a background activity as a Login Merchandise which runs within the background. It additionally makes use of an installer for set up and comes with an uninstaller app for straightforward elimination.

    Even with its intensive interface, ChronoSync is clean and straightforward to make use of. It takes no time to grasp and all of the options are accessible and proper the place you’d anticipate them to be. Most issues are self-explanatory and straightforward to grasp.

    ChronoSync prices $50 from the ECON Applied sciences web site, with a free trial additionally accessible.

    Disk Drill

    Disk Drill from CleverFiles is a knowledge restoration app that additionally options backup and a disk clone utility, and which has the flexibility to do each backup and block cloning of drives.

    It could additionally backup and clone to .dmg recordsdata.

    Disk Drill has different options together with deleted information restoration, partition restoration, Time Machine help, macOS bootable macOS installer quantity creation, information shredder, cleanup and duplicate file scanning, S.M.A.R.T. monitoring, and Microsoft Home windows FAT32 and NTFS quantity help.

    Android file restoration can also be offered.

    One of the best characteristic of Disk Drill is its easy interface and ease of gadget navigation. The primary utility window exhibits all choices on the left facet, and you may simply see a listing of units and volumes on the proper facet just by clicking an merchandise from the listing on the left.

    Screenshot of storage devices in Disk Drill

    You’ll be able to view by bodily disks, logical volumes, RAID, free area, and disk photos. There’s additionally a swap for hidden objects which lets you see APFS container and storage volumes, and unknown volumes that macOS would not know methods to mount.

    Deciding on “Storage Units” on the left exhibits you all units related to your Mac in a hierarchical listing, with collapsible arrows which reveal every gadget’s volumes. Two different choices, “{Hardware} Disks” and “Logical Volumes” allow you to toggle the listing view between simply bodily units, and all volumes in a single, easy listing.

    Deciding on an merchandise from the listing of units and volumes exhibits a get info-style legend on the proper together with mannequin title, vendor, bus, capability, BSD title, variety of partitions, and free area. Additional information under that exhibits volumes and free area data, together with bodily quantity offsets on the gadget.

    The Byte-to-byte backup characteristic (block copy) makes actual clones of units and volumes, and you may specify the beginning and finish blocks inside a tool or quantity earlier than you provoke the backup. This lets you copy simply parts of units and volumes on the block stage.

    There’s additionally a foul block search characteristic to search for bodily dangerous blocks on units.

    All mentioned, Disk Drill is a slick disk utility that is useful for additionally making fast copies of storage related to your Mac.

    Get Backup Professional 3

    Get Backup Professional from BeLight Software program Ltd., is a minimalist however highly effective disk clone and backup utility.

    Its easy tabbed interface has 4 choices: Backup, Archive, Clone, and Synchronize.

    First, you choose a tab to make use of, then click on the “+” or “-“ button so as to add or take away a mission of the present kind. As soon as a mission is created or chosen from the pane on the left, you may add or take away recordsdata and folders by dragging them in or out of the mission window, or utilizing the add and take away buttons on the backside of the window.

    Screenshot of Clone Wars in Mac operating system

    There’s additionally an attention-grabbing button on the backside of the primary window with a popup that lets you add all of your Photographs, Contacts, Mail, or Paperwork to any mission with a single click on.

    On the Clone pane, two easy popup menus on the high of the window will let you set a supply and vacation spot to repeat to.

    The left facet of the recordsdata pane has checkmarks and you may toggle which objects within the listing to incorporate in a backup or archive just by clicking the checkbox subsequent to every merchandise.

    It’s also possible to set dimension limits, select to repeat prolonged file attributes or not, exclude hidden recordsdata and folders, schedule copies, and embrace or exclude recordsdata and folders primarily based on filename sample matching.

    Screenshot of Backup Pro 3

    One other good characteristic is the flexibility to duplicate any mission at will just by Management-clicking it and deciding on “Duplicate” from the popup menu. You’ll be able to then modify both mission with out affecting the opposite.

    There are additionally shade labels for tasks which you’ll set by Management-clicking any mission – an understated vertical shade bar is added on the left facet of the mission in the primary window’s mission listing. A pleasant contact.

    It’s also possible to change any mission’s title, shade, and schedule just by clicking the gear icon on the backside of the tasks listing – a easy shortcut for enhancing simply probably the most fundamental mission properties.

    As soon as your mission is about up the best way you need it, click on the Play button and also you’re off. A progress bar on the backside of the window exhibits copy or restore progress. There’s additionally an in depth log window that information all actions.

    Whereas Get Backup Professional would not embrace options present in different merchandise, its directness and value level make it compelling. It harkens again to the Mac’s early days when software program was easier.

    It is effectively thought-out, takes lower than ten minutes to be taught, has minimal menus, and navigation across the interface is fast and enjoyable to make use of. It feels gentle and snappy. Nothing in Get Backup Professional ever will get in your method and you may accomplish most duties with only a few clicks.

    Weighing in at a mere 23 MB on disk, BeLight has proven that fashionable Mac software program needn’t be bloatware.

    As a remaining contact, Get Backup Professional features a built-in Mac Assist file along with on-line assist. The assistance file is succinct and to the purpose – offering solely the only info wanted for every activity.

    BeLight additionally has one other attention-grabbing disk product: Concealer – which lets you conceal and encrypt recordsdata on disk.

    Get Backup Professional prices $29.99, with a 15-day free trial additionally accessible.

    EaseUS Todo Backup

    The oddly-named EaseUS Todo Backup from EaseUS is basically a white-label licensed copy of Get Backup Professional 3 that additionally dearer at $30, so we cannot go into element about it right here.

    UNIX dd command

    dd is the UNIX disk duplicator command and can be utilized within the macOS Terminal to each create disk picture recordsdata from drives and volumes, and to clone complete drives on the command line.

    To get a full listing of dd utilization, see its man web page in Terminal:

    To make use of dd to clone a tool, you primarily give it a supply and vacation spot gadget utilizing the “if” and “of” choices, which denote the enter gadget and output gadget, respectively. The “f” stands for “file” – consistent with the UNIX philosophy of “Every little thing is a file” (even units).

    So “if” signifies the enter file (gadget) and “of” signifies the output file (gadget).

    use the diskutil listing command in Terminal to get a full listing of each bodily storage gadget related to your Mac. You will use these units because the values to “if” and “of”.

    sudo dd if=/dev/disk0 of=/dev/disk2

    tells dd to repeat your complete contents of gadget disk0 onto gadget disk2.

    Word that every part on the vacation spot gadget might be destroyed as soon as the copy begins – this contains all volumes of every kind on the gadget.

    Watch out when utilizing dd as a result of it is simple to misinterpret the output from the diskutil listing command and use the unsuitable disk quantity for the vacation spot within the dd command. One mistake and you may destroy complete volumes with the press of a key.

    Earlier than issuing the dd command, you will need to additionally manually unmount all of the vacation spot gadget’s volumes from the Desktop utilizing the unmountDisk command:

    diskutil unmountDisk adopted by an area, then the /dev UNIX disk quantity as listed in diskutil listing.

    It’s because the Finder and filesystem put a lock on every mounted quantity at mount time in order that different processes cannot intervene with uncooked filesystem writes from the Finder.

    There is a -status flag which you’ll set to “progress” to have dd output copy progress as it really works. See the person web page for more information.

    UNIX rsync command

    First launched in 1996, and written in C for efficiency, rsync is one other UNIX file copy and backup software. It runs from the command line, and you need to use it to make full and incremental backups or clones of any mountable disk quantity or between folders.

    rsync is clever and is aware of what has modified because it was final run between any supply and vacation spot by utilizing Distant Differential Compression. Solely modified recordsdata and folders are copied throughout sync. It could additionally make copies over LANs and the web and is aware of methods to work together with FTP servers in some configurations.

    To get full data on rsync utilization and instructions, see its man web page in Terminal:

    rsync is aware of methods to protect UNIX file metadata and permissions, and for those who use the -E flag it should additionally copy macOS prolonged file attributes to the vacation spot, and even protect legacy Mac OS 9 useful resource forks.

    rsync may function in a daemon mode (rsyncd), serving and receiving recordsdata utilizing the native rsync:// protocol. When operating in daemon mode, there’s an rsyncd.conf file which configures the daemon.

    The default UNIX port for rsync is 873.

    A number of different disk clone and backup merchandise sit on high of rsync, together with Rclone which makes use of rsync to backup, restore, and mirror to and from standard cloud servers. Rclone may mount distant cloud storage over SFTP, HTTP, WebDAV, FTP and DLNA as native disks on the desktop in some circumstances.

    rsync’s writer Andrew Tridgell can also be writer of the Samba file server and the now principally out of date studying chess engine, KnightCap.

    rsync is at present maintained by Wayne Davison and is open-sourced at his GutHub web page.

    Raspberry Pi Imager

    If it’s good to create a bootable SD card on your Raspberry Pi laptop, the Raspberry Pi Basis has created the Raspberry Pi Imager (free) accessible on their web site.

    Obtain the Mac model, mount the .dmg file by double-clicking it, and duplicate the Imager to your Mac’s disk.

    Screenshot of Rasberry Pi Imager for Mac

    To pick an OS to flash, click on the Select OS button, choose both a built-in Raspberry Pi OS model, one other Linux model, or any OS picture file from the Use Customized merchandise on the backside of the listing.

    As soon as an OS is chosen, click on the Select Storage button, after which choose a bodily storage gadget to flash the OS to (normally an SD card).

    Screenshot of Raspberry Pi Imager v1.7.3 menu

    As soon as each supply and vacation spot are chosen, click on the Write button to flash the picture onto the gadget. Watch out as a result of as with balena Etcher, you are about to erase a whole bodily storage gadget, together with all volumes on it.

    As soon as the OS is written to the SD card, you will possible get a Finder notification that the disk is unreadable. Click on the Eject button within the alert and take away the SD card out of your Mac, insert it into your Raspberry Pi, and energy it on.

    There are many choices accessible to disk clone Mac storage units or backup storage. Utilizing cloning software program could make the method simpler and quicker, and makes putting in new drives or transferring an OS to a different Mac so much much less troublesome.

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