I would like to make an automatic Incremental backup of 5 folders..

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by DenniiZ, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. DenniiZ macrumors newbie


    Feb 8, 2014
    Hello everyone, it's my first post, after searching and didn't coming up with something, I decided to make my own thread. My problem seems very simpel, because I know it's possible, and I don't want to spend money on an app with way to much specs that I don't need. So here is the issue.

    I have an iMac 27" with 1TB FD. This is daily backed up to a WD Network drive with TimeMachine.
    I also have another external HD but connected with USB to my iMac, with a couple of folders (5) were I work in daily.
    Now, on the network drive (it's 3TB) I made a folder where I copy everything EXACTLY as I do it in the (5) folders on that USB harddisk. THIS I would like to automate. It's 1 way, I will never work on a folder that's on the usb drive, it's pure backup. It's I think what they call an Incremental backup, it only copy's what new or changed.

    Now i've spend hours on google and forums, and trying "free" programs that are not so "free" anymore after a month.. Maybe this is possible with Automator, but I am so afraid it goes wrong.. It's a 1-way back up, but the way I'm doing it now (purely manually copying) is so time-consuming, and leave's place for mistakes.

    Is there anyone who can help me? It would be very much appreciated!! :)

    with kind regards, Dennis from Belgium!!
  2. dictoresno macrumors 601


    Apr 30, 2012
    I use SyncFolders Pro app, yes it's paid, but it's a one time purchase.

    I use it to backup multiple folders on my desktop to my media hard drive connected via USB. It does exactly what I think you're looking for.
  3. prisstratton, Mar 5, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017

    prisstratton macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2011
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    You can do what you need using rsync and crontab (both part of the Mac operating system). It just takes a small amount of time to setup and it is not difficult.

    Please see a previous post of mine discussing this subject, here:


    The video in the post is very helpful and the person explains the process very well. You can stop the video and write your own script while you are watching to make sure you get the syntax correct. He steps you through writing the script and then tells you how to automate it.

    I would suggest that you setup a test directory to try the script first before you use it on “live” data.

    If you are not happy using the terminal then I would recommend that you go with the option as suggested by dictoresno.

    I hope it helps.

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