As a Mac fan, you know the significance of data backups. Time Machine, Apple’s built-in backup software, makes it easy to save multiple copies of your Mac data to an external hard drive or AirPort Time Capsule. There are also dozens of online backup services to choose from if you prefer not to carry a physical drive around.
But let’s be honest, when data disaster strikes, are you going to be that patient sitting in front of your Mac for hours even days (yes, it can take that long) only to wait for the recovery process to complete? As for cloud backup options, their main drawback is that it can take ages to finish backup if your Internet connection is slow.
Is there a better backup solution out there? Yes, clone your Mac hard drive!
Why Clone Hard Drive and When You Need It?
Simply put, cloning your Mac hard drive provides additional secure backups and saves you time restoring the data if needed, especially when your main boot drive fails to start or you’ve sent your Mac to Apple Genius Bar for repair services.
A cloned hard drive copy allows you to work on your files and apps without waiting. Just connect the cloned hard drive to another computer, and select to boot up from this cloned drive and you’re good to go.
There’s another good use case for Mac hard drive cloning. These days, hard drives just come and go. In particular, if your Mac is loaded with a spinning hard disk drive (HDD), its life tends to end earlier compared to an SSD (solid-state drive). If your Macintosh HD fails, it could cause a number of problems — one of which is data loss. Even if you have set up Time Machine backups, most likely you still need to visit Apple Store or a computer repair shop because you’ll need to set up a startup disk that contains macOS.
In fact, I learned the lesson the hard way. One day my mid-2012 MacBook Pro hard drive died, and I couldn’t turn on my Mac after pressing the start button. Then I scheduled an appointment with an Apple Genius bar and took the machine for a diagnosis. It turned out the 750GB Hitachi hard drive died out, based on what Apple Mac technical support guy said.
I was then advised to purchase an SSD drive from Crucial online, which I did. But that was not all. When I successfully replaced the dead hard drive with the new SSD, I realized that I didn’t have a Mac reboot disk. Another trip was made to Apple Store and the guy installed OS X El Capitan for me. Ah…it was not over yet. Since I had Time Machine backups, I had to select a snap and restore all my data. Oh mine, it took me almost an entire day!
Lesson learned the hard way — Time Machine is not that efficient to restore data. That’s why I’d strongly encourage you to try cloning your Mac hard drive just in case.
Best Mac Hard Drive Clone Software: What to Look for?
Security: this is the number one factor to take into consideration when using any apps on your Mac. Sure, Macs are less prone to viruses and malware. But it’s no longer the case. There are annoying adware bundled in the programs you install. They tend to slow down your Mac as well as cause other damages.
Features: a great Mac hard drive cloning app should be able to perform several standard functions such as create an exact, identical replica of any Mac disk, clone drives formatted with Master Boot Record (MBR) partition, and quickly extract volume image file to recover all your data, etc.
Compatibility: the app must be compatible with all common macOS versions including the latest macOS Catalina. Also, it should support operations on Macs with either a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD).
Ease of Use: the app must be easy and simple to use, even if you are not a computer person. We’ve thus excluded command line tools out of the recommended list.
Best Hard Drive Cloning Software for Mac: Our Picks
1. EaseUS Todo Backup for Mac
EaseUS Todo Backup for Mac is our best choice. It allows you to clone everything on one hard drive to another, and best of all, the destination disk can be a hard disk drive (HDD) as well as a solid-state drive (SSD). Besides disk cloning, you can also use this app to create file backups in full, incremental, or differential modes.
2. Stellar Drive Clone (Mac)
Stellar Drive Clone is our second pick. This app can copy the entire hard drive and allows you to perform immediate recovery whenever you need it. Besides cloning Macintosh HD, you can also use this app to clone an exFAT-formatted drive. Here’s a screenshot I took during testing.