As a Mac user, 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.
But let’s be honest, when data disaster strikes, are you going to be that patient sitting in front of your Mac for hours or even days (yes, it can take that long) only to wait for the recovery process to complete? I bet not.
So, is there a better backup solution out there? Yes, clone your Mac hard drive!
Why Clone Mac 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. If your main Mac drive 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.
I was then advised to purchase an SSD drive, 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.
So I made another trip to Apple Store and let the tech 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. Well, you probably don’t know, 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 clone your Mac hard drive just in case.
The Best Mac Hard Drive Cloning Software Reviewed
Here is our final list of top recommendations, along with a quick review of each software so you understand its pros and cons.
Clonezilla is open-source software that can copy the entire hard drive and allows you to perform immediate recovery whenever you need it. This app saves and restores only used blocks in the hard drive, which helps increase the clone efficiency.
2. EaseUS Todo Backup for Mac
EaseUS Todo Backup for Mac is our best overall 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.
ChronoSync is our second pick. The app is an all-in-one solution for file backups, syncs, bootable backups, and cloud storage for your Mac.
A bootable backup created by ChronoSync allows you to start up your Mac and bring everything back to work when your primary hard drive fails.
Plus, if you have a number of important files and folders to be synchronized, you can easily get it done with this sync file app.
4. Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office
Acronis Cyber Protect (formerly Acronis True Image) is another award-winning backup and security software that many Mac users love. Besides cloning the entire disk, you can also choose to back up selected files, applications, and devices, all is done through a super intuitive interface.
How to Choose Disk Clone Software for Mac
You should take the following factors into consideration, your selection process will be easier.
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 is annoying adware bundled in the programs you install. They tend to slow down your Mac as well as cause other damages.
A great Mac hard drive cloning app should be able to perform several standard functions such as creating an exact, identical replica of any Mac disk, cloning drives formatted with Master Boot Record (MBR) partition, and quickly extracting volume image files to recover all your data, etc.
The app must be compatible with all common macOS versions including the latest macOS Ventura. 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 from the recommended list.
Are any other good Mac disk clone apps out there that you think deserve to be featured in the list? Drop a comment below and let us know.