Best Time Machine Alternatives for Windows

With numerous developments, finally, OS X or currently named macOS, has launched and created a reliable and amazing disaster recovery backup feature called Time Machine. For those who are not familiar what a Time Machine is, no it is not what you see on futuristic themed movies but it is a program that creates an image of your device’s operating system. This includes your personal data, files, personal data, settings, apps installed. The Time Machine will then store everything in a safe location of your external storage.

This tool is important as in case your OS crashes, all your important stuff will be restored and you could still recover them the exact way they were saved prior to OS failure. Until now, Time Machine has been a very secured backup tool that most Mac users rely on. However, if you are using Windows, unfortunately, this tool is unavailable. Since that is the case, Windows users rely on third party tools that offer the same or similar service as Time Machine.

Numerous third party backup tools are available for Windows and this makes it difficult to choose and know if the tool is effective, efficient and reliable. We understand the dilemma, hence, we researched and came up with a list of best tools which you could use as an alternative for Time Machine.

1. Genie Timeline

Genie Timeline is the only one we could say that comes really close to Time Machine and we could assure you that you would want to get your hands on it for your Windows OS. It comes with three simple steps and includes a set it and forget it approach. This means, whatever you choose as your backup option, it will preserve its setting without you having to intervene all the time. In addition to that, it also comes with visual indicators which notifies you to back up your files by right clicking on the context menu and aside from that, you will also see a list of files that have been backed-up.

Genie Timeline also supports different third party cloud storage devices, servers, network drives and iPhone/iPad app features. Through these, you will be able to view your backup status no matter wherever you are. Furthermore, this tool comes with a version control specifically for your backup files and it also has a seamless system recovery option in case something goes wrong.

This tool comes with a price of $39.95.

2. CrashPlan

This tool is a powerful and reliable contender for backup and recovery of files and documents fpr those who are using Windows. This backup tool offers two versions- limited free version and subscription model which comes with amazing advanced features.

For personal use, we recommend you to use the free version as it comes with enough features and reliable performance in backing up your files on your external hard drive. Moreover, the free version does not have any limitations on the size of your files, it also conducts incremental and differential backups, also has self-healing archives, applies encryption, offers protected storages and tracks all of your deleted files.

As for the subscription version, it includes all of the features of the free version plus the ability to support backups to online locations. It also provides file version control and offers free upgrades. This version also allows your mobile apps to access your files wherever you are. Furthermore, this tool is also known to be a reliable cloud storage as well.

CrashPlan is available on Windows, Linux and macOS.

3. Backblaze

A cloud-based backup solution tool, Backblaze offers amazing features at an affordable price. Though it uses the same set up, its way of restoring one’s data is very unique. It comes with unlimited online backup and allows you to restore your data through internet. Aside from that, you will also be able to restore your data also through the normal and usual way of using USB or external hard drive. This service comes with a price but it is a good investment and comes in handy during dire situations.

In addition to the said feature, Backblaze also comes with version control, allows mobile apps to access files and to locate a missing computer, scheduled backups, bandwidth management and many more. Lastly, it also allows external drive backup to cloud.

4. Mozy

This backup and restoring tool is different from others as it offers unique service such as cloud data protection service. This means, they promise security. They ensure that everything they back-up is synced with their military-grade encryption. Aside from that, it includes automatic and “behind the scenes” backups plus smart bandwidth management.

Though Mozy will not be able to replace a system image backup tool, it is known for it being a reliable data backup solution. So if you are greatly concerned about your data, Mozy will be a great help.

Mozy comes with a price that starts at $5.99/month with an option to avail their free trial.

5. DriveImage XML

From all the backup tools featured in this article, DriveImage is the most unique. It allows its users to restore images to the same drive or if you wish on a different one. In other words, it could

create a mirror image and these images could be stored and saved in a universal XML format which makes it very accessible. This means your files could be retrieved easily. Aside from that, this tool uses Microsoft’s VSS which allows you to create images even on drives that you are currently using.

DriveImage XML offers two versions- free for personal use and for commercial license, it comes with a price that starts at $100.

6. Duplicati

The great thing about Duplicati is it is open source and is free as well. It could back up your files and data and stores it to a number of cloud services. This includes One Drive, Google Drive, Amazon 3, DTP, WebDAV and many more. It also offers strong encryption and automated backups, scheduled and incremental backups which saves your bandwidth.

Windows Native Tools

If you are uncomfortable using third party tools, there are some features that Windows allows and these are File History and Windows Backup and Restore. These two ways have been used by many for quite some time and it works well on Windows 10.

To use these two methods, you will need an external hard drive, a network storage drive or a networked computer that will serve as your backup location.

File History

File History will save your file in different versions and in Windows 10, you will be able to choose which folders you would want to be monitored and how long these different versions will be kept. This method works best for your documents and powerpoint files.

To use this method all you have to do is:

  1. Go to control panel
  2. Click on System and Security
  3. Click on File History or search for file history
  4. Specify which folder you wish to monitor and what backup location you would wish to use.

Windows Backup and Restore

This method is for creating complete system images and it was launched together with Windows 7. To use Windows Backup and Restore, all you have to do is:

  1. Go to Control Panel
  2. Click on System and Security
  3. Click on Backup and Restore
  4. Set up your backup settings by choosing your backup location and which file to back up.


This concludes our article and list of best alternatives for Time Machine for Windows users. We hope we were able to provide you a backup solution for all of your important files and documents.

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