Acronis True Image 2015 Review

If you’ve ever needed to clone or back up your hard drive, chances are you’ve heard of Acronis True Image. The disk imaging software has been used for over a decade to protect desktop PCs from computer crashes and other data loss mishaps. Personally, I’ve used it on a number of occasions to fix an un-bootable PC, and the peace of mind it’s given me over the years has been invaluable. In this updated review, I’ll take a look at the newest True Image 2015 version.

True Image 2015 main screen

Editor's Choice 2015

Editor's Rating:
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User Rating:
Rating: 3.0/5 (124 votes cast)


  • Disk image backups enable complete recovery of a computer in the event of a disaster
  • File/folder backups
  • Easy to use interface
  • Advanced options to customize backup jobs
  • Synchronize files between computers
  • Unlimited cloud backup option ($99/year)


  • No free tech support after 30 days
  • Aggressively integrates with OS; options that wake up sleeping computer, and prevent computer from sleeping while backups are running might be unwelcome for some (can be disabled)

The Bottom Line

True Image is the easiest software to back up and recover an entire system, with advanced features to handle any backup job. True Image 2015 brings a new and improved interface, as well as a better sync feature. However, users should be aware that Acronis no longer offers free tech support, except for recovery help.

New Interface First Impressions

The interface of True Image 2015 is much more app-like than previous versions. Buttons are sized for tapping with fingers, rather than clicking with a mouse. Although I was backing up a PC, I could have just as easily navigated the interface on a Surface or other Windows tablet.

I felt like the new interface was an improvement. Everything seemed more streamlined, and less complicated than the 2014 version. Even the colors were a small, albeit welcome change, as they matched the Metro interface of Windows 8.

However, it does take some getting used to. Settings don’t pop up in new windows. Everything is contained within a single window that flows from left to right, as you navigate the menus. I occasionally found myself searching for the “close” button to navigate away from a menu, when there wasn’t one.

Backup and Recovery Performance

True Image 2015 was able to back up my PC quickly and easily.

From the main menu, I created a new backup for my C: drive, with a USB hard drive as the destination.

Creating a disk image backup

I chose to encrypt my backup with a password. This probably isn’t needed if you’re only storing your backup locally (rather than in the cloud). However, I like the extra security.

Although my previous reviews of True Image haven’t included data transfer rates, this one will. It backed up 40 GB of data in about 20 minutes, which is the maximum speed of my hard drive according to CrystalDiskMark. Incremental backups, which only back up changes since the previous backup, were just as fast.

Overall, recovering data in True Image 2015 is as easy as a full-system backup utility can be. To recover my system from a backup, I inserted the Rescue Media I created after I first installed True Image. After booting into it, I was greeted with the True Image interface.

Bootable media

The rescue media allows recovery of files and folders, or whole disks and partitions. It also supports recovery from the Acronis Cloud.

True Image warned me the partition I was restoring to could contain useful data (it did not), and that everything would be overwritten. This is what I wanted, so I clicked OK. A summary of the recovery operation popped up, before I started it.

True Image recovered my 40 GB hard drive in about 15 minutes (to a drive which had existing system files on it). That’s extremely fast. It also had to process a couple incrementals, which no doubt increased the time.

Backup Options

True Image has many advanced settings under the hood – more than any other software in this price range. These range from the standard scheduling of backups (daily, weekly, nonstop, etc.) to less common settings such as email notifications, custom backup schemes, and the pruning of old backups.

More options include:

  • Password protection and encryption (AES-128, AES-192, or AES-256)
  • Pre/post commands
  • Backup splitting
  • Backup integrity validation
  • CPU priority setting
  • Network speed limits

Advanced options

The documentation for most options is easily accessible. For instance, if you’re not sure which backup method to choose, the link “Difference between backup methods” will take you to that section in the help file. Because of this, the software is easy to understand.

True Image’s OS Integration

True Image has a history of aggressively integrating with the operating system. For instance, older versions of True Image could replace the default Windows backup and recovery tool.

In True Image 2015, the default options to “Wake up the sleeping/hibernating computer” and “Prevent the computer from going to sleep/hibernate” may appeal to those who don’t want their backups interrupted. For me, the weirdness of having a computer turn on automatically outweighs my desire for timely backups. I also didn’t want True Image preventing my computer from sleeping, while the backup is running. Make sure to uncheck these options if you feel the same.

Rescue Media Creation

Rescue media is used when Windows cannot start, to recover data after a system crash. Rescue media creation has always been a strong point for Acronis. I was able to create media in only a few steps, onto a DVD. Other options include a CD or USB drive.

Bootable media creation

Other disk imaging programs can be needlessly complex, sometimes requiring users to download extra files in order to create the rescue media. Not so with True Image.


True Image 2015 lets you synchronize files between computers, to the Acronis cloud, or both. Overall, the sync feature works well and is easier to use than in True Image 2014, due to the new interface. A monthly fee is required for syncing to the cloud.

Synchronization types

Any folder can be synchronized to any other folder. In other words, you will not run into any naming conflicts due to identical folder structures. This is also a departure from services like Dropbox, which are limited to synchronizing a single folder. I also liked that True Image let me completely bypass the cloud, if I wanted to. Not everyone wants to store their data in the cloud (or pay the fee required to do so), so this is a great option.

When I tried the Sync feature, True Image detected a previous sync on another computer, and asked if I wanted to join it. I was also able to create new syncs, from folders on my hard drive to the cloud.

Select sync folder


True Image 2015 includes a variety hard disk management tools. These include:

  • Clone Disk. Move an operating system to another disk.
  • Rescue Media Builder. Creates rescue media, to recover disk image backups without the need to boot into Windows. This is an essential tool and should be used after first installing True Image.
  • Acronis Universal Restore. Same as the Rescue Media Builder, but for recovery to dissimilar hardware.
  • Parallels Access. A remote desktop tool to access a PC on a smartphone or tablet.

There are other tools, such as Acronis Secure Zone and a system cleaner, located in the More Tools menu. I rarely make use of the extra tools provided by True Image, but I can understand how they would be useful in certain situations.

Unlimited Cloud Backup

Acronis now sells unlimited cloud backup, as opposed to fixed-data plans (250 GB, 500 GB, etc.) of previous generations of True Image. The price is $99/year for one computer, or $170/year for three computers. Acronis has a fair-use policy of 3 TB, which is the maximum expected size of each computer’s backup.

All True Image backups can be encrypted with a password only you know, making this a completely private online backup solution. Read our review of the Acronis Cloud.


Unfortunately, Acronis only offers free support for the first 30 days. After that, you’ll have to pay $10 per incident to get an answer to a question. There are plenty of backup programs which provide perpetually free support, such as SyncBack, Retrospect, AOMEI Backupper, and every online backup service.

The lack of free support is a poor decision on Acronis’ part. On the plus side, recovery support is always free. You can also get support via the user forums, which are fairly active.

True Image Pricing

True Image is $49.99 for one computer, without the cloud backup option. Discounts are available for licensing multiple computers, and for bundling a cloud backup subscription. Overall, Acronis’ pricing is in line with their competitors. The software isn’t the cheapest, nor is it the most expensive.

1 computer 3 computers 4 computers 5 computers
True Image 2015 $49.99 $79.99 $129.99
True Image 2015 upgrade  $29.99 $59.99 $99.99
True Image Unlimited (with cloud backup) $74.99 $126.99
True Image Unlimited upgrade $51.99 $96.99
Macrium Reflect $69.95 $139.90
NovaBACKUP $24.95 $39.95 $49.95
Paragon Backup & Recovery $39.95 $69.95
Retrospect $119

The Verdict with True Image 2015

Overall, True Image 2015 is everything I could want in a backup program: easy to use, with the ability to recover an entire computer, and an unlimited cloud backup option. Despite my grievances with some of the default options, they are easily disabled. Users will want to keep in mind that software support is not free, although recovery support is always free.

Product Name True Image 2015
Version Build 66.13
License Shareware
Price $49.99
Operating Systems WindowMac
Backup Types
Files and Folders yes
Full Disk Image yes
Incremental yes
Differential yes
Backup Destinations
Hard Drive yes
Removable Media yes
Network Shares yes
Blu-ray yes
CD/DVD yes
FTP yes
Online Storage yes
Compression yes
Encryption yes
Email Notifications yes
Error Handling yes
File Versioning yes
Priority Setting yes
Scheduling yes
Speed Limiting yes
Synchronization yes

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund is the founder and editor-in-chief of He is a cloud fanatic and regularly reviews online backup services. He believes backups should be easy, affordable, and automatic.

Geoff Akerlund


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Latest posts by Geoff Akerlund (see all)

  • awraynor

    I think everyone, but me likes this product. I have purchased TrueImage and upgrades 3-4 times. This time I installed 2014 and uninstalled in few days. They have cleaned up the interface, but it still has issues for me. When I went to search for files synced to an external drive the program couldn’t locate the files and froze. Promptly uninstalled and now I am using Genie Timeline Pro after they gave me an offer to purchase at $10. It is fast, search works well and I am thinking of using the builtin Zoolz glacier storage as another layer of backup?

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    • Irma

      What if Genie Timeline like these days? I tried it about 18 months, but found it was slow to backup and used a lot of system resources all the time.

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      • awraynor

        Mostly good, but a big showstopper. The install went well, it was much easier on resources than other programs I have used.
        Now to the problem. It went well at first, check data items you want backed up and it did it quickly. However, when I went back to change the items the program would freeze and have to be stopped in task manager.
        I eventually found a bad drive, so unsure if that could have contributed to the problem, but I doubt it. That one problem for me was a showstopper nonetheless.

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  • Dr. K. A. Rasheed

    I have almost made up my mind in favour of purchasing a license for Acronis True Image.
    But before that will you please enlighten me as to what happens if my Motherboard is damaged or if I want to upgrade to a new state of the art motherrboard ?
    Can I still bring back my Windows_8.1 to this motherboard ?

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    • Geoff Akerlund

      In order to restore to dissimilar hardware, a license for True Image Premium would be required (+$30). The Premium edition can inject drivers for new hardware at the time of recovery.

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    • Steve

      You can restore to dissimilar hardware with Windows 8.1 anyway. No need for premium. Windows detects new hardware now and sorts itself out. The restore to dissimilar hardware feature was flakey at best anyway.

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  • Peter Meinl

    My biggest problems wit TI 2014 are:

    The built-in scheduler does not wake my PC’s from sleep so I have to keep them running 24/7 for nightly backups. Configuring a Windows scheduled task with TI does not work reliably. This problem with TI exists for years.

    A running TI backup prevents Windows from shutting down with the message “…operations in progress”. They only option to get out of this is a hard reset. This happens often because the scheduling is unreliable.

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    • Geoff Akerlund

      Long shot, but I’m assuming you checked “wake the sleeping/hibernating computer” in the scheduling options? I prefer to run missed backups at system startup, but I haven’t had a problem with True Image waking my computer before I changed that setting. I must be lucky.

      I agree about True Image preventing Windows from shutting down. It’s very annoying! I’m not sure why they haven’t fixed that yet. Sleep/hibernate seems to be the only way around it.

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  • sgarcata

    Does Acronis only do images? So if I want to get up and running after a failure I have to wait until the entire drive is restored to a new one? I’d prefer to only restore the C: image and then restore specific files that I need urgently. Will it restore the boot sector and System partition?

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    • Geoff Akerlund

      Hi sgarcata. True Image can do file/folder backups as well. In the event of a hard drive failure, you’d have to wait until the entire drive is restored to a new one – yes. You can restore files, folders, individual partitions, just the boot sector, or the entire hard drive. One time when I couldn’t boot my PC, all I had to do was restore the boot sector, and I was up and running in less than 30 minutes. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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      • sgarcata

        Did you restore the boot sector and then restore the image?

        Do you have a link for me to learn how to restore the boot sector?

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        • Geoff Akerlund

          Nope. I could have restored the disk image, but it wasn’t necessary because only my boot process was corrupted. I was messing with some system files at the time. There was nothing physically wrong with the hard drive.

          Acronis doesn’t have any specific instructions to recover the boot sector, but the process is similar to recovering the entire hard drive:

          Basically, boot into the recovery DVD, under “What to recover” select the master boot record (MBR) and system partition, then continue with the restore.

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          • sgarcata

            thanks Geoff

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  • Mark

    @sgarcata you can read an Acronis 2015 review here

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  • lisjatchij

    For the beginners here is a big collection of step by step Acronis True Image instructions and comparison with Paragon Hard Disk Manager

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  • lisjatchij

    @sgarcata here is review of true image 2015 with some backup/disk image features description

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  • dougs

    As the owner of a small IT business I have been using Acronis products for more than 7 years. In the beginning Acronis products worked well but during the last three or four years they have been unreliable. I just had a customer who backed-up regularly but then was not able to restore when his hard drive crashed. The backup file validated successfully but TrueImage produced an error when attempting to restore (we tried several new hard drives). I have had many times when the server version has produced images that were large in size but showed no files backed up and would not validate.

    And the home version (TrueImage) GUI has changed with every version: just when you learn how to use the (goofy) interface it changes.

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  • aghosheh

    I downloaded True Image 2015 and installed it on 3 computers
    as a trial.

    Computer 1: Windows 8.1 Quad Processor, 16 GB, 1TB drive
    Computer 2: Windows 8.1 2 Quad Processors, 64 GB RAM, 2 1TB Drives, 1 SSD Drive
    Computer 3: Windows XP Quad Processors, 8 GB RAM, 160 GB Drive.

    Backup steps After Installation which went quick and no problems:

    Backup drives to an external 1 TB USB drive. I did the Entire PC backup option with defaults. And took the external USB drive from computer to computer and the backup. It was quick for most part between 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on how much data on the drive.
    Computer 1 took the longest because of the massive data on that.

    Created a bootable media on a USB thump drive and a DVD to try both.

    From Windows 81 and XP run the application and select restore, select the image
    you want and off you go, after few warnings that you will over write your stuff, blah blah, the restore went great and the image was restored as advertised.

    The Drama:

    Computer 2 with the SSD drive crashed the second day after the backup, the SSD will not
    boot windows, will not restore save point will not go into safe mode and will not allow me to install windows over it from scratch. It was DEAD. Lucky me I got a backup. So, I popped in a new drive, booted the recovery DVD from True Image, it asks if I want to boot Acronis True Image or regular boot, I selected 1 to boot True Image. It boots, I got the screen from the
    recovery and an arrow for the mouse. BUT the mouse will not move, The KB will not type. I suspected the USB ports may not be turned on so I rebooted, went into the BOIS, checked
    everything and the USB are enabled so what the heck. After few tries, I dug up a serial mouse and I am back in business. STRIKE ONE.

    Selected Restore and went looking for the Image, it’s not there, but the external USB
    drive IS connected, and it is ON. Oh Yah, the USB Ports are killed by True Image, can’t read them. STRIKE TWO.

    At this point I can’t restore my drive because of that I will have to install Windows 8.1, reinstall True Image then HOPE it will restore my drive. STRIKE THREE.

    The strange ting is on the XP drive it worked great, no problems and didn’t have issues with the USB ports. Now I know it’s most likely incompatibility with my hardware, BUT this is my main business computer. Good thing is I copy the data off the computer daily so IF true Image still wouldn’t restore I can live.

    Also I couldn’t find anywhere in the restore option where I can restore a boot sector, I restore files and folders but nothing to tell me just get the boot. Interface is overly simplified, it’s like it’s for the dummies, I don’t see a power user option or advanced options, it’s a backup for the masses interface. Anyway. The thing worked on the XP and one Windows 8 but failed due to hardware incompatibility on the third. Try before you buy worked for me. I have to find something else.

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    • Geoff Akerlund

      Thanks for sharing that detailed review! That definitely sounds like a hardware/driver issue, and one that would drive me nuts if it happened to me.

      About restoring the boot sector: I haven’t tried True Image 2015, but in the 2014 version, you can restore the master boot record by ticking “MBR” in the recovery wizard. It’s a bit hard to explain, so here’s a screenshot.

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