Genie Timeline Free Review

Genie Timeline Free is automatic backup software from Genie9 Corporation.  It backs up your data at regular intervals to a network or USB drive.  You can then restore your data from any point in time.

Genie Timeline Free main screen

Editor's Rating:
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User Rating:
Rating: 3.1/5 (8 votes cast)

Pros

  • Free
  • Automatically backs up your files
  • Easily recover data from past backups
  • Sleek interface

Cons

  • 8 hour limit between backups
  • No encryption or compression

The Bottom Line

Genie Timeline Free is a great “set it and forget it” backup program.  It takes everything that makes Time Machine on Mac so great and brings it to Windows.

Backing Up

Backing up in Genie Timeline Free is a 2-step process.

Genie TImeline Free setup wizard

Genie Timeline Free features big buttons and easy menus.

The first step is to select a backup drive.  This is typically an external USB hard drive or network drive, where you want your data to be stored.

The second and final step is to select what files you’d like to backup.  Genie Timeline includes a “Smart Selection” feature to choose the most common areas of your computer, such as My Documents, pictures, and video files.  Users wanting more control can manually select files and folders.

Genie Timeline Free smart selection

Choose which files and folders you’d like to backup.

Genie Timeline will then backup all the files you selected.  It will repeat the process every 8 hours, which is the only interval for the free edition.  The Home and Pro editions can each backup changes every 30 minutes and 3 minutes, respectively.  Most users will be happy with the 8 hour interval, which will backup your data at least once per day.

There is no 8 hour restriction for backups started manually.  You can run them as often as you want.

Genie Timeline also creates a “No Backup Zone” folder on your desktop, which is excluded from your backups.  The software also excludes certain system files and folders, which you wouldn’t want to back up anyways.

Restoring

To restore, you select the timeline you’d like to recover data from.  For instance, you could select the previous day, week, or month.  You then select the data you’d like to recover.

Genie Timeline Free Advanced Restore

Genie Timeline Free lets you recover data from any point in time.

I like that Genie Timeline includes this restore process.  A lot of other free software leaves you in the dust when it comes to recovery; in most cases you have to copy the files back in Windows Explorer.

You can also restore from older backups, such as ones stored on another drive.  Your old backups will always be accessible no matter where they’re located.

The final option is where to restore the data.  You can either restore to the original location, or an alternate location.  There are also file replacement options.

Features

File Versions

Also known as incremental backups.  Genie Timeline Free will take regular backups of your data as long as your external drive is connected.  You can then restore any version of any file from your previous backups.

Genie Timeline App

This allows users to view their protection status from their iPhone or iPad.

Backup Open and Locked Files

One of my biggest gripes with free backup software is not being able to handle locked files.  Fortunately Genie Timeline supports this in all its editions.

Support

Genie9 states they don’t provide tech support for their free products.  For that, you’d have to upgrade to the Home or Pro edition.

Genie Timeline includes a help manual, as well as big question mark (?) buttons on every screen in the software.  Clicking the button will take you to that section in the manual.  There’s also a knowledgebase and FAQ.

Specifications
Product Name Genie Timeline Free
Version 3.0.3
License Freeware
Price Free
Operating Systems Window
Backup Types
Files and Folders yes
Full Disk Image no
Incremental yes
Differential no
Backup Destinations
Hard Drive yes
Removable Media yes
Network Shares yes
Blu-ray no
CD/DVD no
FTP no
SFTP no
Online Storage no
Features
Compression no
Encryption no
Email Notifications no
Error Handling yes
File Versioning yes
Priority Setting no
Scheduling yes
Speed Limiting no
Synchronization no

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund is the founder and editor-in-chief of BackupReview.com. He enjoys attending music festivals, whitewater kayaking on the American River, and board game nights in his free time.

Geoff Akerlund

@backupsoftware

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  • SenseWillPrevail

    Some things to watch out for with Genie Timeline.
    1. The “Smart Selection” will back up *loads* more than you think! It backed up *every* email on my PC (including archives), *every* video from every folder.

    2. I haven’t found anything which tells me which has priority – Smart Select or My Computer (i.e. if Smart Selection document items are ticked, but one of the documents folders on my drive is (deliberately) *not* selected, will that folder still be backed up? It looks from my system that Smart Selection does have priority, and that non-selected folder will indeed be backed up. Hence backups are much larger than you might expect.

    3. As far as I can tell, there is no way to wipe a backup entirely (i.e. not file by file). I started a backup, then hit a snag. I started a new backup on the same storage drive and Genie called it Backup(1). When I tried to delete the original Backup via Windows Explorer, 3 levels of what look like empty folders remained. I couldn’t delete them, because Genie protests that the files are “not empty”. No idea why it thinks that, but I’m guessing I will need to boot Windows into Safe Mode and delete those folders.