Retrospect Review (with 10% Off Coupon)

Retrospect Professional is powerful backup software for Windows and Mac.  It can take regular backups of your entire system, and restore it to any point in time.

Retrospect art

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User Rating:
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  • Backup entire hard drives, files and folders
  • Loaded with features
  • Client/server software for multiple PCs
  • Great customer support
  • Five licenses included


  • Price ($120)
  • Outdated interface

The Bottom Line

Retrospect Professional is ideal for business environments, or home power users who have multiple PCs to back up.

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Retrospect Professional is a standard Windows installation.

Newbies might be confused by one part of the setup process: the choice to install either Retrospect or Retrospect Client.  What’s the difference?  Basically, most home users should choose the standard Retrospect install.  Retrospect Client is for business settings, where one computer (Retrospect Server) controls the client machines.

Home power users might be interested in the client edition as well.  If each member of your family has a computer, you could manage the backups for them all.

Backing Up

The Backup Wizard that pops up when you first start the program will help you create your first backup.

Retrospect Professional backup wizard

The Retrospect backup wizard

You can backup the entire computer, specific files and folders, and many other options.

I will choose to backup the entire computer for this test.  Retrospect further lets you choose to just backup the system files, documents and settings, pictures, etc.

You’ll choose where the backup is stored.  Choices include tape, optical drive, removable disks, and local hard drives.

You can either run the backup now or set it to run on a schedule, such as every day.

Backup Sets

A backup set is simply your backed up data.

Retrospect will ask how many backup sets you’d like to use.  If you select more than one, this is just a fancy way of saying, “store my backups on multiple hard drives, please”.  It’s basically a backup of your backup, for those who want an extra layer of protection.

Catalog Files

Think of catalog files as a Table of Contents for your backup.

Retrospect uses catalog files to keep track of files in a backup set.  Why not combine the backup sets and catalog files into one file?  Because by keeping them separate, you can view the contents of a backup without inserting the media.

If they’re ever lost or deleted, no problem.  They can always be recreated from the backup set.


To restore your entire system, you’ll need to create an emergency recovery disk.  This will allow you to use Retrospect if your system stops working, or to restore on another computer.

You can restore selected files and folders, the entire hard drive, or the registry and system state.  The ability to only restore the registry is a nice feature, since a full computer restore is not always needed.  Another great time-saver is that Retrospect will “sense” existing data, and only restore what’s needed.

Retrospect system restore

Retrospect is smart. It only restores what it needs to, even if you’re restoring an entire system.

The Restore Process

  1. Select the backup set you want to restore.
  2. Select the snapshot (point in time) you want to restore.
  3. Choose the restore point, such as the original location.
  4. Choose the type of restore, such as files and folders, or the entire hard drive.
After that, Retrospect will work it’s magic and restore your data.


Client/Server Model

One of the biggest reasons to use Retrospect is it’s client/server model.  It means you can control multiple backup clients from a single server.  Retrospect Professional includes five licenses with each purchase.

Backup Retention Policy

Retrospect has a great backup retention policy, where it will keep the last backup for every day in the past week, each week in the past month, and for each month after that.  This way, hard drive space is efficiently utilized to store the backups.

Retrospect for iOS

Monitor and control Windows and Mac backup servers from your phone.


Email support is always free.

When you purchase Retrospect you receive 45 days of free phone support.  This is to answer any questions with setting up or configuring the software.  If you need phone support after that, you’ll need to purchase an Annual Support/Maintenance (ASM) contract.

Both email and phone support are available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  I opened a support ticket and was responded to within one day.

Product Name Retrospect Professional
Version 8.0.0
License Shareware
Price $119
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 no
Online Storage yes
Compression yes
Encryption yes
Email Notifications yes
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 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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  • AlexHeu

    Sounds like an reliable backup software. Especially the possibility to control you backup via iOS as I got it right? I’m using the software of just because it does real time backups. So my question is does this software provide kind of this feature as well?

    • Yes, you can control your backups via the iOS app. I don’t think Retrospect supports realtime backups.