Abandoning Time Machine; moving to Arq?

Hello all!

I’ve had it with my problems with Time Machine (see Time Machine suddenly doesn't recognise external HD format - #6 by SebMacV) and am considering ditching it entirely in favour of Arq. I already use Arq to backup to a remote cloud (redundant) location (Dropbox), but am now thinking I’ll also set it to back up to a local drive as my primary backup. I’ve loved TM when it works but it simply doesn’t anymore for me (on my home MBP at least; my work Mac Mini is showing none of the hitches that make home computing so irritating at the moment).

If anyone has experience moving to Arq completely as a TM replacement for local backups, I’d love to hear from you (or indeed if you know of any reasons why this is a stupid idea). I’ve read that restoring options/interface is less than perfect, but I don’t really mind poking around in a file system retrieving what I need. I’m not really after a snazzy interface, but a local back-up solution that is reliable.

Thanks! S.

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I haven’t used Arq (yet…) though appreciate your frustrations with TimeMachine. For what I’ve learned of backup strategies the “all your eggs in one basket” scenario is best avoided. For example if Arq did mess up somehow, you’d want an alternate backup methodology.

I used TimeMachine to a NAS and a USB disk for a while but was conscious of being completely dependant on TM. I now use Synology’s Sync Drive (that has a backup mode) to backup to the NAS and TM to a USB disk.

The theory goes that if Synology messes up hopefully TM will be ok - or vice versa. :crossed_fingers:
Not saying stick with TM - but rather than going all in on Arq, there would be ‘resilience’ in having another independent back up method - what ever that may be.


This is actually my current solution. I have a large external HDD as my primary backup drive and a remote backup to cloud storage both through Arq.

I used to have a more complicated system with Arq, syncthing, timemachine and a extra mac with a clone etc etc but it all felt a bit overwrought. I’m happier with this system now.

I regularly restore from the cloud and HDD once a month or so to verify the backups and I agree that while it’s not a great UI I’ve never had a problem. For individual files or folders it’s no worse than when I used backblaze a few ago.

The post above does make an excellent point about the risk of putting all your eggs in one basket though.


I’ll continue to use my 2018 Time Capsule until it quits working. It’s handy as a quick way to fix a goof on my part.

I use Carbon Copy Cloner with a daily set as well as a weekly set of external spinning hard drives.

And I back up offsite with Arq once a week.


I switched to Arq a couple of months ago after multiple problems with Time Machine. I use it for cloud backup (to Arq server) and for local backups. I’m very happy with the change after doing a lot of testing and checking. Being paranoid I also use Carbon Copy Cloner! I’m running Arq on my M1 Mac Mini and on and older MacBook Pro.

Another good option is ChronoSync – very flexible and useful for transferring large folders.

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Thanks folks. Plenty of good use cases here. That’s me now reformatting my TM drive, calling it ARQ Backup, and I’m off! Thanks for the good advice on not relying on a single technology either. I have a SuperDuper license so when the Arq routine is stable, I’ll invest in another drive for periodic clones too.


Abandoning TM is a wise choice.
I use Arq to a NAS, server, and external drive.
Backblaze for cloud backup.
CCC backs up my boot drive to an SSD.
And Arq to an external once a month that I rotate out.
Roughly once a year I retire a drive and keep it as a long-term backup.

Arq is reliable, and can store a lot of backup history in minimal space thanks to its deduplication and compression.


also note: check out wasabi destination remote and also your own local backup drive.


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I use CCC for backups, i backup to an external SSD daily and hourly to my network storage. My hourly backup only contains a few folder with “workfiles”, it does not backup my complete homefolder. The backup to SSD backups my homefolder (VM’s excluded) and i do not backup my applications folder as i do not find that very useful.

I like the way i can configure what needs to be back-upped in CCC.

My network storage is backed up to an off-site storage.

I’m curious what would be the benefits of adding Arq?

I’m a long time Arq user but prefer Chronosync for local hourly backups.

I use Arq to back up to an offsite storage location (the cloud). It replaces my need to visit my bank to put a recent backup disk drive in my safe deposit box. Back Blaze could have served the same purpose.