Experiences with Carbon Copy Cloner

Can friends in the community please share their experiences with Carbon Copy Cloner? I’m finally retiring my 11.5-year-old iMac and want an exact copy of the SSD.

I should make clear that:

  1. I do have Time Machine but I don’t really trust it.
  2. I do have Backblaze.

I’ve used CCC for many years. It’s been solid for me.


It works well for me, and is part of my multi-program (CCC, Chronosync, Backblaze, Arq), multi-destination (external HDDs, SSDs, NAS, Backblaze) backup regimen.


CCC has been rock solid for me for years. Totally recommended.


Using it for the following:

  • Hourly backup of home directory to drive A
  • nightly backup of home directory to drive B
  • Weekly bootable backup of drive.

All working well :slight_smile:

1 Like

Let me butt in on this and ask…

How easy and robust is the restoration process in CCC?
Time Machine is well known for causing sporadic permissions issues with restored files, so I’m wondering if CCC ever evidences that kind of thing too.

I’ve had successful experiences with CCC. If you’re moving to an M1 Mac, note that CCC wants you to use Migration Assistant to move over from their backup instead of cloning the whole drive.



Thanks for the heads-up and your experiences. :slight_smile:

I have used Carbon Copy Cloner for very many years. It has always proved reliable and the developer is very responsive in the case of any issue (for example, not detecting attachment of a stand alone backup SSD). In addition the documentation and knowledge base are invaluable—and always updated for new significant releases.


1 Like

Pretty easy. Connect the drive and it shows up in the Volumes list. Click the volume and you are shown a list of snapshot dates. From there you can double-click to browse in Finder, or click the Restore… button to create a task to restore the whole backup.

CCC will show a warning if your current permissions settings will lead to trouble later. It’s good about giving you information and attempting to foresee problems.


Allpositive. I use it for backups all the time. I do recommend their verification process at lesat occasionally to perform a checksum evaluation of your data

I’ve used it to restore both my current iMac and my laptop. When I had a new 2TB SSD installed in my 2013 iMac I made 2 different CCC backups of the internal drive, verified I could boot off of both of them and then wiped the internal drive before taking it to the store to have a new drive installed. When I got it back it was just a simple matter of attaching my backup and doing a simple restore.

I did much the same thing with my laptop and it also worked exactly as I expected.


I also do daily backups using CCC. I have heard rumours that with the new version of Mac OS, bootable backup will be a thing of the past.

I’ve used CCC for years. It’s terrific and saved my bacon on more than a few occasions. Support is beyond great. Last summer they helped me diagnose defective SSD. CCC is worth every penny.


I’m a long-time user, since 2002 (version 1.0). If it wasn’t good I’d have moved on to something else eons ago. :slight_smile:


The process for making encrypted, bootable backups has become a bit of a pain, so I don’t bother with the bootable part anymore unless I have specific reason for it, but other than that it’s been rock solid for me. Best front-end to rsync ever :slight_smile:

1 Like

I use CCC as an important part of my three pronged strategy, with each doing a different thing:

  1. Backblaze - ‘set and forget’ off site cloud based backups in case of machine/drive failure
  2. CCC - bootable backups in case of machine/drive failure. Same as Backblaze - less secure because held locally, but has the advantage that it will get you up and running quickly if needed.
  3. Time machine - for easily and quickly going back to get earlier versions if you overwrite a file.

confession, I have had CCC license for a couple of years but have never used it. I just upgraded to 6 and I am going to start. I want to use it like time machine, is there a good guide or tutorial to do this? I have always just relied on backblaze but I do need a time machine scenario for those oopsies.

This is my understanding also - bootable clones are, or soon will become, a relic of the past.

Mike Bombich, creator of Carbon Copy Cloner, recently explained that Apple’s move to a SSV (Signed System Volume) in new versions of macOS will make bootable clones of macOS not feasible, at least as we have known them in the past. As Mike explains, "The operating system now resides on a cryptographically sealed “Signed System Volume”(link is external) that can only be copied by an Apple-proprietary utility, “Apple Software Restore” (ASR). " ASR, however, sometimes fails and does not allow for certain features desired in backups - versioning and checksum verification for examples. Furthermore, the Signed System Volume feature will not allow boot of an Apple Silicon Mac if the internal storage has failed.

While it is technically possible now for CCC to create a bootable clone, it is probably better to do a “Standard Backup”. This Standard Backup of your startup disk backs up all of your data, all of your applications, and all of your system settings. After you have reinstalled macOS on a repaired Mac with a replaced drive or logic board, or when you boot a new Mac for the first time, you then migrate data from your CCC backup using Migration Assistant.

CCC’s new direction is to make it easy to create feature-rich backups without all of the logistical idiosyncrasies of copying the System, which is now locked down for security reasons.

See Mike’s full article here:

Although I understand those who value a bootable true clone of a Mac boot drive, I feel that the security advantages of Apple’s lockdown of the signed system volume outweigh the convenience factor of a simple bootable clone.

I like what Apple is doing with its new APFS SSD format and SSV security, and I trust what Bombich Software (developer of CCC) is doing to keep up with the changes.