Refining the scope of a backup task

This documentation is for an older version of CCC. You can find the latest version here.
Last updated on December 27, 2019

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We often see backup tasks configured with the whole startup disk selected as the source, and then everything excluded from the backup except for a single folder. This kind of configuration is suboptimal for several reasons:

  • The entire folder hierarchy up to the non-excluded folder is preserved, so it takes longer to navigate to your files on the destination.
  • With the startup disk selected, CCC may perform unnecessary subtasks related to making a bootable backup on the destination.
  • The task involves more overhead (e.g. evaluating lots of exclusion rules), so it will take longer.
  • The scope of the task is very broad; CCC's effects are applicable to the whole destination rather than to a single folder.
  • If the destination is a folder on the startup disk or on a non-Apple formatted volume, then the task will likely produce errors related to preserving special file flags of folders on the startup disk.

A better configuration is to create a folder-to-folder backup. With a specific folder selected as the source and a specific folder selected as the destination, you greatly reduce the scope of the task, thus reducing the amount of work that the task has to do and also reducing any risks to other content on the destination.

Converting a whole-disk, single folder task to a folder-to-folder backup

For the sake of an example, let's suppose you selected Macintosh HD as the source for a backup task, then chose "Copy some files" and excluded everything except for Users > yourname > Documents > Work In Progress. Let's also suppose that you selected a volume named CCC Backup as the destination for this task. If you navigate to the CCC Backup volume in the Finder, you will find a folder hierarchy of Users > yourname > Documents > Work In Progress. To convert this backup configuration to a folder-to-folder backup, you would do the following:

  1. Navigate to the CCC Backup volume in the Finder
  2. Navigate to Users > yourname > Documents > Work In Progress
  3. Move the Work In Progress folder to the root level of the CCC Backup volume
  4. Move the (now containing empty folders) Users folder to the Trash
  5. Open CCC and select the relevant backup task
  6. Drag the Work In Progress folder from the CCC Backup volume onto CCC's Destination selector
  7. Drag the Work In Progress folder from your home folder on the Macintosh HD volume onto CCC's Source selector
  8. Save the task

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