Recalling Qrecall

I am not trying to beat a dead horse folks, but I am in the process of testing the excellent Qrecall backup app with the goal of replacing Time Machine. Today I want to show you a couple of features that allow Qrecall to use way less space than Time Machine.



As I mentioned previously, my latest Time Machine backup to my 2 GB external USB HD is over half full. It has been running to about 4 weeks. At this rate in a couple of months I will have to start removing stuff from the backup or just start over again like I usually do.

Enter the very efficient Qrecall features of “Compact” and “Merge Layers”. Qrecall saves versions of documents in Layers, somewhat like Time Machine, but much more efficient. If you go into the “Window” menu in Qrecall and select “Actions” you will get this window:

Click for larger image

The top two items, Compact and Merge Layers, are all about compression. I am not going to get into all the technical details of how the app does this, but suffice it to say Qrecall uses way less space than Time Machine. Here is the Compact window:

The app does this daily after it completes it’s backup. Here is the Merge Layers window:

It does the Merge Layers routine right after Compact is finished. Besides backing up files more efficiently, Qrecall saves space using these two functions everyday.

Proof of the Pudding

Here is the proof of the pudding. My new Time Machine backup has been running for about 4 weeks on a 2 GB HD and is half full. Time Machine does more stuff than Qrecall with hourly, daily, weekly and monthly backups, but the fact is I just don’t need all that.

On the other hand, Qrecall has been backing up my stuff for about 1 week now. The amount of space it has consumed (on a test drive) is 20 GB. If we extrapolate that out it comes out to approximately 100 GB a month which ends up being a little over 1 TB a year. Wow! Now I have not used it for a full year, there may be some caveats down the road that causes Qrecall to use more space, but my initial observations are that it is super efficient in the way it constructs and maintains it’s backup.

My plans are to test Qrecall for a few more weeks, if all seems well at that time I am going to transfer my test Qrecall backup over to my Time Machine hard drive and turn off Time Machine altogether. Yes, Time Machine is easier to use, but taking the time to learn Qrecall yields big dividends.

I forgot to mention one thing. Version 2 of Qrecall is designed to run on El Capitan, but it is still a beta version. However, I have had no problems with it so far, YMMV.


If you are fed up with Time Machine and are the least bit “Techie” I highly recommend Qrecall for backing up. It does cost a little, but it’s backup efficiency, settings capabilities and reliability offset the cost by a long shot in my opinion.