How To Set Up BackBlaze On Your Mac

Backblaze is an online backup application. I use it and recommend it for many residential clients. Some clients might prefer CrashPlan for Business, which is a competing online backup service I also use and recommend. In my experience Backblaze is a bit easier to setup and monitor. CrashPlan’s appeal is that it offers longer file retention capabilities, however it also costs more. This Cloudwards article provides a thorough comparison of Backblaze and CrashPlan.

To get started with Backblaze you can either buy a subscription using my referral link (so I get a free month of service) or try their 15-day free trial. A Personal subscription costs $60/year as of mid-2020 and provides unlimited storage space. Backblaze performs backups on a continuous basis. (Note: As of mid-2022 the price has increased to $70/year)

Here are some brief instructions that’ll hopefully get you started.

Once you’ve either bought a subscription or signed up for a trial, you’ll be allowed to download the Backblaze installer. As of mid-2020, Backblaze requires macOS 10.9 or higher.

Open the Backblaze installer and follow its prompts to install Backblaze on your Mac.

To monitor and configure Backblaze, click on the Apple menu and select System Preferences. Then you’ll see a Backblaze icon on the bottom row of icons. If your Mac is using macOS 13 Ventura or newer, click on the Apple menu and select System Settings. Then you’ll see a Backblaze icon near the bottom of the left-hand column. Refer to Backblaze’s Settings Overview for a tour and explanation of its capabilities and settings.

Backblaze starts its initial backup automatically as soon as it’s installed. By default, it’ll backup your Home folder which contains all of your data. In System Preferences you’ll see indication that it’s working on the Initial Backup.

Important Notes:
  • The initial back up could take days or weeks to complete depending upon how much data you’ve selected and the speed of your Internet connection. Until this initial backup is complete you don’t have much protection. I think Backblaze is a nice supplemental backup to local backups performed by Time Machine.
  • If you’re using macOS Catalina or newer, then you need to make sure you grant Full Disk Access to Backblaze. When you initially install Backblaze you’ll be notified that you need to grant these permissions. Follow the instructions listed or refer to my article about how to grant Full Disk Access to Backblaze.
  • Please review which file types are being excluded by Backblaze by default.
  • If you want to backup an external hard drive, you’ll need to visit the General Settings area.
  • If you want to set your own personal encryption password to ensure that others can’t access your online backup data, visit the Security Settings area.
  • By default, Backblaze performs backups continuously. If you want to configure it to perform backups less often then visit the Schedule Settings area.

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