Online Backup

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Requires Mac OS X 10.9 ("Mavericks"), 10.8 or 10.7
More info:  Arq Release Notes   Arq Manual
Arq 3.x available here

Need Dropbox-style file sync?
Try our new product Filosync!

Arq is super-easy online backup

Just add your folders to Arq, and Arq will back them up automatically:

App Pricing

$39.99 per computer for Arq 4 (the app) Buy Now

Minor updates and bug fixes are free. Upgrade pricing is typically available after a major version upgrade, e.g. to Arq 4.

Storage Pricing

$.01/GB per month for backup to Amazon Glacier

Retrieving your files from Glacier takes 3-5 hours plus the download time.

Your initial backup will incur approximately $.05/GB in per-request fees. Subsequent backups will incur insignificant fees.

$.03/GB per month for backup to Amazon S3 (US East region)

No delay in retrieving files.

Per-request fees are typically insignificant.

Free Usage Tier: Up to 5GB free for 1 year

All recurring costs are billed to you by Amazon Web Services.

True privacy and control

Use Arq with your own Amazon Web Services storage account or S3-compatible account at GreenQloud, DreamHost, Google, or your own SFTP server such as Synology NAS or FreeNAS.

Encrypt your backups with a password only you know. Haystack Software employees have no access to your data.

All encryption is done before your data leave your computer (not using Amazon's "server-side encryption").

Your backups are stored in an open, documented format. We've also delivered an open-source command-line utility called arq_restore that's hosted at github, so you can read your data anytime without depending on Haystack Software (although we're in this for the long haul, so we'll be around for a long, long time!)

Awesome support

We believe backup is a critical function, so we strive to fix critical issues in Arq quickly. If you have questions or feedback, please email us at and we'll get back to you promptly. We strive to answer all emails within 1 business day.


Arq restores all your data and metadata correctly, unlike some other online backup offerings. Backup Bouncer is a test suite independently developed by Nathaniel Gray to verify the accuracy of backup products restoring Mac file data and metadata -- in his words, to "keep the ugly backup tools out of the club." We make sure Arq passes all Backup Bouncer tests.

Other Features

Wayback Machine

Arq keeps multiple "versions" of your files — a backup history. So if you discover a file was corrupted or accidentally deleted, you can go back and get it.

Arq automatically backs up every hour or every day, depending on the schedule you choose. Only the changes are uploaded for each backup, minimizing network and storage usage.

No limits

Arq backs up everything you tell it to back up:

  • It doesn't skip videos or ignore certain file types.
  • It backs up files of any size -- 4GB, 40GB, it doesn't matter.
  • It backs up your external drives and your network drives.
  • It doesn't delete backups of your external drives just because you haven't plugged them in lately.
  • It doesn't forcibly delete backups older than 4 weeks.

Perfect Complement to Time Machine

Time Machine works well and provides fast restore, but you have to remember to plug in your backup device (unless you have a Time Capsule), and it doesn't cover all scenarios:

  • theft of computer and backup device
  • backup while traveling (unless you bring your backup drive)

Arq backs up whenever/wherever there's an Internet connection.

Flexible Bandwidth Options

Arq can upload to S3 at maximum speed, or at a fixed transfer rate that you choose. Or choose automatic transfer rate to slow down uploads whenever you're using the Internet for other tasks.

The Story Behind Arq

I started thinking about Arq back in early 2009 because I wanted an easy-to-use backup program but couldn't find one that worked well. I liked Time Machine and even bought a Time Capsule so I wouldn't have to remember to plug in an external hard drive. But it still only backed up when I was at home near the Time Capsule, and if my house burned down or someone stole my computer and Time Capsule my stuff would be gone. I wanted online backup, at least for my most important documents and photos.

I tried Mozy, Carbonite and Backblaze. They all offered "unlimited" size backup for a fixed fee, but the "unlimited" service had limits. I couldn't back up a network drive, for example. I couldn't keep backups of external drives reliably -- Backblaze promised to delete backups of external drives that haven't been connected for 30 days. They were vague about durability and availability of my backups. And then there was the risk of the backup storage provider closing up shop and me losing all my backups. I'd seen that happen before (Upline, Xdrive, Omnidrive, Digital Railroad).

Amazon S3 seemed like a great place for my backup data. It's backed by the power of a large, profitable, public company. It offers clear durability and availability numbers and replication to multiple data centers. And it isn't an "unlimited" type of offering, so they don't add constraints to minimize the amount of backup data I have.

Backing up to S3 felt like real backup, but there wasn't any great software to do it.

I had been working on a project that used Amazon S3 for storage, and stored its stuff as a content-addressable storage (CAS) system, written in Java. I decided to rewrite those bits in Objective-C. Then I added logic to correctly back up all Mac-specific metadata, plus strong encryption, plus a simple but powerful Mac UI. Thus Arq was born.

It turns out lots of people were looking for something similar, and through word of mouth Arq has become very popular among Mac users. Now with the super-cheap Glacier storage option, Arq is set to grow even faster!

Screen Shots

Back up anything
Back up anything
Exclude files by name or path
Exclude files by name or path
Set S3 budget
Set maximum S3 storage budget
Limit network impact
Limit network impact
Multiple versions
Versioned backups
Restore from other computers
Restore from your other computers

Arq on Hacker News

Hacker News comments: March 4, 2014

Recent Tweets about Arq

daviddixon If your an OSX user and dont have a good external backup solution, then I really recommend @arqbackup. Invaluable for any business. Mar 03
daviddixon New version of @arqbackup released today in what looks like could be the most interesting version yet. Multiple locations and SFTP support! Mar 03
whitedonkey If you’re on a Mac and you aren’t using @arqbackup you should start now. Mar 03
journalist_tool Feine Sache: @arqbackup 4.0 laesst sich nun auch mit HiDrive von @STRATO_AG nutzen. Lesen Sie mehr unter Mar 03
tedserbinski Do you have a Mac? Absolutely best way to back up your mac. < $2 a month on Amazon's Glacier. @arqbackup Mar 03
Justin_Lund Look at all the ways to store data in @DreamHost DreamObjects. Now including @arqbackup Mar 03
avi4now Really impressed by the feature set of @arqbackup 4.0: and what a great post too. I love supporting independent devs! Mar 03
jpinnix Version 4 of my favorite remote backup tool @arqbackup is out. Amazing new features. Mar 03
nfarina New version of @arqbackup supports backing up to S3 objects with Glacier lifecycle. Way more awesome than it sounds. Feb 04
DamienDeVille Really excited about Arq 4! I’ve been using @arqbackup for years and it’s just been getting better with every update. Feb 04
alphacolin @arqbackup This looks like a fantastic update. I'm a tremendously happy customer of your product. Looks like @roidrage is too :) Feb 04
thrashr888 My first time using an in-app error reporter and it actually got fixed. @arqbackup is awesome. Feb 04
koenbok Arq by @reitshamer is a great backup app for the Mac. I cannot recommend it enough: Feb 03
pgkiran Backed up 100 gigs of our family media on amazon glacier using @arqbackup Arq is the best glacier client I found for mac. Jan 26
jouni Time to start backing up all photo & video files to Amazon Glacier with Arq: Jan 19
chrisrosa Can’t say enough about @arqbackup. So nice to finally have an offsite backup of my 217GB Aperture library. Jan 17
KyleHughes @JamieKnight checkout Arq (, it’s what I use for this exact purpose Jan 14
destroytoday Instantly purchased @arqbackup once my trial expired—I love when software makes me do that. Dec 27
justin_macleod Accidentally started deleting my home folder... @arqbackup to the rescue!! Dec 11
toetoe Arq is an affordable and secure solution for long term Tb-scale backups on Amazon Glacier. An awesome piece of software. @arqbackup #osx Dec 08
seriousken I'm loving @arqbackup for Mac. Fast, cheap, reliable, portable. Puts everything else I've tried to shame. Dec 07
CKonstanzer @arqbackup Really nice way to backup my Mac to Amazon Glacier! Dec 07
richseiling Just bought @arqbackup after 30 day free trial. I will sleep better at night using Amazon Glacier as part of my backup strategy. Dec 05
webalys @jonikorpi Arq backup, using Amazon Glacier: reliable and cheap. Nov 23
stevegwatson Mac Backup to Amazon AWS Glacier and S3 with Arq - Feeling much safer today. This plus Time Machine. Belts and Braces Nov 22
jbarratt Feeling safer having @arqbackup sending my stuff to Glacier. It's nice having more than just Time Machine keeping me safe. Nov 08
N4Reichman @arqbackup Two thumbs up for Arq/Glacier. This is what I've wanted for years. Thanks Haystack! Nov 08
john_nye so for the second time in 2 days @arqbackup saved my skin. Once from my idiot alter-ego, once from a storage Mavericks bug. Oct 30
KantiBit Backed up 40 GB of data on Amazon S3/Glacier using @arqbackup. Amazing backup solution Oct 22
imsmith @arqbackup great stuff expect 8 licence purchases on Monday! Oct 19
taoeffect Finding all sorts of interesting hidden files being backed up via @reitshamer's wonderful @arqbackup. Oct 17
billywizz @sgaw Yeah changing from S3 to Glacier took my monthly charges from ~$10 to ~$1 Awesome. @arqbackup Oct 11
sgaw @billywizz I’ve been using @arqbackup for three years but it’s taken me a long time to upgrade and move to Glacier. It’s a brilliant tool. Oct 11
billywizz @sgaw It's awesome, Been using it for ages. Best Glacier backup SW out there! @arqbackup Oct 11
sgaw Ashamed it’s taken so long but I’ve just upgraded to @arqbackup 3 (which I can’t recommend enough) and I am moving data from S3 to Glacier. Oct 11
zmanji @alexradu If you have a Mac I suggest just managing your own backups with @arqbackup. Oct 07
drkedrkedjon 80GB to Glacier in 24 hours with fiber. 3.48€ upload. One month of just backup: 0.77€. Such a great app is @arqbackup Oct 06
timtyrrell Switched from Crashplan to Bitcasa and now to @arqbackup (for Amazon Glacier storage) Oct 06
reed_mangino Go @arqbackup go! 100 GB of 300 GB (3 days thus far - off and on). Sep 21
neilgall Impressed with the performance of @arqbackup. At current speed it's going to complete my 188GB upload well before the 30 day trial is up. Sep 10
mdreid @copumpkin @arqbackup I did exactly the same thing a couple of months ago. Works beautifully & I can handle the ~$1/month to do so. Sep 10
copumpkin I just archived 90GB of old photos to Amazon Glacier using @arqbackup. I love it! Sep 10
feejin @neilgall I’ve a few hundred GB on glacier via @arqbackup, works well. Sep 06
oneafrikan Using @arqbackup to push 100GB up to Amazon Glacier. @dropbox (with Packrat) + @arqbackup == Peace of mind ;-) Jul 29
Salesas If you use a Mac, you MUST get yourself @arqbackup as soon as. Brilliant piece of software, low cost backup. Jul 17
macography @arqbackup Thanks for developing the software. My review is here Jul 17
cphaynes Just purchased (via the demo) @arqbackup. Took 5 days to upload all my data to @awscloud Glacier and Arq handled it perfectly...good stuff! Jul 15
it_merc after using @arqbackup for nearly 6 months now I say: It is so good, a mac-installation without it is close to malpractice. Jul 12
beau Recovered a full backup of my personal files via Glacier with @arqbackup. So simple. Jul 11
Stammy @davidcollantes @arqbackup I currently use arq as mentioned in the post, but it's about a different idea. local tiny exports too for mgmt Jul 10
acidix_net Switching to @arqbackup has been great so far! Uploaded 160g in only 2 days to @awscloud - finally usable offsite backup! Thanks! Jul 08
josephruscio @indirect have you looked at @arqbackup? It's ridiculously cheap if you use Glacier to back up all your large media files. Jul 05
GlennWolsey @arqbackup A little write up on Arq I published last night. FYI Jul 03
theonlylars @marcoarment I've had a good experience for cheap with @arqbackup + amazon glacier Jul 03
raymondcww @arqbackup you (guys) are awesome! Jul 03
jscarto Feels good to move my Lightroom catalog and other precious files from my aging LaCie to Amazon Glacier w/ @arqbackup. Jul 01
johndbritton Moving from @backblaze to @arqbackup, so far it's been excellent. Jun 13
jng5 Just f*cked up my git repo (stashes snafu, wasn't pushed yet), but restored it from S3 in minutes with @arqbackup #ftw May 25
dankim I still love Dropbox, but Arq + Amazon Glacier is great for giant archives. Going to save about $450/year. May 13
sgarcez I've been trying out AWS glacier backups with @arqbackup in place of crashplan. Working well so far.. May 11
johnenricco I almost lost some picture data with dropbox yesterday so I turned to @arqbackup Supports #Glacier & #S3 for data backup & archival. Sweet! May 10
rosario_raulin Try @arqbackup, it's the greatest invention since sliced bread. May 10
Starefossen A million thanks to @arqbackup for keeping my data safe and secure #love #secure #backup May 03
lvnilesh @arqbackup makes @aws glacier hot. Backed up my 338GB aperture library with no issues. May 03
ejeklint @janl @arqbackup Arq is great! Apr 26
pedromelo @include Mac user? Be the owner of your data, choose @arqbackup Apr 26
beaufour @sirmichael I used Arq as the backup tool btw, -- worked like charm for me. Apr 17
whoisvince Using @arqbackup to backup our new home networked 2TB hard-drive to @awscloud glacier… home network & storage solution complete! :D Apr 16
andrey_butov Last night the drive holding all of our source code died a screaming, fiery death. @arqbackup saved our asses. Complete restore. Flawless. Apr 11
RecessionCone .@reedolsen I just started pushing my files to Glacier using @arqbackup. So excited to finally have a solution to this problem. Thanks! Apr 04
floriankugler @steipete @olebegemann @arepty +1 for Arq. I backup partly to S3 (smaller things which I might access frequently), the rest to Glacier. Apr 02
steipete @olebegemann @arepty Can highly recommend Arq + Amazon Glacier. Apr 02
amine Been using @Arqbackup with my S3 acc. the past few days and loving it.. nice interface, fast upload, and I like having control over my data. Mar 19
toddeichel @jedmund I switched from @backblaze to @arqbackup plus Amazon Glacier a while back and I like it a lot better. Mar 19
JustinMurphy Wowza, @arqbackup throws data up to Glacier faster than any other backup service i've ever tried! Mar 11
willaustinphoto Just purchased @arqbackup for backing up to the Amazon Glacier service, love it! Mar 07
scientifics Arq Backup and Amazon Glacier ~~ How I backup and some details on Glacier support in @arqbackup. Feb 27
upbeat_linux while i usually roll my own backup solutions @arqbackup is worth every penny. effortless backups to s3/glacier and budget enforcer. kudos! Feb 24
Nekokun My important folders are now floating on @arqbackup to @amazon #S3 @awscloud Feb 16
perlguy9 200GB photo archive to Amazon Glacier with @arqbackup for $2/mo, in addition to @backblaze and Time Machine. Awesome. #photog #blahblahcloud Feb 12
cwbowron @balanon I set up @arqbackup a couple months ago, and have been very impressed with it. Feb 09
balanon Found the best and cheapest way to backup my iPhoto pics and other folders on my Mac to the cloud: @ArqBackup + Amazon Glacier Feb 09
nfarina Two weeks in, @arqbackup via Amazon Glacier has been fantastic. I never think about backup anymore. Goodbye, nagging Time Machine. Feb 07
n_randall Amazon charged me a whopping 77 this month, to keep my entire digital life backed up offsite? Outrageous! (thanks @arqbackup) Feb 03
mmayo Sometimes I restore a backup set made by @arqbackup and verify the files vs originals. All 16386810 checksums passed tonight. Jan 27
DusanHlavaty Aaaah finally ! All my family videos and photos are backed up off-site. Thanx @arqbackup Jan 24
tdream Just installed a copy of @arqbackup version 3 on another #Mac of mine. Supports #AWS #Glacier & #S3 for data backup & archival. Happy. Jan 13
qmx @yaroslav @arqbackup and it's working flawlessly here! :) Jan 10
yaroslav Arq (@arqbackup) supports Amazon Glacier now. sold! Jan 10
nfarina Arq continuously backs up your Mac to the super low-cost Amazon Glacier. This is what Time Machine should have been. Jan 04
thomas_witt I am totally in love with @arqbackup ... awesome tool for Mac OS X disaster recovery, includes Backup to AWS Glacier! It's worth its $29! Jan 04
160south @Bmiller303 For crazy-easy and cheap backups on a Mac, check out @arqbackup. I've become madly in love with it. Money well spent. Dec 29
codeguy .@arqbackup just saved my ass for the first time. Just paid for itself several times over. Dec 21
manide BTW, I really can recommend Arq (@arqbackup) from Haystack Software. Perfect solution and is very reliable. Dec 20
peterhajas Just bought @arqbackup by Haystack Software. The trial was very convincing. Now, all my photos live in Glacier! Dec 19


"a terrific addition to an already excellent tool" - TUAW

"near-perfect low-cost off-site backup solution" - Webmonkey |

"I've read great things about Arq" - Marco Arment

"The deeper I dig, the more I wish I was a Mac user" - Steve Gibson , Security Now Episode 350

"einfach und genial die Datensicherung mit Amazon S3 über Arq" - Blog IT-Solutions

"Uploading and maintaining 50 gigabytes of data on Arq will cost about $5 a month" - New York Times

"My files get backed up to S3 using Arq" - Chris Wanstrath, GitHub co-founder

"I can vouch that it's a very effective system." - Brett Terpstra

"a better way to backup critical files online" -

"easiest to use, most flexible, and gives me the most control" - NoodleMac

"My favorite cloud backup tool" - Practically Efficient

"a fantastic backup utility" - AppStorm's Best Mac Software of 2010

"simple and elegant and works as expected" - Macgasm

"Arq makes it easy to retrieve your Mac's files." - Mac360

"If you’re serious about backups and like the idea (I do) of having your stuff on Amazon S3, go download Arq. It’s just great." - MacStories

"I love Dropbox for its elegance and simplicity, but actually those are exactly the qualities I like in Arq too." - AppStorm

"It’s exactly as simple as it can be, and it f***ing works perfectly." - Mason Mark

" kicks Jungledisk’s ass when it comes to speediness." - Snipe.Net

"powerful" - Full Creative

"I love it" - Trevor Turk

"Die technische Seite von Arq macht einen sehr sauberen und vielversprechenden Eindruck." - macfidelity

"Empfehlenswerte Mac-Datensicherung" - MacMacken

"phenomenal user experience" - OS X Attack

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