Making Backups

From the very first time you run Relica (after signing in), you will be prompted to make a backup. A backup consists of the following:

File selection

You will choose the files (or folders) you want to include (or exclude) in the backup. If you select a folder or all its contents, the entire folder will be backed up when a backup runs, even if new files are added later.

If you select a folder but then deselect certain files inside it, those files will be explicitly skipped by the backup. However, new files added to the folder later on will be included by default.

When selecting files, you can choose from a few "roots" (or "drives" on Windows) from which to browse. Usually these include your home or "User" folder, the root your file system (Unix) or drive letters (Windows), and currently-inserted removable media (such as USB flash drives or external hard drives).

If for some reason a drive or location is not appearing in the dropdown list, you can choose the "Go to" option and type the path manually. On Windows, if a drive letter does not work for a network drive, try its UNC path.

Choosing destinations

A backup must have somewhere to be stored. These places are called destinations.

We strongly recommend backing up your files to multiple destinations to ensure that you can access them no matter what may go wrong. For example, you should store a backup off-site at a friend's house or in the cloud in case your computer is lost or stolen; and you should store a backup locally on an external hard drive in case your Internet goes down or you need to take your files with you (restores from local destinations are also much faster and cheaper).

Relica lets you back up to one or more destinations. We recommend The Relica Cloud for easy and reliable backups to the cloud. You should also get a flash drive, external hard drive, or network drive to back files up locally.

Select as many destinations as you want to back up to. Relica will run the backup once to each destination to ensure efficient storage and healthy backups.

Backup schedule

Since we humans tend to be forgetful, you should let Relica run your backups automatically on a regular schedule. By default, Relica offers to run backups daily at a certain time.

We recommend most people run their backups daily or weekly. Disabling the schedule is NOT advised unless you are just experimenting. If a backup cannot be run at a certain time because the Internet is down, the needed external media is not plugged in, or the computer is not on, Relica will try again at the next opportunity. (You can disable this, too, but again, we advise against that unless you need backups to run only at precisely the designated times.)

For more information about schedules, read our page about... schedules. :)


Backups may not run successfully for any number of reasons. Sporadic failures are usually OK and nothing to worry about: it could be that the destination was not accessible (Internet down or friend's computer offline?), the source files were not accessible (external hard drive unplugged?), the computer was off during a scheduled backup (it will be retried if you left that option enabled), etc.

Failed backups will be retried several times over the course of minutes or hours; or retried at the next opportunity if a scheduled run was missed entirely.

Interrupted backups will be resumed later. This happens all the time and is totally normal. It does not take very long to resume a backup, compared to starting over from the beginning. For example, if your computer reboots during a backup, the backup will continue within a few minutes of you logging into your computer.

The initial backup usually takes the longest, assuming you already have files to back up to begin with. Although Relica backups are among the industry's fastest (thanks to restic), large initial backups to the cloud or other computers can still take weeks or months, depending on your Internet speed.

Since restores are done by selecting a snapshot, files will be available to restore after the initial backup completes.