Minitool ShadowMaker Free backup software review

Minitool ShadowMaker Free is a backup software program for Microsoft Windows that you may use to create automated system and disk backups.

The main feature of the program is to create backups of any physical disk that is connected to the computer it is run on without sacrificing important features such as compression, encryption or verification of backups.

The program supports a wide variety of additional features; these include creating bootable recovery media, disk cloning, and different backup schemes.

Tip: Check out these overviews as well:

  1. Free Backup Software – Best Windows Backup Software Programs
  2. Best Free Drive Backup programs for Windows

Minitool ShadowMaker Free

minitool shadowmaker free

You are asked to pick the device you want to configure backups for on start. This can either be the local computer the software is run on, or a remote device.

The main interface loads afterwards, and it is up to you to select one of the available tools to get started.

If this is your first time starting the program, you may want to select the tools section to create recovery media right away. You may boot the PC using the media in case it does not boot anymore to restore a backup you created previously.

The backup creation dialog is simple on first glance. The system disk is selected automatically, so that you only need to select a target for the backup to start it.

It is recommended to select options first though, as you may configure important options there:

  • Set up password protection, verification and compression.
  • Switch from “used sector backup” to “sector by sector backup”. The former copies only sectors that are in use so that the resulting backup image is smaller in size, the latter all sectors regardless of whether they are in use currently or not.
  • Options to split the backup into files, to add comments, email notifications, and automatic shutdown on completion.

Once you have made that selection, you may also schedule the backup or select a different backup scheme.

The default backup scheme is set to incremental. ShadowMaker Free creates one full backup and three incremental backups by default to save disk space on the target device. Version 1.0 of the program supports only incremental backups, while Beta 3.0 of the program full and differential backups as well.

You need to sign up on the developer site to get a beta license.

You may schedule backup jobs so that they run hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly as well. Event based backup job automation is also only available in version 3.0 beta of the program.

Once you are done with all of that, you may select to run the backup job right then and now, or run it at a later point in time. If you select the run later option, it is moved to the “manage” tab automatically from where you can run it at a later point in time.

The backup program keeps track of jobs and saves processing information to a log that you may access at any time under logs in the main interface.


MiniTool ShadowMaker Free is a handy backup program for Windows. It is compatible with all recent versions of the operating system, and can be used to create individual or regular backups of disks (including the system disk).

It comes with important features such as encryption and verification, and lets you create recovery media to restore devices that don’t boot at all anymore, or that cannot be restored when they are up.

Now You: which backup program do you use?

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About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand.You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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