Creating a Backup Plan

  1. Click the + sign next to “Active Backups”.
  2. In the first section, choose the files to back up.
  3. In the second section, choose a storage location (add one if needed).
    • If you want to start an Arq Premium trial, choose Arq Cloud Storage and choose a region.
  4. If you want to encrypt the backups, choose a password. Arq will then encrypt backup data before sending it, and the password will never leave your computer.
    • Please note: If you’ve chosen a cloud storage location, we strongly recommend encrypting your backups to protect your privacy.
  5. Modify any other settings you’d like (sschedule, excluded files, retention rules, email reports, etc).
  6. Click Save to create the backup plan.

Editing Your Backup Plan

Click on your backup plan on the left under “Active Backups”. Then click the Edit button bottom right.

File Selections

Arq has 3 options for selecting which files to back up: “all drives”, specific folders, and SMB network share.

If you choose “Back up all drives”, Arq will back up all drives connected to the computer at backup time. If you choose “Select files to back up”, you can select exactly which folder(s) Arq should back up. If you choose “Back up SMB network share”, you can configure an SMB network share and then select items within it to back up.

Exclude Rules

In all 3 cases, you can configure rules for excluding files/folders

Limit Networks

You can configure Arq to limit network throughput during backup.

You can also configure Arq to exclude certain network interfaces or WiFi network names.


By default Arq keeps every backup record. But you can configure Arq to reduce the number of backup records kept as they age, and to delete oldest backup records to limit the overall storage used.


Arq can send a report via email when a backup activity finishes.

If you’re an Arq Premium subscriber, Arq will handle sending the email for you. If not, you can configure Arq with your own SMTP server to send the email.


By default Arq creates an APFS snapshot (on macOS) or a VSS snapshot (on Windows) and uses that snapshot as the source for creating a backup record. The advantage is that Arq is backing up your files as of a point in time, instead of backing up files that are changing. This results in a consistent backup of your files. You can disable this in the Options section of the Edit Backup Plan dialog.

Other Options

In the Options section you can configure Arq to: