MiniTool ShadowMaker provides some advanced backup settings for you to customize the backup task. This post from MiniTool introduces detailed information about backup options, backup schedules, and backup schemes.

During the process of backup, you can set some advanced settings for every new backup task by clicking the Options button in the lower right corner. It includes Backup Options, Backup Scheme, and Schedule Settings. Look at the following information:

Backup Options

Backup Options help you to set some advanced parameters. When clicking Options > Backup Options, you can see there are 9 options for you – Image creation mode, File size, Compression, Comment, Email, Excluding, Shutdown, Password, and Verify. The following are the details of each option.

1. Image Creation Mode

During the backup process, you can set image creation mode. Two modes are displayed:

Only used sector backup: Only copy the sectors used by the file system. This mode can reduce the total backup image file size as well as the backup time.
Sector by sector backup: Make an exact copy of the partition(s). Both used and unused sectors are backed up. This mode won’t change a forensic examination of the partitions, and even the deleted files may be recovered.

image creation mode

2. File Size

This option enables to specify the way of splitting a large image file into multiple smaller files during the process of backup.

  • Default size: The image file will be determined by the file system written to. For example, FAT32 files are limited to 4GB. Therefore, images will be split into 4GB or smaller files.
  • Custom size: You can choose to specify the image file size to meet various needs. Note: The minimum file size available is 100MB.
  • Fixed size: If you want to burn the image file to a CD/DVD, please choose a fixed file size, for example, CD Drive-500 or DVD Drive-6500.

the File size option

3. Compression

This option enables you to compress the file size to save storage space. Please note that compression reduces the file size, but may increase the total backup time. See the following details:

Medium: Data will be compressed moderately. This is the default data compression level.
None: Data will be imaged without any compression, which may increase backup file size.
High: This compression level will take a long time to create a backup and the image file size is smaller than the other two levels.

the compression option

4. Comment

This option allows you to add comments to the backup, which is especially helpful to distinguish it from other backups when you are recovering data using the bootable media.

the Comment option

5. Email

After trigger on the Enable Email Notification button, MiniTool ShadowMaker will send an email to inform you whether the backup task is successful or failed when the backup operation is finished. You need to customize the followings:

  • Email Address: Designate an email to receive the email notification.
  • SMTP server: Specify the receive email server depending on the specified email address.
  • Port: You do not have to choose the port and it will be automatically changed to the corresponding port after choosing the encryption mode.
  • Encryption: Three encryption methods are supported, including Text, SSL, and TLS.
  • SMTP authentication: Enter the email address and password for the email.
  • Save configuration and send a test message: Input the subject and click this button to verify whether you can receive the email notification successfully.
  • Send notification when the operation succeeds: When the backup operation succeeds, an email notification will be sent.
  • Send notification when the operation fails: When a backup operation fails, an email notification will be sent.

the Email option

Here, we will show you the settings for two frequently-used postboxes – Gmail and Outlook:


If you want to send notifications to your Google Gmail, first you need to open the access permission.

Step 1: Click the head portrait of your account and choose the Manage your Google Account option

Step 2: Go to the Security tab, scroll down to find Turn on access (not recommended), and enable it.

Turn on access (not recommended)

Step 3: In the new window, switch the toggle to ON. After that, you will receive an email. Just ignore it.

switch the toggle to ON

Then, you can configure the email notifications settings.

  1. For Gmail, the SMTP server should be
  2. For Encryption, you can choose SSL or TLS. The Port is selected by default after choosing the encryption method.
  3. Check the SMTP authentication box. Then, input your Gmail and the password of the account and type the subject. Next, you can click Save configuration & send a text message. Then you will receive a message saying that “Send text message success”.

send the test message via Gmail


If you are using an Outlook email, you need to do another thing – enable POP access on POP access is disabled by default. To enable POP access, follow the guide:

  1. Go to Settings > View all Outlook settings > EMail > Sync email.
  2. Under POP and IMAP, select Yes from the Let devices and apps use POP section.
  3. Click Save.

enable POP access

Then, make the settings for email notifications:

  1. For Outlook, the SMTP server should be
  2. For Encryption, you can only TLS. The Port is selected by default after choosing the encryption method.
  3. In SMTP authentication, input your Outlook email and the password of the account. and type the subject. Next, you can click Save configuration & send a text message. Then you will receive a message saying that “Send text message success”.

send the text message

6. Excluding

This option allows you to exclude some unnecessary items from a backup. Here is one option for excluding Windows page files and hibernation files, and you can check it according to your needs.

the Excluding option

7. Shutdown

This option enables to shut down the computer when a backup is finished. If you know the backup progress will take a long time, it is recommended to check this option. In this case, you don’t need to wait until the backup operation is completed. And then this program will perform the backup and turn off your computer automatically.

the Shutdown option

8. Password

By checking Enable Password Protection, you can add password protection to a specific backup. Three data encryption levels are provided for your choice: None, Normal, and AES128.


Tip: AES128: The Advanced Encryption Standard refers to a block cipher that uses shared secret encryption based on a symmetric key algorithm, using a key sized at 128 bits.

the Password option

9. Verify

By checking Verify Backup after Creation option, you can check the integrity of the backup immediately after the backup completes.

the Verify option


Note: This may add a significant amount of time to the backup progress.

Backup Scheme

Backup Scheme helps you automatically manage disk space usage by deleting the specified backup image file versions. Go to Options > Backup Scheme. By default, Backup Scheme is disabled and you need to turn off to on,

turn on Backup Scheme

Then MiniTool ShadowMaker offers three modes, and they are:

Full Backup Scheme:
1. Always retain the latest xx versions of the backup image file.
2. Full backup scheme will retain the number of backup image files you specified. When it reaches to the specified numbers, the program will automatically delete old backup image files.

Always retain the latest 3 versions of the backup image file.
FULL1→FULL2→FULL3→FULL4 (delete FULL1)→FULL5 (delete FULL2)→FULL6 (delete FULL3)→FULL7 (delete FULL4)

the full backup

Incremental Backup Scheme:
1. Always retain the latest xx versions of the backup image file.
2. Incremental backup scheme is similar to a group queue. A group consists of a full backup and multiple incremental backups. When a later group joins in, the former group has to be removed from the queue.

Always retain the latest 3 versions of the backup image file.
FULL1→INC1→INC2→FULL2→INC3→INC4(delete FULL1, INC1, INC2)→FULL3→INC5→INC6 (delete FULL2, INC3, INC4)

the incremental backup

Differential backup scheme:
1. Always retain the latest xx versions of the backup image file.
2. Differential backup scheme is similar to a circular queue. When the queue is full and if a new member joins in, one of the old members has to exit from the queue.

Always retain the latest 3 versions of the backup image file.
FULL1→DIFF1→DIFF2→FULL2 (delete DIFF1)→DIFF3 (delete DIFF2)→DIFF4 (delete FULL1)

the differential backup

Schedule Settings

Schedule Setting is user-friendly for those who are used to making a backup on a regular basis. When clicking Options > Schedule Settings, you see this feature is disabled by default. Just enable it by switching the button to On. Then you see MiniTool ShadowMaker offers four ways to customize schedule backup, they are:

Daily – Set some particular time points to execute the scheduled backup task each day.

  1. Start backup at a specified time point once a day.
  2. Start backup every 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, or 8 hours after clicking Back Up Now or Back Up Later.

back up daily

Weekly – Choose a day/days in each week to back up at a specific time.

back up weekly

Monthly – Run a backup task at the specified time point on the chosen day(s) in a month.

Please note if you choose to back up on the 31st of every month, then MiniTool ShadowMaker won’t start this backup in February, April, June, September, and November. All should be carried out according to the real situation.

back up monthly

On Event – Run the backup based on specified events.

  1. Log on: Start a backup task automatically when logging on to the operating system.
  2. Log off: Perform the backup operation when logging off of the operating system.

back up on event


Tip: Schedule Setting adopts the incremental backup method by default to save storage space to the highest degree.

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