Frequently Asked Questions

For a basic overview of SquirrelSave please watch the demo first.


What operating systems does SquirrelSave run on?

Windows: SquirrelSave has been tested under Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. It works on 32-bit and 64-bit versions of those operating systems.

Mac OS X: SquirrelSave runs on Snow Leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8), and Mavericks (10.9). SquirrelSave won't run on old pre-2006 hardware that used the PowerPC architecture.

Ubuntu Linux: Linux builds are experimental. We expect compatibility with most modern Debian/Ubuntu based systems, at least Ubuntu 12.04, 13.04 and 13.10. Other distributions are worth a try, but we can't guarantee support at this stage.

What are the system requirements for SquirrelSave?

A supported OS (see above). Approx 100MB of free disk space and a broadband Internet connection with a high enough bandwidth allowance to transfer the files you select for backup.

Why is SquirrelSave taking so long to back up my data?

If you've asked SquirrelSave to back up a lot of data, the first backup can take a very long time (e.g. several days). This is because most home Internet connections upload data much slower than they can download it. We won't back up the same files again unless they change, so things should be much faster after the first backup.
Some things you can do to speed things up are: -

  • Check that the upload bandwidth limiter on the preferences pane is set appropriately for your connection (or set to 0 for no limit)
  • Remove some items from the "Includes" list and make sure only the locations you really want backed up are listed
  • Make sure nothing else that uses a large amount of upload bandwidth is running (e.g. Bittorrent)

Can I use one SquirrelSave account on more than one machine?

Yes, provided they are typical personal computers used by one individual (SquirrelSave is not for use on servers). At present there are some issues with backing up the same paths on multiple machines. Provided you back up different folders on each machine (e.g. c:\Documents on one and c:\Work on another) you should have no problems.

How do I retrieve backed up files?

Press the file retrieval button on the toolbar (the one with the blue downward arrow). This will pop up a window allowing you to select either the current or a historical backup, and then to pick the files or folders you'd like to download.

How do I retrieve my data onto a different machine?

If your backed up system has been broken or lost, you need to install SquirrelSave on the new computer to retrieve your files. Run SquirrelSave and log in - you'll be asked whether to start backing up now or later. Select "Later" to pause SquirrelSave and avoid backing up anything from the new computer. You can then use the backup retrieval tool as described above.

Is SquirrelSave compatible with my firewall?

SquirrelSave makes outgoing connections on port 22/tcp so you will need to make sure this is enabled in your firewall. With the default Windows firewall you will be prompted to allow this automatically. No incoming connections are required.

Can I back up an external drive?

No, the current version of SquirrelSave does not allow backup of external or network drives.

Can I back up a server?

No. SquirrelSave is only for use with the local drives of personal computers and laptops. It is not for use with shared servers or file stores.


Why aren't the ticks and crosses updating properly on file/directory icons?

This is a known problem - occasionally Windows ignores SquirrelSave's request to update the ticks and crosses. If you refresh (F5) the Explorer window or the Desktop they should update.

Can SquirrelSave run as a service?

No - SquirrelSave is a personal backup product only - you need to be logged in for it to run. However you can choose to run it at only a specific time each day using SquirrelSave's built in scheduler.

Why do I sometimes have to reboot when installing / uninstalling SquirrelSave?

SquirrelSave uses extensions to Windows Explorer to provide right click menu options and to show ticks and crosses on file icons to display backup status. Sometimes (depending on your machine) these can't be installed or removed cleanly without a reboot.

Why does SquirrelSave appear twice in the right click context menu for some files?

This appears for links - you get one menu for the link and one for the destination.

Ticks and crosses on files/directories don't seem to work

Do you have any other applications which add similar icons installed (e.g. Tortoise CVS/SVN)? There is a limit on how many of these can be displayed.

I am using SquirrelSave on thousands of files in a single directory, why is performance poor?

The SquirrelSave shell extension (that displays ticks/crosses on files) performs poorly when viewing very large directories. If this is your usage scenario, consider using the option in the installer to install just the app and not the shell extensions.


Where are the ticks/crosses on file and folder icons?

Unfortunately this functionality is not currently available in the Mac version.

How can I add a hidden file/folder to the backup?

Pressing cmd+shift+period while using the file/directory picker will cause hidden files to be shown so that you can add them.

Still stuck?

For further assistance please email and we'll do our best to sort out your problem!