Incremental/Differential Backups - File-by-File Agent

UltraBac has the ability to perform backups of only modified files, using modified file dates or the Archive Bit file attribute.

Incremental vs. Differential Backups

"Incremental" and "differential" backups are very similar in their function and creation, as both are used to minimize the amount of time needed to complete a backup as well as the amount of storage space used. Incremental and differential backup sets will back up only the files that have been modified within a specified time period, or that have the "archive bit" attribute set. The archive bit attribute is set by Windows when a file is modified.


NOTE:  For a detailed description of incremental and differential backup sets, including contents and format, please see the UltraBac Knowledge Base:


UBQ000080:  Incremental/Differential Backups and the Archive Bit


Creating Incremental/Differential Sets

NOTE:  It is now possible to set archive bit attributes in the backup sets, as well as in backup operations. Both scheduled and ad-hoc backups can clear the archive bit. For more information on setting the "Clear Archive Bit" option in a backup set, please visit the "File-by-File Agent" section of the User Manual:


UltraBac User Manual:  File-by-File Agent


  1. Launch the Backup Wizard by selecting the Backup tab and clicking "New."

  2. Click the "File-by-File Agent" to highlight the option. Click "Next" to continue.

  3. Select the appropriate Backup Set Options:

    1. For Incremental file-by-file set, check "Clear archive bit."

    2. For Differential file-by-file set, leave "Clear archive bit" unchecked.

  4. Enter a set description and choose the Modified file selection logic to be used for this set. Click "Next."



Fig. 1 - Available file selection logic in the Selection Criteria.



  1. At the New Backup Set summary, select "View/Edit files in the backup set" to view the file selections and modify the selection logic. Click "Finish."


When performing a "Modified File" backup, it is recommended to use the archive bit attribute in the backup set's file selection logic.


It is also possible to include the modified files of any given directory, after a set is loaded:


  1. Open a backup set by selecting the Backup tab and clicking "Open" from the main UltraBac menu.



Fig. 2 - Including a drive in the File Viewer.


  1. Deselect all files and directories in the backup set.

  2. Right click on the directory to be backed up, and click "Include <directory name>” to bring up the "Include/Exclude Files" screen.

  3. Select "Include Files."

  4. Check "Include subdirectories" if sub-folders are to be included.



Fig. 3 - "Include/Exclude files" screen.


  1. Check "By Modification Date."

  2. Choose the file selection logic to be used in backing up the directory.

  3. Click "OK" to apply the changes to the set.

Selecting Files with Specific Extensions

UltraBac also allows the selection of files with only particular extensions, such as executables (.exe) or text files (.txt) for both backup and restore. This selection screen can also be used to create modified file backups, or exclude files with a particular extension.


To select files of a specific extension:


  1. Right click on the parent directory containing the files to be selected, and click "Include 'directory'."

  2. Type "*.<file extension>" in the "File Name" field.

  3. Click "OK."