How to use Mac Time Machine backup?

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Time Machine is a backup program that makes an excellent option to get rid of the data loss issues from Mac machines. It was first introduced as a standard feature on Mac OS X Leopard, and now all Mac OS X releases will have this feature.  Once the Time Machine is properly set, it automatically backs up your Mac data periodically. In addition, it even allows you to look through the past backups and retrieve all older files or accidentally deleted files. This makes it very easy to maintain a proper backup, which can then be used in cases of data loss situations.  Just go through this guide to know how to use Mac Time Machine backup easily.

Time Machine is a great way to move data from an old Mac to a new Mac. Refer to this article to find out how.

Time Machine Backup

Connect your external drive and initiate the backup process:

The first thing you’ll need is an external USB or FireWire hard drive that is connected to your Mac Machine.  When you connect the external hard drive to your Mac for the first time, Time Machine will ask if you want to use it for backups.

After this, on the next screen click on Use as Backup Disk option, the System Preferences screen will open that displays Time Machine preferences.

Select the files to be backed up

What if you don't want to backup everything on your computer? For example, you might want to exclude your Applications folder from backups and just reinstall apps from their original CDs or might want to upgrade them later.

For this just click on the Options button in the Time Machine preferences window and go to add files and folders , you will find a "Do not back up" list click the + (plus sign) button. Now if you want to eliminate your Applications folder, select your Mac's hard drive, then the Applications folder, and click Exclude.

Automatic backup

Since this is the first backup, it could take a long time as everything on your Mac has to be copied. After the first backup, Time Machine will automatically perform a backup of the incremental changes done to your files every hour. This process continues as long as the backup drive is connected to your Mac. Future backups, like backing up iPhoto library to the computer, will only copy files that are new or have changed. Hence they take less time.

After some time when your backup drive becomes full, then the Time Machine will delete your oldest backups to make room for new ones. Time Machine does this automatically.

Time Machine Restore

This is how you can backup your entire Mac data on a Time Machine. Isn’t it simple? Now let’s, know how you can restore the data back that is backed up. Read below for the detailed procedure:

Time Machine restore is as simple as the backup process. It can be used to restore Mac OS X 10.8 from Time Machine as well. First, connect the Backup drive i.e. the external drive that is used to keep the backup data to your Mac.

Restore a single file

If you accidentally delete an important file, then you have to restore only that file and not the entire data. To achieve this click the Time Machine icon in your Dock or click the menu bar to enter Time Machine. The Time Machine opens with a number of stacked windows, the front screen depicts the current and latest backup copy.

You will find many files, if you remember exactly when you lost data then, accordingly select the screen, and if not just make use of the option “Move Just in time”. You can use the Spotlight Search feature to search for a particular file or folder to find them. Then, once you find the files or data preview them using its Quick Look option and judge their possibilities of restoring them.  Now, just select the files or data and hit the Restore option.  Thus, your file will be restored from Time Machine easily.

Restore entire hard drive data

If you are restoring a whole drive, then you need to use an installation disc. When reinstalling your OS X on a hard drive, the installation process gives you the option to restore the whole drive using Time Machine. Just select this option and connect the backup drive with your Time Machine on it. Now, your Time Machine restores your complete drive data.

Hence, with this Time Machine utility you could free up all the worries about your data. Even if you lose them, you can restore them back using Time Machine. However, if your Time Machine itself gets corrupt due to some reason or the file you needed is not backed up then you will lose your entire data!! Don’t worry, for this, just use Remo Recover Mac software that can easily recover missing files on Mac effortlessly.

Note: If you have accidentally deleted Time Machine backup and are curious to find out how to bring it back. Then refer to this article to discover about a proven solution to recover deleted Time Machine backup from any system including APFS disk and any storage device.

About the Author: Tony Landry

Tony Landry is a Web Content Editor at Remo Software. He loves to write, edit, and manage content for users trying to troubleshoot and fix problems on Windows, Outlook, storage drives, and Cloud storage networks. With an aptitude that transcends writing, Tony is recognized as a Microsoft Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint expert. His comprehensive solutions…