How to Create Time Machine Backup on Mac

Time Machine is useful addition on your Mac that helps you backup your data in few quick steps. You can create Time Machine backup on Mac to automatically backup all your files, emails, apps, documents, music files, and system files. Once you backup Mac with Time Machine, you can restore files from this backup if the original files are ever deleted. Hard drive failure, malware attack, accidental deletion are few of the reasons you may lost your valuable data. Thus, it is wise to create backup on MacBook to avoid any trouble.

Note: You can use best backup software for Mac or cloud-based services to backup Mac if you don’t want to try Time Machine option. It will help you save a lot of time and ensure accurate backup results.

How to Backup Mac with Time Machine?

Time Machine is built-in backup utility that helps you backup Mac in few quick steps. To do this, you would require an external storage device. Once you have connected an external device to your Mac, Time Machine will start hourly automatic backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for all previous months. It will delete oldest backup files once the backup disk is full.

Connect an external storage device

You can connect different devices on your Mac for backup. These devices include:

  • You can connect USB, FireWire drive, or Thunderbolt.
  • Any external storage drive connected to an Airport Extreme Base Station (802.11ac model) or Airport Time Capsule.
  • Another Mac that is shared as a Time Machine backup destination
  • Airport Time Capsule
  • NAS device that supports Time Machine over SMB

Select connected storage device as the backup disk

Once you have connected an external storage device to Mac, it may ask whether you want to use it to backup with Time Machine. You need to select Encrypt Backup Disk (recommended), and then tap on Use as Backup Disk button.

Note: You need to ensure Time Machine backup password is protected as won’t be able to access this backup if password is lost. It is required to keep your backup disk secure.

Time Machine backup

In case Time Machine doesn’t ask you to use connected drive for backup, then you need to add it manually following below mentioned steps:

From the Time Machine menu select Time Machine Preferences. Alternatively, select Apple menu > System Preferences > Time Machine.

On the next window, you need to click Select Backup Disk… option. Alternatively, you may find Add or Remove Backup Disk or Select Disk option that you need to click.

Remove Backup Disk

Now you will find a list of available disks. You need to select connected external drive. You also need to click Encrypt Backups (recommended) option and then click Use Disk option.

Encrypt Backups

If the selected drive isn’t formatted with sufficient disk storage space, then it will ask you to erase the disk first. Click Erase to proceed. Once you select this option, it will erase all information on connected drive.

Once the backup disk is selected, it will start making periodic backups automatically. You may notice it takes longer for first backup that depends on how much data you have. The backup continues in the background while you can use your Mac. For the next backups, Time Machine will backup files only that are changed since the previous backup that takes less time.

Backup Complete

Now to start a backup manually, you need to select Back Up Now option from Time Machine menu. You can use this menu to check the backup status or skip backup in progress. Once you have completed backup, you can restore your Mac from a backup when required.

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