How to Restore Mac from Time Machine Backup

Data loss is real-time issue and could occur any time. It is possible that you have lost your data due to accidental deletion or your hard disk or SSD is erased or replaced. Situations like this cause real trouble as you no more have access to your important files and settings. The good news is you can restore Mac from Time Machine backup if you have created one. You can also restore local snapshot on your startup disk.

Follow these steps to transfer and restore all your files from your Time Machine backup to Mac.

How to restore Time Machine backup on Mac?

Now that you have Time Machine backup with you, next is to restore all your files and macOS from this backup. Here, you can select from restore all your files or restore both the macOS and all your files.

Restore all your files

Before you start restore process, you need to ensure that you have Time Machine backup disk connected to your Mac and it is turned on. Once done, turn on your Mac and follow these steps.

  1. In the Utilities folder of Applications folder, open Migration Assistant.

    If your Mac has start up to a setup assistant, then you will find migration assistant included to the setup assistant.

    If you wish to restore your operating system you were using when the backup was created or if your Mac doesn’t start up all the way, then you would need to restore both macOS and your files.

2. Now you need to select how you want to transfer your information. You need to select From a Mac, Time Machine Backup, or startup disk option. Once selected, click Continue button.

Migration Assistant

3. Next is to choose your Time Machine backup. Click Continue

time machine backup

4. It may ask you to select backup from list of backups organized by date and time, then you need to select one of these backups. Click Continue.

backup list

5. On the next screen, you need to select all the information that you want to transfer. Once selected, click Continue. You may find different screen on your system.

select information to mac

6. Now it will start transferring your data. It may take long if you a lot of data to transfer. Once transfer is completed, you need to restart your system. Now log in to the migrated account to check all the files from the backup.

Restore both macOS and your files

Restore both macOS and files

Before you start, make sure the Time Machine backup disk is connected to your Mac and is turned on. Follow below mentioned steps to restore Mac from Time Machine backup.

  1. Turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold Command – R keys to start up from macOS Recovery. As Apple logo or spinning globe is visible, release the keys.
  2. Once the macOS Utilities window is visible, select Restore from Time Machine Backup option.
macOS utilities

3. Click Continue multiple times until you see an option Select a restore source. Here, you need to choose your Time Machine backup disk. Alternatively, you can select Macintosh HD (your startup disk), that might have a local snapshot to restore data.

Select a restore source

4. Click Continue. You may  need to enter the administrator password of Time Machine backup if your disk is encrypted. Click Continue again.

5. Select a backup, if available, and then click Continue.

select backup

6. Next is to choose a destination disk. Destination disk is storage device where contents of your backup will be stored. In case you have selected Local Snapshot, then you will not be asked to select a destination.

select destination

7. Click Restore or Continue

 Note: It may ask you to enter the administrator password to unlock the disk if your Mac has FileVault enabled.

8. Once completed, restart your Mac.

Conclusion

So this was a detailed discussion on how to restore Time Machine backup. Do try these steps and share your experience in the comments below. You can also try to backup data on your Mac using best backup software or cloud-based services. The best backup software for Mac offers easiest & safest solution to backup your data on Mac.

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