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Back Up Your Mac With Time Machine

Back up your MacBook with Time Machine

Use Time Machine, the backup feature on your Mac, to automatically back up your personal data, including apps, music, photos, emails, and documents. Having a backup allows you to recover files that you later delete or can’t access. Find out how to restore your Mac from a backup.

Create a Time Machine backup

  1. Connect an external storage device, such as a USB or Thunderbolt drive. Some backup discs you can use are a external USB drive, a network-attached storage or NAS, and even another Mac.
  2. Open Time Machine preferences from the Time Machine menu in the menu bar. You can also find Time Machine in the Apple menu. Click the Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Time Machine.
  3. Next, click Select Backup Disk.
  4. Select the name of your disk, then click Use Disk. Time Machine will immediately start making periodic backups. These backups happen automatically and without further action by you. To start a manual backup, continue reading.
Time Machine Preferences Window

Time Machine Preferences Window

Starting A Manual Backup

If you want to start a backup manually, without waiting for the next automatic backup, choose Back Up Now from the Time Machine menu in the menu bar.

Use the same menu to check the status of a backup or skip a backup in progress. For example, if a backup is underway, the menu will display how much of it has finished. When a backup is not underway, the menu will display the date and time of the latest backup.

Learn More

Learn more about Time Machine, backups and excluding items from your backup.

  1. Time Machine automatically makes hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month and weekly backups for all previous months.
  2. The oldest backups will be deleted when your backup disk is full.
  3. The first time you backup it may take a long time, but you can continue using your MacBook while a backup is underway.
  4. Time Machine only backs up the files that have changed since the previous backup, so future backups are faster.
  5. To exclude items from your backup, open Time Machine preferences, click Options, then click the add (+) button to add an item to be excluded.
  6. To stop excluding an item, such as an external hard drive, select the item and click the remove (–) button.
  7. If you back up to multiple disks, you can press and hold the Option key, then choose Browse Other Backup Disks from the Time Machine menu.

Damaged Or Broken Your MacBook?

Contact our team at Custom iPhones to see if our repair specialists can fix your device. Visit our MacBook repair page or contact us.

Time Machine Menu Showing Latest Backup Time