How to backup your Mac

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Backup your Mac with Apple's Time Machine

Why backup your Mac?


Most people understand the importance of conducting a regular a backup of their computer. For one reason or another though it’s an issue that gets put to the side. Either we don’t know how to perform a backup or we put it off for another day. For those who don’t know how, this post will show you how easy it can be. For those of us who keep putting it off, hopefully this is a reminder that we really should have a system in place to protect our Mac.

Everyone has files on their computer that would cause a lot of stress and anguish if suddenly they were to disappear. Whether it be family photos, an important presentation or a music collection.

Life Hacker quotes a source that says a 50% of hard drives fail within their first four years. Issues can also occur when your updating software or you change a program configuration. Therefore most people will experience some instance where they need to recover files. It pays to have an insurance policy in place!


What is Apple Time Machine?

If your running one of the recent version of Apple OS X then Time Machine is an in-built program that is used to backup your Mac. Time Machine will conduct an hourly copy of all your Mac’s files 24 hours a day. So you can go back in time and see your Mac as it existed in the past.


How to install Apple Time Machine

1. Obtain a hard drive

The first step involved in conducting a backup of your Mac is to purchase an external hard drive such as Apple’s Time Capsule. The external hard drive should be at a minimum, the same size of the data on your computer (although to be safe it should be the size of your internal hard drive).

To find out how big your external hard drive should be:

Open a finder menu > Select the Go menu > Choose the computer option > Right-click your hard drive

You will then see information on the size of the files currently on your computer and the total capacity of your Mac.

2. Configure Apple Time Machine

When you first plug in your external hard drive your Mac will display a prompt that asks whether you would like to use this device for backups.

It you don’t get this prompt when you plug in your external hard drive then you can do the following:

System Preferences > Time Machine > Enable Time Machine by sliding the toggle into the on position > Click select disk to choose the device.

Accessing files on Time Machine

If you need to access files that have been backed up on your Time Machine then:

Open a Finder window > Choose Time Machine from the menu > Click enter Time Machine

Here you will see saved versions of the data that has been backed up.

Apple Time Machine conducts hourly backups for the last 24 hours,  daily backups for the past month and weekly backups for all previous months.

You will be able to navigate through all the backups until you find the file that your after.

To restore the file, select it and click restore.


So there you have it. It really can be easy to backup your Mac. If your still having trouble though feel free to give us call.

We’d be interested to know how many of you backup your Mac and how you’ve found the process.

2 thoughts on “How to backup your Mac

  1. […] Machine is a great way to backup your Mac. However copying data across to another drive uses battery power. Consider switching it off when […]

  2. […] If your using Apple’s new Photos app there might come a time when you need to recover deleted images. You may have removed photos accidentally or sometime later you may have regretted your decision. You’ll be happy to know that there is a way to recover deleted images without the use of Apple’s Time Machine. […]

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