Mac Time Machine Manual Backup

Use Time Machine, the built-in backup feature of your Mac, to automatically back up your personal data, including apps, music, photos, email, and documents. Having a backup allows you to recover files that were deleted, or that were lost because the hard disk (or SSD) in your Mac needed to be erased or replaced. Learn how to restore your Mac from a backup.

  1. Mac Time Machine Manual Backup System
  2. Mac Time Machine Manual Backup Time Machine
  3. Mac Time Machine Manual Backup User

Create a Time Machine backup

Time Capsule brings the simplicity of fully automated backup to your Wi-Fi network, without even plugging in a cable. With Time Machine in Mac OS X Leopard, it’s easy and automatic to back up all the computers on your network to a single Time Capsule. The Time Capsule is also a fully featured AirPort Extreme Base Station with 802.11n. Time Machine performs a full backup of your Mac when it is first set up. This initial backup can take some time, so be patient and allow it to finish. Once the first backup is complete, Time Machine checks your Mac for new, changed, and deleted files once every hour.

To create backups with Time Machine, all you need is an external storage device. After you connect the storage device and select it as your backup disk, Time Machine automatically makes hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for all previous months. The oldest backups are deleted when your backup disk is full.

Connect an external storage device

Mac Time Machine Manual Backup System

Connect one of the following external storage devices, sold separately. Learn more about backup disks that you can use with Time Machine.

Mac Time Machine Manual Backup Time Machine

  • External drive connected to your Mac, such as a USB or Thunderbolt drive
  • Network-attached storage (NAS) device that supports Time Machine over SMB
  • Mac shared as a Time Machine backup destination
  • AirPort Time Capsule, or external drive connected to an AirPort Time capsule or AirPort Extreme Base Station (802.11ac)
Mac time machine manual backup software

Select your storage device as the backup disk

Mac time machine manual backup software
  1. Open Time Machine preferences from the Time Machine menu in the menu bar. Or choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Time Machine.
  2. Click Select Backup Disk.
  3. Select your backup disk from the list of available disks. To make your backup accessible only to users who have the backup password, you can select “Encrypt backups”. Then click Use Disk:

If the disk you selected isn't formatted as required by Time Machine, you're prompted to erase the disk first. Click Erase to proceed. This erases all information on the backup disk.

Enjoy the convenience of automatic backups

Mac Time Machine Manual Backup User

After you select a backup disk, Time Machine immediately begins making periodic backups—automatically and without further action by you. The first backup may take a long time, but you can continue using your Mac while a backup is underway. Time Machine backs up only the files that changed since the previous backup, so future backups will be faster.

To start a backup manually, 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.

Learn more

  • Learn about other ways to back up and restore files
  • 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.
  • To exclude items from your backup, open Time Machine preferences, click Options, then click the add (+) button to add an item to be excluded. To stop excluding an item, such as an external hard drive, select the item and click the remove (–) button.
  • If using Time Machine to back up to a network disk, you can verify those backups to make sure they're in good condition. Press and hold Option, then choose Verify Backups from the Time Machine menu.