How To Back Up Your iMac And MacBook Data With Time Machine

create mac backup using time machine

Getting ready to update your MAC to a new OS version or wanting to fresh install Mac OS on your device? If yes, then your first step should always be to create a complete back up of MAC data with Time Machine so that it can easily be restored later. In this tutorial, we are going to show you a step-by-step method to back up MAC (iMac & MacBook) with Time Machine in order to save device data in a save place. Since Apple has released latest macOS High Sierra update for compatible devices, now is the best time to back up Mac OS with Time Machine. Apple’s Time Machine allows you to create a back up of MAC desktop and laptop data on an external hard drive for safe keeping.

Backing up your data using Time Machine saves it on an external storage device so that it can be restored to bring the device back to a working condition if anything goes wrong during the clean install or Mac OS update process. This way you won’t lost anything that was previously installed on your device. Time Machine is Apple’s official method to save photos, images, videos, apps, games, software, and other data from a iMac or MacBook onto an external storage device such as hard drive, USB disk, or any other storage medium.

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How To Back Up MAC Data To An External Hard Drive Using Time Machine:

Updating Mac OS X / macOS Sierra to the latest macOS High Sierra should be a fairly straightforward process by using the OTA update method via the Mac App Store.

Also Read: How To Update To macOS Sierra Without Losing Data & Files

But things could get a bit tricky if you opt to choose clean install method, that requires more precaution and a little extra effort, but it does have its benefits also. Clean install allows you to install a macOS operating system without the limitations of an OTA method. Clean installing mac OS ensures all errors and bugs are removed from the operating system, and you could start using it afresh. It also free you from worrying about faulty installation files and bugs from previous installation being carried forward without notice.

Also Check: How to Upgrade to macOS Sierra on iMac & Macbook

Clean install via an external USB flash drive is the recommended option when flashing a major macOS firmware update. So here are the steps that you need to perform for saving your MAC data in a safe place in case anything does go wrong during the clean install or update process.

Follow the instructions carefully to properly backup to an external hard drive using Apple’s Time Machine.

time machine back up on mac

Step 1 – Connect an external hard drive to your Mac via the USB lightening cable.

Step 2 – Launch Time Machine on your iMac or MacBook.

Note: If its the first time you are launching Time Machine, macOS will inform you that you haven’t selected a backup location. In this case, select the Set Up Time Machine option on the prompt box.

Step 3 – Now on the left side of the Time Machine interface, enable the Time Machine option by turning its toggle switch to ON position.

create mac back up with time machine guide

This will open a new menu asking you to select a location of the backup. You can also choose to create encrypted backups by clicking on its checkbox.

Step 4 – Now select a backup location and hit the Select Disk button.

time machine backup location

Step 5 – This will display some information about the selected location in the Time Machine settings along with a countdown to the start of first backup. Here, if you like, select the Show Time Machine in menu bar option to quickly access the backups. After the first backup, the process will initiate on its own without you requiring to authenticate it every time.

Note: First backup takes longer than the subsequent backups since they only involve saving new changes made to the already saved backup.

Step 6 – That’s all.

You have successfully backed up your MAC (iMac / MacBook) data on an external hard drive or USB via Time Machine.

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