With sol many cloud storage services available that can automatically sync your files, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, it ‘s easy to get complacent about keeping your macintosh backed up. But deoxyadenosine monophosphate easy as it is to merely set it and forget it with a cloud drive, they ca n’t back up everything on your computer. For case, they do n’t remember the local anesthetic coffee shop ‘s complicated Wi-Fi password or every set you ‘ve changed that ‘s finally made booting your Mac tactile property ampere familiar as sinking into a comfortable couch . That ‘s why a holocene backing of your Mac, be it a MacBook, Mac Mini or iMac, makes a fortune of sense, just in case your calculator crashes and you ca n’t access its storage. A backing besides makes it easy to move your apps and data to a new Mac if you upgrade to a new machine ( or get a new MacBook as a giving ) .
Apple makes backing up relatively painless by including its Time Machine app in the Mac operate system, which you can schedule to run a full accompaniment of your Mac. You do n’t have to do a thing after the initial setup serve, which takes just a few minutes.
Below I ‘ll walk you through using Time Machine, cover how to check what iCloud is keeping a stand-in of and for those who want some supernumerary assurance, how to back up your music library . Sarah Tew/CNET
Use Time Machine to back up your Mac
deoxyadenosine monophosphate long as it knows where to store the files, Time Machine can be set to sporadically backup your computer, though you can besides manually trigger a accompaniment. In fact, when you connect an external hard drive or SSD to your Mac, you may see a immediate asking if you want to use the drive with Time Machine. once Time Machine is set up, it will create and store one backup every hour for the past 24 hours, day by day backups for the past calendar month and one stand-in a week for all former months until it runs out of space. Once the backing drive is wax, it will make room by deleting the oldest stand-in. arsenic army for the liberation of rwanda as how big of a drive to get, the rule of flick is 1.5 to 2 times the size of your Mac ‘s difficult drive. For example, if your Mac has 512GB of storage, you ‘ll want a 1TB drive. You can find an external hard driveway or SSD for relatively little, and we even have a handy guide to the best drives. The drive can be directly connected to your Mac or connected via your network. Apple ‘s supported options are :
- External USB, Thunderbolt or FireWire drive connected to your Mac
- Network-attached storage (NAS) device that supports Time Machine over SMB
- Mac shared as a Time Machine backup destination
- External drive connected to an AirPort Extreme Base Station (802.11ac) or AirPort Time Capsule
- AirPort Time Capsule (technically discontinued, but still available as a refurb)
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET To begin, plug the drive into your Mac and wait for the prompt to use it with Time Machine. If your Mac forgets its manners and does n’t ask, select the drive to use by going to System Preferences > Time Machine and clicking the Select Disk release.
If it ‘s not already formatted to work as a backup drive, Time Machine will ask if you want to format the drive. Doing indeed will erase anything on the drive, so make sure there ‘s nothing on the drive you do n’t want to lose. When selecting your drive for Time Machine, you can besides choose to encrypt backups. encoding means restoring from the Time Machine backup will require a password. If you want it to back up at regular intervals, make sure to check the box next to Back Up Automatically . Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET Click the Options button in Time Machine ‘s panel in System Preferences to indicate what types of items you ‘d like Time Machine to exclude. Excluding items can speed up the procedure, but you can still use your Mac while its run in the background. Older Macs might feel a bit sluggish during the backing work, though. There is besides an option to Show Time Machine in menu bar. The menu stripe picture lets you keep an eye on the status of the backup, stop it and manually start a accompaniment. To restore your system or even a single file to a former point, click the menu barroom and choose Enter Time Machine. You ‘ll see your previous Time Machine backups arranged like cards in a rolodex. Scroll through, find the one you want and click the Restore button . Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
iCloud backs up some stuff, but not everything
Where Time Machine is a complete organization backing, iCloud alone stores selected files and data. You can see a number of everything that ‘s presently being synced and stored in your iCloud report under System Preferences > Internet Accounts > iCloud. naturally, this can be limited by the amount of data in your iCloud or Apple One subscription. The rid default is a bare 5GB of iCloud distance. Click the Options button next to iCloud Drive to see the files and folders that are stored in your report. It should include your Desktop and Documents folders, along with any apps you use that store data in iCloud Drive.
Buying a new Mac ? here ‘s a tilt of the best macintosh in 2021 and the best MacBook deals happening now. Plus, you should get a Mac VPN .