Setting up time machine mac os


Setting Up a Drive for Time Machine

This icon was present in El Capitan but disappeared after Sierra launched in If you don't see this icon it looks like a clock with a curved arrow you can create a shortcut to the Time Machine preferences in the form of a Time Machine icon in the menu on the right-hand side of the top of your screen. You can also add Time Machine to your Dock if it's not already there, but this will be a shortcut to the backups rather than the menu. Open your Applications folder and select the Time Machine icon and drag the icon into your Dock.

You should backup your Mac regularly. The beauty of Time Machine is that it will back up pretty much constantly, but rather than make a complete back up of your Mac every time, the software only copies the things you are working on, so each back up is small and you will hardly notice it happening. Most other backup methods involve a daily back up of your whole system. The benefit of Apple's method is that you can load up a version of a document you were working on an hour ago, rather than undoing over and over again until you get back to that version.

The important thing is to remember that while Time Machine backs up regularly, it will only do so if your Mac is connected to the device you are backing up to. This could be an external storage device that needs to be plugged into your Mac, so don't forget to plug it in!

Speaking of which, your Mac also needs to be plugged in before it will back up to Time Machine. Alternatively it could be a network attached storage device a NAS drive in which case, your Mac should only need to be connected to the same WiFi network in order to back up.


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If your Mac hasn't backed up using Time Machine for a while you will see alerts reminding you to back up. Don't wait until a hundred days have passed since your last Time Machine backup and then spill water over your laptop we say this from experience. Time Machine will make hourly backups but you can force it to make a backup at any time, perhaps because you are about to shut down your Mac and you want to make sure that the Time Machine back up is up to date first.

Apple Time Machine 101 - Seagate Style

It's likely that if you've only made a few changes since the last backup this one won't take very long: just a few minutes. But if you haven't backed up for a while, or if this is your first backup, it's probably going to take some time. You will see a progress bar that indicates how many gigabytes of data is being backed up and how much time is remaining.

Initially you will just see Preparing Backup, then you will see how big update will be while the software calculates the time remaining. If it's just a normal backup it's unlikely to take more than five minutes. If you feel that the Time Machine backup is taking too long there are ways to speed it up, which we look at below. Next to the progress bar described above you will see an X. Click on this to stop the backup. The system will start the back up again in one hour. To start it again see how to force a Time Machine backup above.

If you want to pause a backup and finish it later, select Skip This Backup from the Time Machine menu.

Set Up New Mac Using Time Machine

If the hourly backups become annoying you can disable them - but don't forget to use Time Machine to backup from time to time, and remember that when you do it will take longer because the system won't be making the incremental hourly backups so there will be more to cover. There are a few scenarios when Time Machine might fail to back up your Mac and when this happens the Time Machine icon in the menu bar will have an exclamation mark in the middle of it.

It could be because the external drive doesn't have enough space; it might have become corrupted because you unplugged the drive without dismounting it first this is why it's important to make sure you always eject a drive properly before disconnecting it ; or it could be that the drive isn't formatted correctly. If Time Machine finds an issue with your backup, it will display a message with details. Follow the onscreen instructions. If you back up to an external drive, check that there isn't a problem with the drive you are backing up to. If you have to reformat you will lose what's on the drive, so make a copy first or find another drive and use that.

If Time Machine is unable to complete the backup because there is insufficient space there are a few things you can do. We have a separate article on What to do when Time Machine backup is full here. The first time you back up using Time Machine, expect it to take some time. Time Machine copies nearly all of the data on your Mac. At least you can keep using your Mac while Time Machine works in the background to back up your data. If you recently upgraded macOS that could also cause Time Machine to take longer to complete a backup.

It might also take a while to back up your Mac with Time Machine if your previous backup was interrupted, or if a lot of files have changed, perhaps because the back up device hasn't been plugged in for some time. In these cases you could exclude some items from the backup so there isn't as much data to back up, as above. If you are backing up over a network to a server, or to a network attached storage device NAS , it might be faster if you move your Mac to the same room as your router, or connect the storage device to your Mac, or the Mac to your router via an Ethernet cable.

This should speed up your network. If you're using virtualisation software to run other operating systems on your Mac, there might be large disk images including data related to those the other operating systems on your Mac. You might only have changed a few files on in other OS, but Time Machine could back up the whole disk image. For this reason you might want to tell Time Machine to exclude these files when it backs up.

Another thing that can interfere with your backups is Anti Virus software. You might want to exclude your backup drive from the virus scan. If things are still slow, make sure your software is up to date, restart your Mac, and, if you are backing up over a network, restart your router.

What can we do for you?

Can anyone help with this question? Now my Mail is corrupted. Can somebody tell me, how to restore.

Same problem with address. One thought for the price conscience: the article mentions getting a drive many times the size of your internal drive. Get a drive several times the size of your DATA.

Time Machine (macOS) - Wikipedia

And that might make the difference between them making a backup or not. With a sufficiently large backup drive you can easily roll back to a week ago or plus, totally different OS, no sweat.


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  • Huge help. Though this is a well documented problem found on many forums and a firm sells a shielding pack which involves dismantling the computer — no thanks! It is another infuriating invention by Apple that any sane person who knows how to anything on a computer gets annoyed at. Stop gearing your products toward armatures who know nothing.

    Thanks for ruining text edit and FCP as well! Or boot into recovery mode. One step at a time, Dweeb, one step at a time. Great app, best backup for novices by far. SuperDuper is great if you want a full complete backup of an entire drive, mirror image, good for swapping out drives etc, but much more advanced compared to Time Machine.

    How Time Machine works

    I fully agree. Time Machine is a painless way to keep continuous backups. However, on two different machines using two different external hard drives I have had Time Machine simply stop functioning. When I use Disk Utility it says nothing is wrong with the external drive. Luckily I have not had any crashes requiring me to retrieve the data stored in Time Machine. Does Time Machine have a setting for backing up external hard drives used for data storage, as well as the data on the Mac internal drive? Go to Options, lower right of the Time Machine panel.

    You can select, or in this case deselect the drives not to be backed up. By default TM deselects backing up the Backup volume. Just remove the external drive you want to backup from this list. But…I miss a few options like the time-schedule. Yes, Time Machine is so easy for backups and restores.

    Anybody who knows why my mac seem to communicate with the backup-drive when I open programs? I have set the backup time to make it between — Name required. Mail will not be published required. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. Steve Bewers says:. March 12, at am. Sheila says:.

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    June 22, at am. BPJB says:. PRJ says:. January 17, at pm. Gabriel says:. January 16, at pm. Ethan Sommer says:. October 25, at pm. RK says:. October 8, at pm. C Thornton says:.

    setting up time machine mac os Setting up time machine mac os
    setting up time machine mac os Setting up time machine mac os
    setting up time machine mac os Setting up time machine mac os
    setting up time machine mac os Setting up time machine mac os
    setting up time machine mac os Setting up time machine mac os
    setting up time machine mac os Setting up time machine mac os
    setting up time machine mac os Setting up time machine mac os

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