Backing up a Mac to an External Drive


Backing up a Mac to an External Drive

The thought of backing a mac to an external hard drive may seem daunting. But you'll see that it's actually a quite straightforward process. After

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The thought of backing a mac to an external hard drive may seem daunting. But you’ll see that it’s actually a quite straightforward process.

After the initial setup, backing up to an external hard drive is as easy as plugging in a USB drive. And it will continue to run in the background, giving you piece of mind that your files are secure.

Making a duplicate of your whole system and performing regular automated backups to an external hard drive are both excellent methods of protecting your data and files. You may rest assured that this will help you much in the case that your computer fails. In a short amount of time, you can have access to your date and be on your merry way.

Note that the procedures below will only back up your information locally. If you’re concerned about data security at all. You should educate yourself on the best practices for backing up data to the cloud. If your computer is stolen or destroyed by a natural disaster. Having a backup on an external hard drive won’t help you recover your data.

To what extent can you trust your Mac’s backup to an external hard drive?

The Macintosh operating system stands apart from the competition because to its superior backup tool, Time Machine. And its ability to automatically back up your documents whenever you connect an external hard drive. To top it all off, if you run out of storage space. Time Machine will destroy some documents you’ve been using automatically. When you’re ready to back up your computer to Time Machine, there are a few steps to take.

1. Start by booting your Mac and hooking up an external hard drive.

  • Here, it’s worth noting that prior to getting started, you’ll need to have an external hard drive that is nearly the same size as your Mac’s internal drive. Or better yet, get one that is slightly bigger. Which I’m sure won’t be a problem given how readily available. They are in the local market and how inexpensive they are.
  • The following step is to attach your external hard drive to the computer. Which may be done in a few different ways depending on the type of drive you have. This may be accomplished with a USB cable, a FireWire cable, or even a Thunderbolt cable. Time Machine may also be used with an external hard disc that is linked to an Airport Extreme router.

2. Time Machine Backup Preparation: Choosing a Repository

  • When you’re ready, plug your external drive into your computer and turn it on. Next, open the Time Machine preferences in your Mac’s menu bar and toggle its switch from off to on.
  • Select the disc option to choose the location you’d want to utilize Time Machine. You’ll also see that you have the choice to utilize your disc as the backup destination. And the ability to encrypt the backup using a password of your choosing.
  • If your hard disc is not formatted for Mac OS X, Time Machine may prompt you to reformat it. Which will likely result in the loss of any files already stored on the drive.

3. How to Remove Time Machine Backups

You may choose which volumes to back up and whether to be alerted when old files are erased; this feature is completely optional.

4. Laboring

Once everything has been set up, Time Machine will back up your data every hour for the previous 24 hours. Every day for the past month, and every week for the past year.

The Time Machine: How to Restore

Even if you’ve taken the precaution of backing up your files. You still need to know how to access the data if you ever need it again. If you need to know the process of backing up data from your MAC, you could check to get proper information. For this reason, it’s crucial to become familiar with the tool’s interface and understand how to access, browse, and recover backed-up files and folders.

You may achieve this by pressing the spotlight button, entering “time machine,” and then pressing the view button.

Once the view is open, you may navigate the timeline to a certain point in time or do a file search. Once you’ve found the file you’re looking for, selecting it will bring up the option to restore it from a backup. At which point you may either copy it or examine it by using the space bar.

Sometimes you’ll find that two files have the same name. And this program will let you choose which one to keep, or let you keep both if you’re not sure.

It’s also fantastic that you can use the most recent backups of your files to perform a full system restoration. To achieve this, when you restart your Mac, hold down the command and R keys and release them when you see the Apple logo. Then, choose to restore from a previous Time Machine backup.

Making a Backup That Can Be Booted

You should always keep a full image (clone) of your machine on hand in case it ever stops working properly. Which might happen if your starting disc is corrupted. It’s a carbon copy of your complete system, so it will help you save time and effort by letting you quickly restore your data in the event of a disaster.

The X operating system can make a disc clone for you. Numerous more cloning programmes exist, so it’s important to choose one that works well with you.

1. Decide where you want to go in Volume

  • As was noted, your ultimate choice of app is wholly subject to personal preference. However, after settling on an app to use and setting it up. You’ll be asked to select a destination for the backup. Select the volume and save location on your Mac from the corresponding pull-down menus.
  • As a friendly reminder, you may back up to an external hard drive or a computer on your local area network (LAN), whichever is more practical for you. Your file must be in Mac OS X format, otherwise you may have to start over by reinstalling Mac OS X.
  • You’ll also learn that it’s possible to keep both your Time Machine data and your cloned image on the same disc. But that doing so is only secure for documents if your drive is partitioned into separate volumes. As a result, you’ll be able to keep each user’s backups in their own isolated volumes. Where they can be managed securely and conveniently by both users. Backups on many drives are highly recommended in case a disc is ever lost or damaged.

2. Script for backing up a Mac

  • Choose to back up all documents rather than simply user profiles on the same machine. If you want to ensure a full and bootable backup of your whole system.

3. Make a Decision

Allowing your Mac to repair some of your files is a discretionary step. As users can choose to either leave the default checked and have your Mac fix your files. Or uncheck the box and prevent your Mac from doing any repairs. You have the option of erasing backups if you so want.

4. Plan when your backup will occur.

  • In this step, you may effortlessly backup your data by cloning your device by hitting the copy now option. If consumers don’t establish a regular backup routine, this won’t be as useful in the future.
  • To accomplish this, choose The Schedule from the drop-down menu. This is distinct from the case when you would want to not have the schedule active.

5. Cloning

  • Once you’re satisfied with this selection, click the “ok” button. This will allow the application to back up your Mac at predetermined intervals at a time of your choosing, from which you may then boot.
  • In addition to performing backups, the software may also purge outdated data to make room for newer material.


As was previously noted, it is a major hassle to have to start over after losing some of the most critical documents you’ve stored on your Mac. Therefore it’s crucial to learn how to have backups in place. The advice in the preceding essay should be invaluable in your efforts to protect yourself. And your loved ones from this fate. Once you get the hang of them, you’ll see that they’re not hard at all. And they’ll end up saving you a ton of time and energy in the long run.