How To Use Mac OS Time Machine To Backup And Restore

Mac os time machine is a backup / restore tool which can help you to manage your mac os backup / restore easily and flexible. This article will tell you how to use it.

1. Prerequisites.

First you should get a big enough usb disk to save your backup os files. If the usb disk space is not enough, you may encounter error message like below.

You can also use a mobile hard disk drive to replace the usb disk, mobile hard disk drive has much more space than usb disk.

Time Machine couldn’t complete the backup to “WININSTALL”.

The backup disk needs 121.61 GB for the backup but only 14.77 GB are available. Select a larger backup disk or make the backup smaller by excluding files.

backup disk do not has enough space error

2. How To Exclude Backup Files In Mac OS Time Machine.

To resolve above issue, you had to use another big usb disk or exclude some files follow below steps.

  1. Click the Options… button in above dialog. Then click + button to add exclude folder or files.
    mac os time machine add exclude backup files
  2. After select, click Save button to save the excluded files, then the time machine will not backup those files.

3. How To Use Time Machine To Backup Mac OS.

  1. Click Apple icon —> System Preferences… menu item at top left corner to open mac os system preferences window.
    mysql is installed in macos system preferences
  2. Then click Time Machine icon in the window to start time machine tool.
    mac os time machine backup dialog
  3. Click Select Backup Disk… button to select a backup disk, usually we use usb disk to backup. But first you should make sure your usb disk is mounted on mac os, if not you can not see it in the backup disk selection list.
    mac os time machine backup disk selection dialog
  4. If you check the Encrypt backups checkbox, then click Use Disk button, it will popup a window that let you input password to protect the backup disk, after that every time you access the disk, you need to input the password.
    mac os time machine encrypt backup disk with password
  5. Make sure check the Show Time Machine in menu bar checkbox in Time Machine window, this will add a time machine icon in menu bar.
    mac os time machine icon in menu bar
  6. Although time machine backup is processed automatically, but you can also take manual backup by click Back Up Now button in above time machine menu list.
  7. The auto backup happened just after your select the backup disk. The first time backup may take longer, but the subsequent backup will only backup the changes to save times.
  8. As you can see from the time machine dialog, it will backup all your selected files hourly, daily and weekly. If the backup disk is full, the older backup will be override.
    mac os time machine backup dialog

4. How To Restore From Mac OS Time Machine Backups.

Restore is very straight forward, when you start mac os installation, it will popup macOS Utilities window first.  Just select the first item Restore From Time Machine Backup, then it will ask you to select the backup disk, and continue the restore process.

mac os utilities - disk utility

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