Many people store most of their files on their computer, such as the photos of the special moments, the data of current jobs, their presentations files, etc. That’s why it’s so important to always back up your data. If you are a Mac user, you can do it easily using the Time Machine. It’s a built-in backup tool of Mac that was introduced for the first time to macOS X 10.5 Leopard. Let’s learn how to back up on Mac using Time Machine.
How To Back Up Data On Mac Using Time Machine
Before We Start
You will need an external drive to back up data using Time Machine. It’s recommended to use an external disk for your Mac only. Don’t combine it with the files from another device. Find a disk that has (at least) the same size as your Internal hard disk of your Mac or bigger. If you are going to do the back up by connecting the external drive to your Mac, you will need a cable (USB-C, FireWire, or Thunderbolt cable).
Connect External Hard Drive To Mac
There is more than one method to connect the external drive to your Mac. You can connect it to an AirPort Extreme Base Station (802.11ac model), to AirPort Time Capsule, or using a connector cable. However, using a cable like USB-C, FireWire, or Thunderbolt is easier.
Connect Your Mac To AC Power
Before we go to the main steps on how to back up data on Mac, make sure to connect your Mac to AC power. If this is the first time for you to back up data on Mac, it might take some time to finish. Thus, it would be better to plug your Mac to AC Power to avoid the situation in which the battery may run out during the process. For the next backups, the process will be faster.
Launch Time Machine
How to launch Time Machine on Mac? You can find it on System Preference pane. First, click Apple () menu on the upper-left of Mac screen. Then, click System Preference and select Time Machine. Make sure that it’s On. Otherwise, you have to toggle the button to On position.
Select Back Up Disk
Once the Time Machine is On, click the “Select Backup Disk” key and choose your external drive in the popup window. Before you click “Use Disk”, it’s recommended to tick “Encrypt backups”. Since this is your first time to back up your Mac to the external drive using Time Machine, it might take a long time to finish. But, you can still use your Mac during the process.
Can I Exclude Files From The Backups?
Your Mac can contain many files. To minimize the space of your external disk, you can remove some files before the backup process, or you can exclude them from your backups. How to exclude files from the backups? In the Time Machine pane, click Options. Then, click the plus sign “+” on the popup window. Here, select the files you don’t want to include into backups, then click Exclude.