Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Risks are inherent in the use of the Internet. Contact the vendor for additional information. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Create a Time Machine backup To create backups with Time Machine, all you need is an external storage device. Connect an external storage device Connect one of the following external storage devices, sold separately.
Select your storage device as the backup disk When you connect an external drive directly to your Mac, you might be asked if you want to use the drive to back up with Time Machine.
A Guide to Using Apple Time Machine and your NAS
If Time Machine doesn't ask to use your drive, follow these steps to add it manually: Open Time Machine preferences from the Time Machine menu in the menu bar. Enjoy the convenience of automatic backups After you select a backup disk, Time Machine immediately begins making periodic backups—automatically and without further action by you.
Learn more Restore your Mac from a backup Other ways to back up and restore files If you back up to multiple disks, you can switch disks before entering Time Machine. To stop excluding an item, such as an external hard drive, select the item and click the Remove — button. If using Time Machine to back up to a network disk, you can verify those backups to make sure they're in good condition.
In OS X Lion v Press and hold Option as your Mac starts up.
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My preference is for an external hard drive that supports USB 3 at a minimum. If you can afford it, an external with multiple interfaces, such as USB 3 and Thunderbolt , might a good choice, due to its versatility and ability to be used in the future for more than just a backup drive. Consider the plight of individuals backing up to an older FireWire external drive and then having their Mac die. They get a great deal on a MacBook for a replacement, only to discover that it lacks a FireWire port, so they can't easily retrieve files from their backups.
There are ways around this dilemma, but the easiest is to anticipate the problem and not be tied to a single interface. The size of the external drive dictates how many versions of your data Time Machine can store. The larger the drive, the further back in time you can go to restore data. Time Machine doesn't back up every file on your Mac. Some system files are ignored, and you can manually designate other files that Time Machine shouldn't back up.
A good starting point for drive size is twice the current amount of space used on the startup drive, plus the space used on any additional storage device you're backing up, plus the amount of Userspace used on the startup drive. Time Machine will initially back up the files on your startup drive; this includes most system files, apps you have in the Applications folder, and all of the User data stored on your Mac. If you're also having Time Machine back up other devices, such as a second drive, then that data is also included in the amount of space needed for the initial backup.
Once the initial backup is completed, Time Machine will continue to make backups of the files that change.
So, the area that's likely to see the most activity in the form of changes is the User data, the space that stores all of your daily activity, such as documents you're working on, media libraries you work with; you get the idea. The initial Time Machine backup includes the User data, but since it will be changing so often, we're going to double the amount of space the User data needs.
That puts my minimum space needed for a Time Machine backup drive to be:. If you have any additional drives you'll be backing up, use the same method described above to find the used space on the drive. Now you have a good idea of the minimum size of your Time Machine backup. You can go larger, which will allow for more Time Machine backups to be kept. You can also go a bit smaller, though no less than 2x the used space on the startup drive. Now that you know the preferred minimum size for the external hard drive, you're ready to set up Time Machine.
Start by making sure the external drive is available for your Mac. Be sure to follow any instructions provided by the manufacturer. Most external hard drives come formatted for use with Windows. If that's the case with yours, you'll need to format it using Apple's Disk Utility. Once configured, Time Machine will pretty much take care of itself. When your external drive gets filled up with backups, Time Machine will start overwriting the oldest backups to ensure there is space for the current data.
With the 'twice the Users data' minimum size we suggested, Time Machine should be able to keep:. Time Machine is a great backup solution, one I highly recommend, but it isn't the end-all for backups. There are a few things it's not designed to do that I want in my backup strategy.
The most important of these is to have a bootable copy of my startup drive. Having a bootable copy of your startup drive takes care of two important needs. First, by being able to boot from another hard drive, you can perform routine maintenance on your normal startup drive. This includes verifying and repairing minor disk issues, something I do routinely to ensure a startup drive that works well and is dependable. The other reason to have a clone of your startup drive is for emergencies. From personal experience, I know that our good buddy Murphy loves to throw disasters at us when we least expect them and can least afford them.
Should you find yourself in a situation where time is of the essence, perhaps a deadline to meet, you may not be in a position to take the time to buy a new hard drive, install OS X or macOS, and restore your Time Machine backup. You'll still have to do these things to get your Mac working, but you can postpone that process while you finish up whatever important tasks you need to finish by booting from your cloned startup drive. A copy of SuperDuper. I mentioned on Page one that you can also use your favorite cloning app, including Carbon Copy Cloner.
If you're using another app, consider this more of a guide than step-by-step instructions. An external hard drive that's at least as large as your current startup drive; and earlier Mac Pro users can use an internal hard drive , but for the most versatility and safety, an external is a better choice. SuperDuper has many attractive and useful features. The one we're interested in is its ability to make a clone or exact copy of a startup drive.
SuperDuper calls this Backup - all files. We'll also use the option to erase the destination drive before the backup is performed. We do this for the simple reason that the process is faster.go to site
How to Back up your Mac to Synology NAS with Time Machine - NAS Compares
If we erase the destination drive, SuperDuper can use a block copy function that is faster than copying data file by file. How often to create clones depends on your work style and how much time you can afford for a clone to be out of date. I create a clone once a week. For others, every day, every two weeks, or once a month may be sufficient.
SuperDuper has a scheduling feature that can automate the cloning process so you don't need to remember to do it. My personal backup process has a few holes, places where backup professionals would say I could be in danger of not having a viable backup when I need it.
Back up your Mac with Time Machine
But this guide isn't intended to be the perfect backup process. In the most likely type of Mac failures, they'll have a viable backup available to them. This guide is only a beginning, one that Macs readers can use as a starting point to develop their own personal backup process. Share Pin Email. Tom Nelson has written hundreds of articles, tutorials, and reviews for Other World Computing and About.
He is the president of Coyote Moon, Inc. Updated August 13, A Mac — Seems obvious, but it's a good place to start. A storage device — I recommend an external hard drive , but you can also use other solutions, such as a NAS Network Attached Storage box, or if you're a Mac Pro user, an internal hard drive.
An external hard drive is still the preferred method, though. I also think old-fashioned rotational storage devices are still the preferred media for backups.