How to make backups with Time Machine

You can make backups on your Mac in different ways . The easiest and most convenient way is via Time Machine, Apple’s program that creates automatic backups of any file to an external drive . This allows you not only to recover your Mac when it’s broken, as well as individual files for easy retrieval when they are gone. In this guide, we show you how to set up and use Time Machine.

Time Machine: what do you need?

To enable Time Machine, you need an external drive. This does not necessarily have to be directly connected to a computer, because you can connect an external drive via your router to the network. That works fine and prevents you having to sacrifice a USB port on your Mac permanently for backup. Apple itself sells the Time Capsule. This is a router with built-in hard disk, for setting up everything at once.

Enabling Time Machine

To enable backup on your Mac, you must connect an external drive to your Mac (via USB or via a Wi-Fi network). Then perform the following steps:
Select Time Machine disk

  • Open System Preferences from the Applications folder (or via > System Preferences).
  • Click the options for Time Machine.
  • You will see the options for Time Machine. First, click the “Select Disk …” button
  • Now select the drive you want to use. Please note that if you select a disc for use with Time Machine, you can not use it for anything else.
  • Turn on the backup. Within two minutes, Time Machine automatically creates the first backup on the disk that you have indicated.
  • From now on it will automatically backup every so often. You have no other work, as long as you ensure that the external drive is connected to the Mac via USB cable or Wi-Fi network.

Restore your Mac with Time Machine

Once you have backed up with Time Machine, you can restore the Mac with a recent Time Machine backup. For this you have to start your Mac with CMD + R and select “Restore from Time Machine backup”. You can also move the contents of an old mac to a new one with a Time Machine backup.

Recover files with Time Machine

In the Programs folder and in the subfolder Utilities you can find the program Time Machine. If you make backups with Time Machine, you can put this programm in the dock of your Mac. If you press this icon, you can immediately switch in Time Machine.

Time Machine restore file
Image via Apple

If you do this, new windows appear behind the Finder window or the application window and you can scroll through the digital ‘timeline’. Have you lost a file? Then go back to the date the file existed and select the file and restore it with the option “Restore”.


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