Backup a Mac
- Find an appropriate storage device. You will need a device which is capable of storing all of the data you need to back up. This should be at least twice the size of the hard drive you are trying to back up. An external hard drive is the best option, and these are easy to find. It is also possible to create a partition, if you wish to use your current computer as a backup. You should be aware, however, that this is a less safe option, as the system remains susceptible to hard drive failure and other problems.
- Plug the device into your computer. Using a USB cable or other method of connection, plug the storage device into the computer you wish to back up. Inserting the device should automatically bring up a dialog box asking if you’d like to use it for Time Machine’s backup. Choose if you’d like it encrypted and the click “Use as Backup Disk”. If automatic recognition does not occur, you can start the process manually by accessing Time Machine from the System Preferences.
- Allow the backup process to proceed. The backup process should begin automatically. Allow it to proceed. Be aware that the first time may last quite awhile and you may wish to begin the process at night or before you go to work, so you won’t have to wait.
- Configure Settings. You can bring up the Time Machine pane in the System Preferences to change some of the settings. Click the “Options” button in the lower right corner to change excluded items, set up notifications, and battery power options.