Hard Drive Management Mac OS X Tech Tutorials

How to Backup a Mac [Step-by-Step Guide]

The System Preferences Icon on a Mac

Has your pc ever crashed? Have you ever ever had a laptop computer stolen?

If not, you’re fortunate. It’s occurred to loads of us.

Ask anybody who’s ever misplaced their pc they usually’ll inform you:

It’s not enjoyable.

In any case, most of us retailer every little thing on our computer systems. Faculty work, work information, household pictures, funds – it’s all on there.

However when your pc crashes… otherwise you depart it on the practice… otherwise you drop it in the bathroom (for some bizarre cause, we gained’t ask)…

It may possibly all go away in a second.

That’s why it’s essential to backup your onerous drive.

Your Mac could also be in fine condition and a crash could seem unimaginable proper now, however you by no means know what might occur.

And when it does, you need to be ready.

Fortunately, there are a selection of various methods to create a backup drive. They’re all fairly straightforward, too, and will take you lower than an hour.

We’ve outlined a couple of strategies under.

Take our recommendation and use considered one of these methods to repeat your onerous drive. If that Venti chilly brew iced espresso from Starbucks ever comes crashing down in your laptop computer and fries the exhausting drive, you’ll be comfortable you adopted our directions.

Method #1: Again Your Mac Up with Time Machine

Apple makes it very straightforward to backup your pc by creating a replica of your arduous drive.


Since 2007, they’ve outfitted each laptop computer and desktop gadget with a software program software referred to as Time Machine.

Primarily, this program is program is a built-in backup function that lets you create a replica of your arduous drive at any time.

It’s nice as a result of it not solely permits you to restore your pc if it occurs to die completely, nevertheless it additionally lets you recuperate particular person information when you occur to delete them.

By chance emptied your Recycle Bin with an necessary folder in it?

No worries! In the event you’ve backed your pc up with Time Machine, you will get it again in just some minutes!

Oh, and right here’s the perfect half:

When you allow Time Machine, it can periodically archive all the information in your pc relying in your Time Machine preferences. We propose you arrange automated backups for weekly backups or every day backups (you possibly can even do hourly backups if you would like).  That approach, you don’t need to set time apart particularly to again your stuff up as a result of your pc will do it mechanically.

Sounds superior, proper?

Right here’s how you employ it:

First, you’ll want an exterior drive to retailer your information on.

This could be a conventional exterior that connects by way of USB, FireWire, or Thunderbolt. Or, you need to use certainly one of Apple’s proprietary Time Capsule units in the event you occur to personal one.

You possibly can even retailer your stuff on one other pc in your community so long as that pc is suitable with the Apple File Protocol (AFP) File Sharing function.

This drive is the place all the file duplicates will go as soon as they’re rendered. So, to again something up, it should be plugged in. The copies gained’t have anywhere to reside in any other case.

So, earlier than you get began, you’ll should take your exterior drive and plug it in. If you wish to retailer your stuff on one other pc by way of File Sharing, you’ll be able to skip that and transfer on.

Then, you’ll need to comply with these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences.

The System Preferences Icon on a Mac

  1. Double-click the Time Machine icon within the System Preferences menu.

Where to find Time Machine in your system preferences

  1. Click on the Choose Disk button in the midst of the window.

Select disk in Time Machine

  1. Then, you’ll have the choice to decide on which disk you’d wish to retailer your backups on. In case you’re utilizing an exterior exhausting drive, for instance, choose that.
  1. As soon as you choose backup disk, return to the Time Machine menu and make it possible for the field studying “Again Up Mechanically” is checked. When you’ve chosen it, your pc will again itself as much as the chosen drive every time it’s related.

Back Up Automatically with Time Machine

Does Time Machine Backup All the things Each Time?

New customers typically marvel once they use Time Machine if it creates a replica of each single file each single time it backs up the pc.

The reply… YES!

This system mechanically copies the whole lot in your arduous drive.

So every time it runs, it should copy your system information, accounts, apps, preferences, footage, movies, docs, music, and even emails.

It might sound unusual for there to be an entire copy of your pc on an exterior drive. However don’t fear. If something ever goes incorrect, you’ll be completely satisfied you might have it.

Method #2: Backup Your Mac to iCloud

Don’t have an exterior arduous drive to make use of as a backup?

Nicely, don’t fear an excessive amount of. There are issues you are able to do to maintain your information protected, even with out an exterior drive.

Among the best methods to do that is with iCloud.

One of the best factor about utilizing the cloud as a backup is you can entry your knowledge from anyplace. Nicely, that and the truth that you don’t have to hold round an enormous, clunky drive together with your whole pc on it.

And, it’s fairly straightforward to make use of. All you need to do is drag-and-drop your information proper into the magical arduous drive within the sky.

You’ll sleep sound at night time understanding that your information are protected even when your pc kicks the bucket and your exterior arduous drive will get run over by a automotive.

Right here’s the right way to use it:

  1. Earlier than you employ iCloud drive, you need to all the time be sure that to replace your OS. You need to have the newest model of the Mac Working System everytime you try and entry the cloud. You’ll have problem in any other case.
  1.  As soon as the whole lot is up to date, you’re prepared to start. Begin by opening the System Preferences menu (click on that little wheel in your desktop menu bar). Click on the iCloud icon.

Where to find iCloud in System Preferences

  1. to entry your iCloud account, you’ll in all probability need to enter your Apple ID and Password. Punch these in and click on the Signal In button.

iCloud sign in

  1. When you’re signed in, you’ll have the ability to select all the purposes that you simply need to combine together with your iCloud account. By checking the field subsequent to the Pictures icon, for instance, you’ll be capable of backup all of your photograph information to your account. For those who verify the field subsequent to the Safari icon, you’ll backup your whole Safari preferences to the account.

Pick what data you want to backup with iCloud

  1. After you’ve logged into iCloud, you’ll even have the choice to tug particular person information into the iCloud folder in your Finder menu. Something you drag into the iCloud folder, situated on the left aspect of the Finder window, it is going to save routinely.

where to find iCloud files in the Finder application

Can You Again Your Whole Pc As much as iCloud?

Questioning create a replica of your arduous drive and add it to iCloud?

Brief reply: Sure.

However, it’s sort of a ache within the butt.

See, the issue is that Apple provides you a restricted quantity of area within the cloud.

In any case, even when it looks like all that knowledge is invisible, it’s saved in big knowledge servers someplace out within the desert.

So, Apple might be paying some huge cash for us to retailer our knowledge. And whereas they provide you 5GB of space for storing without spending a dime in your account, they make you pay for extra.

The price of knowledge varies from area to area. Presently, you should purchase 50GB of additional cloud space for storing for $zero.99 a month. Or, you’ll be able to spend money on 2TB of additional area for $9.99 a month.

Sadly, your pc in all probability has greater than 5GB of knowledge on it. So, if you wish to backup your whole arduous drive to iCloud, you’ll in all probability should pay Apple’s month-to-month charge.

And there’s one other hurdle on this course of…

You’ll have to create a replica of your exhausting drive earlier than you possibly can export it to the cloud. Likelihood is that your system doesn’t have sufficient room to carry two copies of itself.

So, you’ll in all probability want an exterior drive it doesn’t matter what. That method, you’ll have a tool to carry your copy. As soon as it’s copied, you’ll be able to drag that file into your iCloud account.

There are some advantages to having two copies of your exhausting drive. As I stated earlier than, it’s good to have an area backup and a cloud-based backup to make sure you by no means lose your information.

However, you’ll need to pay for it – in each cloud area and bodily area.

Method #three: Add Every little thing to Google Drive

Yet one more strategy to backup your Mac is to retailer all your information on Google Drive. Just like iCloud, this feature provides you a strategy to hold your whole knowledge in a protected and safe folder on-line.

Now, we perceive that Google Drive isn’t each Apple consumer’s first selection in storage options. I imply, why would you employ that when you have already got entry to iCloud?

We get it. As a Mac proprietor, iCloud can be your first selection. Who needs to open an entire new website once they can simply drag their information to a folder that’s already on their pc?

That’s wonderful. However when you’re in search of some additional space for storing, Drive is perhaps a greater choice.

If you register for a Drive account, Google grants you 15GB of free space for storing. That’s greater than the 5GB that comes with an iCloud account.

And, you possibly can nonetheless buy extra storage if mandatory. You will get 100GB for $1.99 per 30 days, which might be value it contemplating the 15 free gigs they already offer you.

Google Drive is comparatively straightforward to make use of, too. The truth is, you in all probability have already got an account if in case you have a Gmail handle, so all you need to do is head to https://drive.google.com. Or, you possibly can obtain the app via the App Retailer.

A screenshot of the Google Drive homepage

Whether or not you put in it or use it by means of their web site, all you need to do is drag and drop information or folders into the Drive. They’ll add immediately.

It’s that straightforward!

How Do I Use Backup and Sync?

The one draw back of Google Drive is that you simply’ll should add each folder individually. There’s no strategy to drag and drop your complete exhausting drive into the app abruptly.

However with Google’s Backup and Sync app, you possibly can create a replica of your onerous drive and retailer it on-line.

It’s type of inconvenient that you need to obtain a further app. However, if it’s going to stop me from dropping all my information if my pc breaks, I’m all about it.

Right here’s the way it works:

  1. Obtain Backup and Sync right here.

Backup and Sync download

  1. Open the appliance and log into your Gmail account.
  2. When you’re logged in, you possibly can select the folders that you simply’d wish to sync together with your Drive.

Select folders Google Drive

  1. After you’ve chosen your folders, you’ll be able to click on the NEXT button after which START to backup your drive.
  2. Keep in mind, you’ll want adequate area to backup your whole pc.

You will get a studying of your complete knowledge by clicking the Apple icon within the prime left-hand nook of your desktop and choosing “About This Mac.” When the Overview window exhibits up, decide the “Storage” tab to see what number of GB you’ve gotten saved in your pc.

Be sure to spend money on sufficient Drive (or iCloud) space for storing to carry all the information you propose on storing.

Save Your self the Headache and Backup Your Mac ASAP

Backing up your pc might be tedious. Spending an hour dragging picture information right into a folder doesn’t sound like anybody’s concept of a very good time.

However dropping your complete onerous drive is WAY much less enjoyable. It’ll damage your week, I assure it.

So, it’s tremendous essential that you’ve some type of exterior storage. Whether or not you might have a bodily exhausting drive that you simply depart in your desk or a cloud-based account by means of Apple or Google, it’s needed so that you can have one thing.

And once more, when the day comes that your pc fries up like a science experiment gone fallacious, you’ll be joyful you took our recommendation.