Time Machine is a beneficial app for those who have an unstable hard drive or need second copies of files.
Losing your keys before leaving for work or a needs-to-be-urgently-mailed-out letter is a minor but stressful annoyance to someone’s daily life.
When it comes to losing files, apps, and anything in-between on your computer due to a hard drive crash, it is not just annoying. It is actively frustrating, especially if the malfunction led to the apps and files becoming lost forever. For a remote worker or student, losing that whitepaper or final essay due to a hard drive malfunction can be aggravating beyond belief.
Those situations, plus many more, are the “a-ha!” moments that led Apple to create Time Machine.
“Phone, wallet, keys…Time Machine? Wait, what Time Machine?”
Time Machine is a pre-installed app designed to create data backups of a user’s entire system. It can also create backups of any specific files, which is exceptionally handy when those all-too-important pictures and documents get lost. Users can schedule Time Machine to do automatic backups, or they can manually backup data themselves. Another immensely obliging feature of Time Machine is its ability to restore a MacBook’s system to a previous state.
The app was first introduced all the way back in 2007 when Apple was still naming macOS updates after cats. That means any MacBook with macOS 10.5 or higher has Time Machine already pre-loaded on the device. There will not be any extra downloading.
It will be essential for those who may not be familiar with Time Machine to understand how it works, just in case you or any other individual user finds themselves in a bind due to data loss-related issues.
“Wait a minute, Doc, are you telling me Time Machine can back up AND restore data on my MacBook? This is heavy…”
How to set up Time Machine
- To double-check to see if it is turned on, first, click on the Apple icon located in the upper left-hand corner.
- Next, select System Preferences in the drop-down list.
- In this window, click on the “Time Machine” icon found within the System section in this menu.
- Finally, on the Time Machine, click to toggle the slider to the ON position.
How to backup your system and files using Time Machine
- Before starting any backup with Time Machine, be sure to have an external storage device plugged in or a dedicated backup disk. Time Machine is compatible with the following:
- An external hard drive or thumb drive that will go into the USB or Thunderbolt port of the MacBook
- Network-attached storage (NAS) device
- A shared Time Machine backup destination
- AirPort Time Capsule
- Once your external storage device is attached, open up the Time Machine menu by clicking on the Apple icon and opening up the System Preferences window.
- Click on the Time Machine icon in the System Preferences window to open it up.
- Now that Time Machine is running click on the Select Backup Disk button.
- On this window, choose the backup utility you plan on using, and after it’s highlighted, click on the Use Disk button to begin the backup process.
How to restore your system and files using Time Machine
There may be situations where your system crashes, and your only solution is a backup. This is where using a backup from Time Machine will come in handy. However, this will work in conjunction with another pre-installed app called Migration Assistant.
- First, connect the proposed Time Machine backup utility to the MacBook. Also, double-check to see if
- Open up Migration Assistant, which is located in the Applications folder. Click on that to bring up the Utilities folder, and Migration Assistant will be found.
- The Migration Assistant window will ask the user how they would like to transfer the data. Select the first option to use a Time Machine-backup. Click continue.
- The following menu will look for the source of the Time Machine backup. Click on the one you are going to use, and then click Continue.
- Select the information you would like to transfer. This can be applications, user information, files, and system information.
- Finally, after choosing which information to restore, click continue to start the process.
“Great Scott, Marty! Time Machine…it worked!”
Everyone misplaces an item once in a while. When it comes to losing files and other assorted media on your computer, recovering them be an all-day chore. Thanks in part to Time Machine, this will not be a burden. A student will find that final essay of the semester, and the content marketer working for a startup can recover that much-needed whitepaper. All thanks to Time Machine.
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