Back up your MacBook to an external hard drive with Time Machine to save your valuable photos, videos, apps, documents, and personal data.
It is important to back up data on your MacBook. This will save you time and money in the future if your MacBook gets damaged or stolen.
Apple has made it easy for you to back up your data. You can use Time Machine to back up all of your files, or you can use iCloud. All of the data will be stored in the cloud and backed up on a regular basis so that you don’t have to worry about losing any of your work.
Time Machine is capable of doing:
- hourly backups in the past 24 hours,
- daily backups for the past month,
- weekly backups for the previous months.
In this post, we’ll guide you on how to back up your MacBook Pro or Air to an external hard drive with Time Machine.
Let’s get started!
How to Back up your MacBook to an External Hard Drive with Time Machine
1. Connect your external hard drive to your MacBook Pro, Air, or iMac.
2. Click the Apple logo and select System Preferences.
3. Click Time Machine.
To access Time Machine more quickly in the future, tick Show Time Machine in menu bar. The Time Machine logo will appear in your menu bar, next to the Bluetooth. Next time you want to access the Time Machine, you only need to click the logo.
4. Click Select Backup Disk…
5. Select the external storage device that you want to use to store your backups.
For additional protection, you can encrypt the data by selecting Encrypt backups. You will need a password to access your backup, though.
Then, click Use Disk.
The backing up progress will start immediately.
If you are using a brand new external hard drive, the system might need to format it before performing the backup. It’s a necessary thing to do because most external hard drives are using an NTFS format while Mac required a Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format.
The backup progress may take a while depending on how big your data are.
During the backing up process, you can continue using your MacBook.
Once the backup is complete, a notification will show up on your screen.
What if my external hard drive is full?
Time Machine will automatically delete the oldest backup when your external drive storage is full. So you don’t need to worry about it.
After the first backup, Time Machine will back up your MacBook automatically whenever your backup device is connected to your MacBook Pro, Air, or iMac.
Time Machine also supports a manual backup so you don’t need to wait for the next automatic backup schedule.
To do a manual backup, do the following steps:
1. Connect your external hard drive to your Mac and click the Time Machine icon in the menu bar.