Time Machine Backups

Watch the video tutorial below for how and why to do Time Machine Back Ups. Length = 2min, 50 secs



Video Script:

In this screencast I’m going to show you how to do Time Machine back ups with your laptop.

Time Machine is an invaluable built-in app in the Apple operating system.  This app backs up your entire hard drive, including:

  • all system data,
  • files,
  • installed software,
  • and settings.

With a Time Machine back up you can recover the entire contents of your hard drive should your laptop crash or become inoperable due to damage. If you get a new Apple computer in the future, you can transfer your entire hard drive contents, including installed software, to the new computer. Time machine back ups can be a real savior. It saved me once in the past.

Here’s how you get it set up.

  • First, you will need to have an external hard drive. Be sure it’s a new hard drive. Do not use one on which you have been doing manual back ups of your files. Get a drive that is at least double the amount of gigs as your laptop’s hard drive. If you have a 256 GB laptop, be sure your Time Machine back up drive is at least 500 GB. Each time you do a backup, Time Machine keeps a copy of previous back ups, allowing you to go back in time if needed to older back ups.
  • The first time you plug in the drive a window will pop up asking if you want to use the drive to back up with Time Machine. Click “Use as back up disk.”
  • It will then need to format the disk and ask you to erase it. Click “Erase.”
  • Once that is selected a window will open and a countdown to the first back up will begin. You can just let it run, but you can force the back up to begin sooner. To do this click the Time Machine icon at the top, and then click “back up now.” The back up will begin.

The first back up will take the longest. It can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on how much is being backed up and the connection to your drive. For faster backing up, get a USB 3 external hard drive. Future back ups will go more quickly since Time Machine only backs up changes made to system data, files, installed software, and settings.

It’s recommended to do Time Machine back ups at least once every 2 weeks.

  • When the back up is complete, eject the drive and store it in a safe place.

Before doing back ups, it is recommended that you:

  • quit all open apps,
  • download and install any updates,
  • empty your trash,
  • and restart your computer.

This ensures a clean back up.

It’s recommended that you do a Time Machine back up both before and after updating the Mac OS on your laptop. If any problem occurs during an OS update, you can restore your Mac with that most recent back up.

If you have any questions about this Time Machine back up, don’t hesitate to contact me or anyone in ICT.