Time Machine is a built-in backup solution for macOS, and comes standard on every Mac. It automatically makes backups of your Mac onto an external drive. It's easy to set up, and after that, you don't even need to worry about it. But there are ways that you can customize your Time Machine experience if you so desire.
What is Time Machine?
Time Machine is Apple's built-in solution for backing up macOS. You can connect an external hard drive over USB or Thunderbolt (or FireWire, for older Macs) for a wired connection, or over a network for a wireless connection. Time Machine backs up every hour, deleting older backups as the backup drive starts running out of space.
It's a great first layer to any backup solution, and it's included right in the operating system.
Getting started with Time Machine
First, the basics. Get Time Machine set up, then learn about how you can choose what's backed up, how to restore from Time Machine, how to encrypt backups, and more.
- How to set up and start using Time Machine
- How to selectively back up with Time Machine
- How to make sure Time Machine is backing up properly on your Mac
- How to restore from a Time Machine backup
- How to delete older Time Machine backups
- How to encrypt your Time Machine backups
Digging in to Time Machine
So you've got everything set up and you know the basics of Time Machine. But there are some advanced steps that you should know about.
- How to use Finder with Time Machine
- How to restore individual files from a Time Machine backup
- How to view Time Machine backups from another Mac
- How to use Time Machine with multiple Macs
- How to speed up your Time Machine backups
Any other questions?
If you have any additional questions about getting started with or using Time Machine, let us know in the comments.
Updated March 2020: Up-to-date for macOS Catalina.
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