How to Back Up Mac with Time Machine

You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.”~ Daniel Keys Moran

Whether it’s about life or any other situation, having a backup plan is always important. Isn’t it? Well, the same rule applies to our data as well. Data is undoubtedly one of our most valuable assets. Be it your important files or documents, precious memories stored in the form of pictures and videos, or simply any form of digital information.


Image source: YouTube

Whether your disk drive crashes or your device gets infected with a virus or malware, having a backup of your data puts your mind at ease. In this post, we have covered a step-by-step guide on how to back up Mac with Time Machine.

Let’s get started.

Also read: Time Machine Backup Failed? 5 Easy Ways To Fix Time Machine Problem

What is a Time Machine and How is it Useful?

Time Machine is one of the most useful tools offered by macOS that allows you to securely create a backup of your Mac. Time Machine automatically backs up all your important files including pictures, videos, music, documents, emails, system files, and more. Having a backup allows you to easily recover files in case of disk failure, system crash, or if you accidentally delete something on Mac.

Also read: How to Backup MacBook Pro to iCloud

How to Back Up Mac with Time Machine (Step-by-Step Guide)

First, connect the external storage media to your Mac to which all your files will be copied.

Now tap the Apple icon placed on the top menu bar and select “System Preferences”.


Select “Time Machine” from the list of options.


In the Time Machine window, tap on “Select Backup Disk”.


Now pick the external storage media from the list, tap on “Use Disk”.


You will now see the details of the external media listed on the screen. Check on the “Backup Automatically” option.


Wait for a few seconds until Mac gets ready to begin the backup process. If the process does not start automatically, you can even do it manually. Here’s what you need to do:

Tap on the “Time Machine” (Clock-shaped) icon on the top menu bar, select the “Back up Now” option from the context menu.


Also, check on the “Show Time Machine in the menu bar” option.

And that’s it! This is how you can backup Mac with Time Machine Mac will now begin the backup process and will copy all your files and data to the respective external storage media.

Also read: How To Clear Time Machine Backups From Mac

How to Backup Selected Files with Time Machine?

Don’t want to copy the entire disk drive? Well, Time Machine also offers you a choice where you can back up selected files. So, if you don’t have enough storage space on the external media, you can backup selected files as well. Here’s what you need to do:

Tap the Apple icon placed on the top menu bar, select “System Preferences”.

Tap on “Time Machine” to backup Mac with Time Machine.

In the Time Machine window, tap on the “Options” button placed on the bottom-right corner.


Hit on the “+” icon.


A new window will now appear on the screen. Choose all the files and folders that you want to exclude from the backup. Once you’re done making your selection, hit on the “Exclude” button.


Review the list of items whose backup will be created by Time Machine. Hit on “Save” when done.


And that’s it! This is how you can back up selected files using Time Machine on Mac.

Also read: How to Restore Your Mac With Time Machine


Q.1. Does Time Machine backup everything on Mac?

Yes, Time Machine backs up all your files including pictures, videos, audio, movies, documents, notes, emails, reminders, and even the system files.

Q.2. How do I manually back up my Mac using Time Machine?

To manually backup Mac with Time Machine, tap on the Apple icon, select System Preferences> Time Machine. Choose the backup disk and begin the backup process to copy all your files and data to an external drive.

Q.3. Does Time Machine backup slow down your Mac?

Well, it depends on the size of a file. If the Time Machine is backing up heavy-sized files then yes, it may slow down your device for a while and you may notice a considerable performance degradation of your Mac until the backup process is completed.

Q.4. Can I put my Mac to sleep while the Time Machine is running?

Yes, you can back up your Mac in sleep mode. Open System Preferences> Energy Saver and then select the “Power nap” feature. Once the Power Nap feature is enabled, your Mac can perform the backup task even in sleep mode. But yes, just make sure to plug your device into a power source.


Here was a step-by-step guide on how to backup Mac with Time Machine. Taking a backup of your device is the safest bet to make sure you will never end up losing your precious files and data. So, yes the question should not be “Should you back up your data” and in fact, you should ask yourself “How regularly should I backup my data”.

Was this post helpful? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe Now & Never Miss The Latest Tech Updates!

Enter your e-mail address and click the Subscribe button to receive great content and coupon codes for amazing discounts.

Don't Miss Out. Complete the subscription Now.