Many people store most of their files on their computer, such as photos of special moments, data from current tasks, presentation files, etc. This is why it is so important to always back up your data. If you are a Mac user, you can do this easily using Time Machine. It is an integrated backup tool for Mac, introduced for the first time in macOS X 10.5 Leopard. Learn how to back up on Mac with Time Machine.
See also: How to update the software on a Mac (macOS High Sierra)
How to back up data on a Mac using Time Machine
Before you start
You will need an external drive to back up the data using Time Machine. It is recommended that you use an external drive for your Mac only. Do not combine it with files from another device. Look for a disk that is (at least) the same size as your internal hard drive or larger on your Mac. If you want to back up by connecting the external drive to your Mac, you will need a cable (USB-C, FireWire or Thunderbolt cable).
Connect an external hard drive to a Mac
There are several ways to connect the external drive to your Mac. You can connect it to an AirPort Extreme access point (802.11ac model), AirPort Time Capsule or using a connection cable. However, using a cable such as USB-C, FireWire or Thunderbolt is easier.
Connect your Mac to AC power
Before proceeding to the main steps of backing up data on a Mac, make sure to connect your Mac to the power supply. If this is the first time you are backing up data on Mac, it may take a while. Therefore, it would be best to connect your Mac to AC power to prevent the battery from running out during the process. For the next backups, the process will be faster.
Start Time Machine
How to launch Time Machine on Mac? You can find it in the System Preferences sub-window. First, click the Apple menu () at the top left of the Mac screen. Then click on System Preferences and select Time Machine. Make sure it's on. Otherwise, you must toggle the button to On.
Select the backup disk
Once Time Machine is activated, click on the Select a backup disk button, then choose your external drive in the popup window. Before clicking on Use Disk, it is recommended to check Encrypt backups. Since this is the first time you have backed up your Mac to an external drive using Time Machine, it can take a long time. But, you can still use your Mac during the process.
Can I exclude files from backups?
Your Mac may contain many files. To reduce the space available on your external drive, you can delete certain files before the backup process or exclude them from your backups. How do I exclude files from backups? In the Time Machine pane, click Options. Then click on the plus sign + in the popup window. Here, select the files you don't want to include in the backups, then click Exclude.