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Back up your Mac

  Apple iMac with Retina 5K Lifestyle Lifestyle Display Review
Bill Roberson / Digital Trends

Although Apple is currently pushing its iCloud services – what you can use to back up data from any Apple device ̵

1; it's understandable if you prefer a more traditional method of backing up your data. Consider backing up to both iCloud and a local drive for a more robust backup plan. In addition, an external drive (or HDD or SSD) remains a solid choice if you prefer a physical location to store, protect and share your data (without any costs for cloud storage).

Let's see how you can back up your Mac to an external drive.

Make sure your drive is formatted correctly

  Reformat Mac drive

If you are going to use an external hard drive or an external SSD to back up your Mac data, you must you start by formatting it for the extensive MacOS file system – with a few exceptions, most external hard drives are not pre-formatted for Macs. Fortunately it is a simple process and users can also learn a little more about their disks.

Step 1: connect your new hard drive to your Mac.

A new ride is ideal here. If you use an older drive, it becomes more complicated. If you reformat, all old data on the disk will be erased, so you want to check it and move valuable data to another device before continuing.

Step 2: Start the Disk Utility.

In the menu bar of your Mac, click Go and then Utility & # 39; s . In the resulting window, open Disk Utility.

Step 3: Locate the hard drive that you want to reformat.

All disks and volumes on your Mac are listed in Disk Utility, so make sure you choose the right one.

Step 4: Erase the disc.

Choose to Delete in the Disk Utility window, confirm that this is what you want to do and prepare to rename the disk – it's a good idea to do something like "Mac Backup "if you mainly use this hard for backup data.

Step 5: Select the new chart scheme.

You will now be asked to choose a new format, including Extended (Journaled), Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled), Extended (Journaled, Encrypted), and so on. The Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format uses Journaled HFS Plus to keep all your data organized.

The encrypted option adds a password and encryption, while case sensitive distinguishes folders with uppercase / lowercase letters ("September" and "September"), stay separated, etc.). Choose the best option for your situation – we recommend the fourth format, which contains all three options if you are not sure what to do.

Step 6: Go to Security Options.

Select Security Options and ensure that the disk is set to overwrite previous data at least three times (only for HDD & # 39; s, not SSD & # 39; s).

Step 7: Delete and confirm

Your disk will be reformatted!

Back up large amounts of data via Time Machine

  Time Machine window

With Time Machine you can back up your Mac with automated, scheduled backups. If you don't mind connecting your external drive to your Mac continuously, Time Machine takes a lot of work out of the backup process. Here's what to do to activate it:

Step 1: Open Time Machine and make sure it is turned on.

You will find Time Machine in System Preferences located in your Dock. There is a check box on the left side of the Time Machine window to enable or disable this. Switch it on.

Step 2: Select your drive.

Under Select Backup Disk Choose the disk for backing up your data. If you have completed the formatting steps in the first section, this should not be a problem, although you may have to enter the password for an encrypted disk.

  Time Machine HD

Step 3: Check the options.

Under the button Options you can choose which data volumes you want to back up, which is handy if you do not want to save all all data from you stay on MacOS. If everything looks good, you are ready to go.

Time Machine automatically backs up your data and allows you to retrieve data from the past 24 hours ago if something goes wrong – as well as data from any day in the past month and all weekly data since Time Machine started to work.

Selectively save data to disk manually

  iTunes External HD

You may only want to back up your Mac with specific files – a more appropriate solution if you are interested in saving a certain type of media or back up only data related to your task, etc.

Step 1: Open Finder.

You can use a Finder [19459016openen] at any time from the Dock. Check the left side of your Finder to see if your external hard drive is present in the sidebar by name. If your drive is connected and correctly formatted, you will usually see it here. If this is not the case, click Finder and then Preferences in the menu bar and select Sidebar where you can choose what is displayed in the Finder sidebar. Make sure your drive is set to appear there.

Step 2: Create the required folders.

The files that you want to back up may already be in the correct folders, neatly organized, in which case you can skip this step. But if your files are a bit scattered, you might want to go to the Finder folder icon and create new folders to collect your valuable data correctly.

  Drag file

Step 3: move folders to your external drive.

Drag the folders you want to save to the external drive in your sidebar; they are automatically copied to that hard disk. If you are looking for a specific file to save and cannot find it, use the search function at the top right of the Finder screen to get a closer look.

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