Let 8217;s go over how to back up your Mac to an external drive.
Step 1: Connect your new drive to your Mac.
A new drive is ideal here. If you use an older drive, things get more complicated if you 8217;ve already got data stored on it. Re-formatting will erase any old data that you have on the drive, so you 8217;ll want to double-check and move any valuable data over to another device before moving on.
Step 2: Launch Disk Utility.
In your Mac 8217;s menu bar, click Go, then Utilities. In the resulting window, open Disk Utility.
Step 3: Find the drive you want to reformat.
All drives and volumes on your Mac will be listed in Disk Utility, so make sure you pick the right one.
Step 4: Erase the drive.
Choose to Erase in the Disk Utility window, confirm that 8217;s what you want to do, and get ready to rename the drive 8212; it 8217;s a good idea to call it something like 8220;Mac Backup 8221; if you are using this drive primarily for backup data.
Step 5: Choose the new map scheme.
The Encrypted option adds a password and encryption, while Case-sensitive differentiates folders with upper/lowercase letters ( 8220;September 8221; and 8220;september 8221; stay separated, etc.). Pick the best option for your situation 8212; we recommend the fourth format, which includes all three capabilities if you aren 8217;t sure what to do.
Step 6: Head over to Security Options.
Step 7: Erase and confirm.
Your drive will be reformatted!
Time Machine allows you to back up your Mac with automated, scheduled backups. If you don 8217;t mind having your external drive connected to your Mac continually, Time Machine takes a lot of work out of the backup process. Here 8217;s what to do to activate it:
Step 1: Open Time Machine and make sure it is turned on.
You can find Time Machine in System Preferences, which is located in your Dock. There 8217;s a checkbox on the left side of the Time Machine window labelled 8220;Back Up Automatically 8221; 8212; tick this to turn on Time Machine.
Step 2: Select your drive.
Under Select Disk, choose the drive for backing up your data. If you completed the formatting steps under the first section, this shouldn 8217;t be a problem, although you may have to enter the password for an encrypted drive.
Step 3: Check Options.
Under the Options button, you can choose which volumes of data you want to back up, which is handy if you don 8217;t want to save all the data you keep on MacOS. If everything looks appropriate, then you are good to go.
Time Machine will automatically start backing up your data and allowing you to retrieve past data from 24 hours ago if something goes wrong 8212; as well as data from any day in the past month, and any weekly data since Time Machine started working.
Maybe you only want to back up your Mac with specific files 8212; a more fitting solution if you are interested in saving a particular type of media, or backing up only data related to your job, etc.
Step 1: Open Finder.
Step 2: Create any necessary folders.
The files you want to back up may already be in the proper folders, nicely organized, in which case you can skip this step. But if your files are a little scattered, you may want to head up to the folder icon in Finder and create new folders to gather your valuable data properly.
Step 3: Move folders into your external drive.
Drag and drop the folders you want to save to the external drive in your sidebar; they will be automatically copied over to that hard drive. If you are looking for a particular file to keep and can 8217;t find it, use the search function in the upper right portion of the Finder screen to take a closer look.