Use Time Machine to back up
or restore your Mac
Back up using Time Machine
After you set up Time Machine, it automatically makes hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for all previous months. The oldest backups are deleted when your backup drive is full.
- To back up now instead of waiting for the next automatic backup, choose Back Up Now from the Time Machine menu Time Machine icon.
- To stop automatic backups, turn off Time Machine in Time Machine preferences. You can still back up manually by choosing Back Up Now from the Time Machine menu.
- To cancel a backup in progress, choose Skip This Backup (or Stop Backing Up) from the Time Machine menu.
- To check backup status, use the Time Machine menu. The icon shows when Time Machine is backing up In progess, idle until the next automatic backup Idle, or unable to complete the backup Can't backupCan't back up.
- To exclude items from your backup, open Time Machine preferences from the Time machine menu, click Options, then click Add and select the item to exclude.
Restore from a Time Machine backup
Restore specific files:
1. Choose Enter Time Machine from the Time Machine menu Time Machine icon, or click Time Machine in the Dock.
2. Find the files to restore:
- Use the timeline on the edge of the screen to see the files in your Time Machine backup as they were at that date and time. The timeline may also include local snapshots.
- Use the onscreen up and down arrows to jump to the last time the contents of the window changed. You can also use the search field in a window to find a file, then move through time while focused on changes to that file.
- Select a file and press Space Bar to preview the file and make sure it's the one you want.
3. Click Restore to restore the selected file, or Control-click the file for other options.
- To restore everything in your Time Machine backup, use OS X Recovery.
- To copy the files, settings, and OS X user accounts in your backup to another Mac, use Migration Assistant.