There are many moments in life when we would like to travel through time. One common instance is when an important document disappears from our computer screen. Making things worse, we forgot to save it! That is hours of work lost. Fortunately, Apple users have Time Machine’s built-in backup feature for added protection.
This software automatically backs up apps, music, photos, email, documents, and system files. You can backup to
external storage devices;
another Mac set up as a backup destination;
network-attached storage (NAS).
It is simple. Connect your Mac to an external drive, then Open Time Machine to select your backup destination. You can select when backups happen and what gets backed up, and you will also have the option of encrypting your backup, which is a good idea.
Time Machine keeps hourly backups for 24 hours, daily backups for a month, and weekly backups for previous months until full. The oldest backups get deleted when space is needed.
All you need to do to restore your original files is turn on and connect the Time Machine backup disk. Then, you can use the timeline on the Time Machine screen to find the items to restore.
We recommend all Mac users set up Time Machine to backup to at least an external drive, and Apple makes it easy to setup this minimum level of backup. With the local device, you will have a first line of defense close at hand if you need to recover or restore your computer.
However, this basic backup does limit your options. To amplify your protection, consider these alternatives.