The most efficient method to backup Mac to an external Hard Drive is by using the built-in Time Machine App or utility that is available in macOS.
Backup Mac to external Hard Drive using Time Machine
All you have to do to backup Mac to an external Hard Drive is to connect the Storage Drive to the Mac and turn on Time Machine Backups on your device.
Once the initial Backup has been completed, and if the “Back automatically” option is chosen, Time Machine can keep the backup up-to-date by checking your computer for deleted, modified and new files every hour.
If there is enough storage space there on the external Drive, Time Machine keeps regular backups every hour for the last 24 hours daily backups of the previous month, and weekly backups of all the months prior to it.
In the event that an External Storage Device runs out of space, Time Machine automatically deletes the backups that were previously saved to create the storage space needed for daily backups.
External Hard Drive Capacity to support Time Machine Backup?
Time Machine can practically backup to any Storage Device connected to USB, Thunderbolt or the FireWire Port of your Mac.
In the event that your attached Storage Drive is not in the proper formatting, Time Machine will automatically ask you to format the Drive.
For the best utilization to make the most of Time Machine Backups, the capacity of the External Drive must at a minimum match the capacity of your hard Driveon the Mac.
This will enable Time Machine to store multiple versions of data. This allows you to return to the past and restore files before you made any modifications to the files.
NOTE: Time Machine can also be configured to backup Mac wirelessly on an external Drive accessible on the same network.
What is not included What is not included Time Machine Backup?
In accordance with Apple, Time Machine will automatically back up all files stored on the MacBook, Mac Mini or iMac which are not part of the macOS installation.
This means that Time Machine should backup all your photos, documents videos, music books, and third Party applications.
According to the experiences of users, Time Machine tends to ignore the Index database of the Photo Library, which can result in issues when Restoring Photos from an Time Machine Backup.
Therefore, it is recommended to create a manual backup of Videos and photos to an External Drive. It is done by simply dragging photos to External Drive.
How do you enable Time Machine Backup to External Hard Drive on Mac
Connect the External Hard Drive to your Mac Follow the instructions listed below in order to Enable Machine backups for your Mac.
1. Click on the Apple Logo in top-menu bar and then select System Preferences from the menu dropdown.
2. On System Preferences screen, select Time Machine option.
3. On Time Machine screen, select the Select backup disk… option.
Important: Make sure you choose Show Time Machine in Menu bar.
4. On the next screen, choose your external Hard Drive connected to your Mac and click on the Use Disk button.
NOTE: You can select the Back Up Automatically option If you would like Time Machine to automatically keep the backup up-to-date.
5. If the Format of an external Hard Drive is incompatible with macOS You will be prompted to erase the Disk.
6. Patiently Wait for the backup process to be finished. The time required to complete the first Backup may be quite long.
7. Remove external drive (Important!)
After the backup process has completed, ensure that you don’t disconnect the external drive from the Mac.
Disconnecting or unplugging an External Drive following an Time Machine Backup is known to cause corruption of data and disk issues.
To prevent such issues To avoid such issues, start the Finder on your Mac to access the External Backup Drive, then click the right button to the external backup drive, and choose the Eject option from the context menu.
Once you have done this, you can remove the device to your Mac and store it in a secure location.
How do I update Time Machine Backup?
If you selected the “Back to Automatically” option in the initial Backup then you can expect Time Machine to automatically Backup every new and updated file to an external Drive when it is connected into your Mac.
The periodic Time Machine Backups will continue in the background, for so long as your external Hard Drive is connected to your Mac.
Benefits to Time Machine Backups
The majority of backup software for data is built around making backups of the entire system. The advantage that the Apple Time Machine Backups is that it creates an overall backup of Data on your computer once.
After the backup Time Machine copies only New & Revised files, instead of making copies of all the data stored on your Mac repeatedly. This means That Time Machine backups are fast and efficient in utilizing resources.
Additionally, Time Machine provides the option of Recovering All of the files or select them from a particular date.