Backing up your Mac

Backing up the data on your Mac on a regular or semi-regular basis is vital to ensure your data is protected from damage or theft. Here are the best Mac backup solutions that will ensure your data is always safe.

No single backup option will work for everyone, and there’s no “catch-all” solution. However, a solid backup strategy is necessary whether you’re a business user or just use your Mac in your spare time. There are so many ways you might lose your data. Your hard disk drive or solid-state drive could fail at any time, you could drop or spill a drink on your machine, in rare circumstances your machine could become infected with malware, you might lose your Mac, or it could be stolen. In addition, backing up has other benefits, such as the ability to access your data from other devices, and restore your data to a new machine. In short – backing up your Mac is non-negotiable.

The simplest way of backing up your Mac is to use Apple’s free, built-in Time Machine software. All you need to use Time Machine is an external hard drive, and these come fairly cheap now. Time Machine makes hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for each month. Time Machine only backs up the changes that have been made since the last backup, so it isn’t as much data as you’d imagine. If you were working on a document over a long period, you would have 24 copies from the last 24 hours, one copy a day from the past month, and one copy a week for the previous months. This makes it really easy to find previous versions of a file. Time Machine does all the work for you; you don’t need to manually clear space on your external hard drive. Because it only backs up new data, it shouldn’t take up much space. If you buy a new Mac, you can restore the data to it easily. You can read our guide to setting up Time Machine here.

You can also use iCloud and iCloud Drive to store files if you want a cloud-based backup solution for your Mac. Files that are stored in iCloud Drive stay up to date across all of your Apple Devices, and can be accessed from your iPhone, iPad, Pod Touch or Mac. Additionally, users can start work on one device and complete it in another. From iOS 11, the iCloud Drive app became known simply as Files. To turn on iCloud Drive on your Mac, select iCloud from the System Preferences window, and turn on Desktop and Documents by ticking the box. After that, any files you place in the desktop or documents folder will be synced automatically with your iCloud Drive. These files can then be accessed from your iOS devices in the Files app.

Data Recovery