May 08, 2021 Step 1: Connect external hard drive to Mac via USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt or so, and a message will pop up, asking whether you want to use the drive to back up with Time Machine. Click 'Use as Backup Disk'. Step 1: Connect external hard drive to Mac via USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt or so, and a message will pop up, asking whether you want to use the drive to back up with Time Machine. Click 'Use as Backup Disk'.
Format external hard drive for macOS. Backing up a Mac with Time Machine requires an external hard drive formatted for macOS. Formatting the drive will erase everything on it and configure it for macOS. After formatting the drive, if prompted to back up with Time Machine, select Use as Backup Disk. This will open the Time Machine preferences.
You can use Time Machine, the built-in backup feature of your Mac, to automatically back up all of your files, including apps, music, photos, email, documents, and system files. When you have a backup, you can restore files from your backup if the original files are ever deleted from your Mac, or the hard disk (or SSD) in your Mac is erased or replaced.
Create a Time Machine backup
To create backups with Time Machine, all you need is an external storage device. After you connect the device and select it as your backup disk, Time Machine 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 disk is full.
Connect an external storage device
Connect one of the following external storage devices, sold separately. Learn more about backup disks that you can use with Time Machine.
- External drive connected to your Mac, such as a USB, Thunderbolt, or FireWire drive
- External drive connected to an AirPort Extreme Base Station (802.11ac model) or AirPort Time Capsule
- AirPort Time Capsule
- Mac shared as a Time Machine backup destination
- Network-attached storage (NAS) device that supports Time Machine over SMB
Select your storage device as the backup disk
When you connect an external drive directly to your Mac, you might be asked if you want to use the drive to back up with Time Machine. Select Encrypt Backup Disk (recommended), then click Use as Backup Disk.
An encrypted backup is accessible only to users with the password. Learn more about keeping your backup disk secure.
If Time Machine doesn't ask to use your drive, follow these steps to add it manually:
- Open Time Machine preferences from the Time Machine menu in the menu bar. Or choose Apple () menu > System Preferences, then click Time Machine.
- Click Select Backup Disk (or Select Disk, or Add or Remove Backup Disk):
- Select your external drive from the list of available disks. Then select ”Encrypt backups” (recommended) and click Use Disk:
If the disk you selected isn't formatted as required by Time Machine, you're prompted to erase the disk first. Click Erase to proceed. This erases all information on the backup disk.
Enjoy the convenience of automatic backups
After you select a backup disk, Time Machine immediately begins making periodic backups—automatically and without further action by you. The first backup may take a long time, depending on how many files you have, but you can continue using your Mac while a backup is underway. Time Machine backs up only the files that changed since the previous backup, so future backups will be faster.
To start a backup manually, choose Back Up Now from the Time Machine menu in the menu bar. Use the same menu to check the status of a backup or skip a backup in progress.
- If you back up to multiple disks, you can switch disks before entering Time Machine. Press and hold the Option key, then choose Browse Other Backup Disks from the Time Machine menu.
- To exclude items from your backup, open Time Machine preferences, click Options, then click the Add (+) button to add an item to be excluded. To stop excluding an item, such as an external hard drive, select the item and click the Remove (–) button.
- If using Time Machine to back up to a network disk, you can verify those backups to make sure they're in good condition. Press and hold Option, then choose Verify Backups from the Time Machine menu.
- In OS X Lion v10.7.3 or later, you can start up from your Time Machine disk, if necessary. Press and hold Option as your Mac starts up. When you see the Startup Manager screen, choose “EFI Boot” as the startup disk.
BestExternal Hard Drives for MaciMore2020
We understand that your data is important to you. Whether its personal documents, important work files, or just making sure you have everything you need to be backed up, you can never be too safe. External hard drives are not only useful for storing data but are an excellent way to transport files from one location to another. When you take into account price, ease of use, and portability, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the most reliable hard drive you can carry around with you at all times.
Best Overall: Seagate Backup Plus Slim (2 TB)
If you want a reliable external hard drive that has a decent amount of storage, is super easy to carry around and has a very affordable price tag, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the best option for most people. Formatted for Windows and Mac right out of the box, it's easy to carry all your essential documents from desktop to laptop without missing a beat.
The Seagate Dashboard back up system is a fantastic simple tool that can let you schedule backups to ensure you never miss any critical files you need in case something terrible happens to your computer. You can set automatic backups daily, weekly, or monthly, and change the frequency whenever you want.
How To Backup Mac To External Drive
Seagate also throws in a one-year complimentary subscription to Mylio Create. This can help you wrangle your photo library if you don't already use some photo managing tool, and a two-month membership to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan.
- Great backup software
- USB 3.0
- Metal enclosure
Seagate Backup Plus Slim (2 TB)
Reliable, portable, and affordable.
No lengthy setups or formatting procedures, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB is formatted for Mac right out of the packaging.
Best USB-C hard drive: Samsung T5 Portable SSD (1 TB)
This small compact SSD drive from Samsung comes with both a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A, meaning it's perfect to use with your MacBook or Mac.
Its fast 540 MB/s read and write speeds are more than enough to transfer any file. And should be able to store all your photo and video files with ease thanks to its straightforward software. Plus, if you're worried about encryption, the Samsung T5 Portable SSD has you covered with an optional password to launch the drive and AES 256-bit hardware encryption on all your files.
- Super compact
- AES 256-bit hardware encryption
Samsung T5 Portable SSD (1 TB)
Fast and encrypted
With 540 MB/s read and write speeds, the Samsung T5 Portable SSD is fast enough for photographers and videographers to transport all their work.
Source: Western Digital
Compatible with Time Machine right out of the box, the 8 TB storage capacity on the Western Digital My Book is perfect for people looking for a lot of stage at a reasonable price. It's USB 3.0, meaning it's easy to take advantage of its storage speed with fast transfer speeds.
While portability is not the Western Digital My Book's strong suit and it needs a separate power source, it does offer 256-AES encryption when you download its easy-to-use security software. It ensures all your important files and documents stay private.
If you're looking for a drive that has lots of space, os you don't have to have multiple as your storage needs grow, look no further.
- Lots of storage
- 256-AES encryption
- Time Machine compatible
Western Digital My Book (8TB)
Lots of storage for those who need it
Western Digital offers 256-AES encryption when you download its security software, meaning you can rest easy knowing your private information and personal data is safe.
Best Thunderbolt 3 Drive: LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt
LaCie hard drives have always been good for people on the go because of the rugged design. The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt can withstand some dust, dirt, and even a tiny bit of water being splashed on it.
It's 7200 RPM Hard drive keeps things running smoothly. And the included USB-C cable — which supports Thunderbolt 3 — makes it perfect for MacBook and Mac users alike!
- Only 130MB/s
Best Thunderbolt 3 Drive
LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt
How To Backup Mac To External Drive
Rugged design with Thunderbolt 3
The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt 3 is a favorite because it can withstand drops, dust, and even the occasional splash of water, making it easy to carry around!
Best for Legacy Hardware : G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 (4TB)
While Apple has been going the way of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 for a while now, some of us still use older hardware and thus don't need hard drives that have USB-C connections. If you're still rocking USB-A or even a Thunderbolt 2 connection from your Mac, the G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 (4TB) is a perfect companion.
Its all-metal design is not only more durable than plastic hard drives, but it also looks stylish! Plus, it's 7200 RPM speed allows the G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 to achieve 195 MB/s read and write speeds. This makes it fast enough to transfer large video files quickly and efficiently.
- Needs to be reformatted for Windows
Best for legacy hardware
G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 (4TB)
Stylish and fast even on older computers
With 7200 RPM, this hard drive works hard and fast to get your files transferred quickly. Plus, it uses USB 3.0, and it even has a Thunderbolt 2 port.
The CalDigit Tuff does the best it can to live up to its name, giving you a hard drive that isn't as delicate as most. Its official IP rating is IP57, meaning it can be submerged in 3-feet of water for 30 mins and come out the other side functional. That's not all; this Thunderbolt 3 compatible drive can also withstand falling from about 4-feet high. We still don't suggest that you purposely abuse the CalDigit Tuff. Still, it's always good to have peace of mind when you're carrying your hard drive around.
- Only come in 2TB
Best rugged drive
Can withstand drops and water
Backup Macbook Pro To External Hard Drive
Official rated IP57, the CalDigit Tuff can survive an accidental dip into the water and has a great price tag.
If you're used to dealing with giant file sizes and need a hard drive that can handle transfer data fast, the Samsung X5 is one of the fastest SSD's you'll find. Its read and write speeds are 2,800MB/s and 2,300MB/s, respectively, and the entire body is made of metal, making it much harder than plastic drives. Plus, The internal frame on the inside is shock resistant for drops from 2 meters.
This SSD comes with Thunderbolt 3 technology included. This you can take advantage of the fast speeds on your Mac or MacBook Pro, and it doesn't need any formatting, so it's plug and play!
- 2,800MB/s read speed
- Shock resistant
- Thunderbolt 3
Best fast drive
Incredibly fast SSD
External Backup Drive For Mac
If you need blazing fast speeds for giant files, the Samsung X5 is a monster external SSD that can handle any workload.
The Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the most reliable hard drive you can carry around with you at all times. It is formatted for both Mac and Windows right out of the box, and its easy-to-use software can automatically do backups for you as often or as little as you want.
Seagate also throws in a one-year complimentary subscription to Mylio Create. This program can help you wrangle your photo library if you don't already use some photo managing tool. A two-month membership to Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography Plan means it's perfect for budding photographers as well.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Luke Filipowicz is an iMore staff writer who has been carrying around his Seagate Backup Plus Slim since his college days.
Lory Gil is the Managing Editor of iMore and an avid believer in having as many backups of your important files and documents as possible.
Rene Ritchie is the foremost authority on all things Apple and has insider knowledge about the goings-on at the biggest tech company in the world. When it comes to accessories for Mac, Rene has used them all.
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Back Up Imac Hard Drive
Mac Backup Hard DriveHappy Happy Joy Joy (Cons)
Every Joy-Con controller color plus some customization options!
They probably weren't available at first, but nowadays you can find Joy-Cons in every color under the rainbow.
Have you ever thought of carrying your Mac OS on an external device and gain access to it at any time? If the reaction is yes, then you have arrived at the right post. We will be providing you with the information through which you can install macOS High Sierra on an external drive.
Part 1. How to Install macOS High Sierra on the External Drive
Before beginning the process, there are a few requisites that you must meet. You will need an external drive with a minimum capacity of 16 GB, and second, you will need the copy of the macOS High Sierra installer. You can obtain the installer from the App Store by searching for 'macOS' and download it to your Mac hard drive.
Step 1: Formatting the External Drive
To allow the external drive to function as the startup disk, you need to format it to Mac OS Extended and employ GUID partition map. Start the utility disk. You can find it under the Applications category or search it using Spotlight.
As utility disk runs in the background, you can check for the format of the external drive. In the following example, the drive is in Master Boot Record format. First, unmount the drive. After unmounting, you can select the same drive from the left of the window as shown in the figure below. Now, from the tabs that appear in right window, choose 'Erase' option.
In the next window, you can now format the external drive as 'Mac OS Extended' and opt for GUID Partition Map. If you choose to, you can also give it a name. Press 'Erase' to proceed. After completion, you will see the following screen. Press 'Done' to proceed.
Step 2: Installing macOS High Sierra on the External Drive
After you complete the download of the macOS installer, double click the same from the Applications folder to begin the installation procedure. Press 'Continue' in the following screen.
Click 'Agree' to the accept license agreement. In the next window, press the 'Show all disks' option. The window will display the local drive and the connected external drive. Choose the external drive in this case. You will have to key in your system user name and password.
macOS High Sierra will begin installing on the selected external hard disk. It requires some time to complete the task. You can wait until the process is complete. Before it completes the installation, the Mac will restart. Therefore, it is preferable to save any other work that is in progress.
After restarting, the Mac will take a minimum of 15 minutes to complete the installation process. It will then reboot from the new device. You then have to proceed with the general process of activating Siri, time zone, and adding the user account. Once you complete these actions, you will possess the new version of macOS High Sierra on your external drive. Do not remove the external drive, as Mac OS will access the files on the drive periodically. You can now use the same every time you wish to use High Sierra.
Part 2. How to Use macOS High Sierra with the Bootable Hard Drive
As you now have macOS High Sierra in the form of bootable hard drive, you can use it with another compatible Mac or when the situation demands. However, remember that using the external device as a bootable drive will slow down the functioning of the system. More importantly, it is useful only when you are facing trouble with your existing internal drive of the Mac.
The following information will be helpful in case if you choose to use macOS High Sierra with the bootable hard drive:
Step 1: If there is a trouble with the current hard disk, and you wish to solve it or use the new version of the OS, then plug the bootable external drive to the Mac.
Step 2: Power on the machine and hold the option button until you notice the recovery screen appear. From the screen, you can choose the bootable external device that you have created.
Step 3: You will boot into the macOS High Sierra version for that particular session.
- Complete set of extraction tools
- Cost effective method in comparison to technician's bills
- Intuiting wizard based layout
- Retrieve 550+ file from any category