When the Preparing Backup message hangs around long enough to be noticed, it may indicate a problem. In most cases, this problem is easy to troubleshoot.
Time Machine Troubleshooting Tips
Our guide will help you get Time Machine humming again. This isn't an error message, but a recommendation. You should verify your Time Capsule backups once in a while, to ensure that they're in good shape. The difference between Time Capsule backups and regular Time Machine backups is that with Time Capsule, the destination drive isn't connected to your Mac; instead, it's connected to your local network.
Network file transfers can be slightly less robust than saving data to local drives. Network data has to put up with other network traffic, and the possibility that another device is trying to use the same backup drive. If you're using a wireless network, basic signal drops and noise can affect file transfers. Each of these factors can contribute to a less than ideal environment for backing up data, particularly when you want to ensure that the data is always correct. Share Pin Email. Tom Nelson has written hundreds of articles, tutorials, and reviews for Other World Computing and About.
Before you start, make sure that your Time Machine backup disk is connected to your Mac and that it's turned on. If your computer starts in the Finder, you'll have to open the Migration Assistant, which is located in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder if it starts in the setup assistant, you can skip this step. Open the Migration Assistant in your Finder's Utilities folder.
Within the Migration Assistant, select the option to restore "from a Mac, Time Machine backup or disk" when it asks how you want to transfer your information.
You are here
Select your Time Machine backup and click "Continue" Note: If your backup disk is encrypted, you may also have to input your password — and you may also have to choose between several different backup versions, which are organized by date and time to help you choose the most recent version if that's what you want.
Pick the information you want to transfer, like your Applications and other files, then click "Continue. Depending on the amount of information that you choose to restore, it may take several hours for you to complete this process and get your Mac up and running again.
If, for some reason, your computer doesn't start in either the Finder or setup assistant, you'll have to restore both your MacOS and your files. Then, when you see the MacOS utilities window, select "Restore from Time Machine backup" and continue through the prompts, selecting the backup version and save location.
How to restore specific files/folders with Time Machine on Mac - 9to5Mac
Finally, you'd simply restart your computer one more time, and your Mac will be restored. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Search icon A magnifying glass. 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.
It’s time to switch your Mac backups from Time Capsule to Time Machine volumes
The oldest backups are deleted when your backup disk is full. Connect one of the following external storage devices, sold separately. Learn more about backup disks that you can use with Time Machine. 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. If the disk you selected isn't formatted as required by Time Machine, you're prompted to erase the disk first.
Ask Mac 911
Click Erase to proceed. This erases all information on the backup disk. After you select a backup disk, Time Machine immediately begins making periodic backups—automatically and without further action by you. Time Machine backs up only the files that changed since the previous backup, so future backups will be faster.