If you turn your machine off regularly or use a MacBook, your backups will continue automatically when you plug your external drive back in and your Mac is on. The beautiful part about Time Machine is that it will keep backing up your new information even if your drive fills up, in which case it will delete the oldest backups.
You may also notice if you are using a MacBook that the automatic backup may not start until you plug in your power adapter. This backup estimated minutes, but it ended up actually taking two hours. For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:. Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:. Fortunately, Time Machine can back up any locally connected drive, although Apple configures it by default to excludes external drives. The exclusions list is confusing, because you might want to only include certain parts of an external drive.
Say you wanted to back up a Movies folder on an external drive, but none of the five other top-level folders. Email yours to mac macworld. Mac cannot reply to email with troubleshooting advice nor can we publish answers to every question.
Check out our favorite rugged drives. Finally, you might want to consider how the drive will look when it's plugged into your Mac. Some drives come in a variety of colors.
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Many others feature copious amounts of aluminum and industrial-chic styling to match the design cues of your MacBook or iMac. We've selected a few of our favorite drives for Macs below; for more, check out our main list of best hard drives. You can also read our full list of hard drive reviews , as well as our top SSDs. Certified waterproof and dustproof. Comes with USB 3.
Make sure your drive is properly formatted
Cons: Warranty limited to two years. SSD option is still unreleased. Pros: Comes in a variety of large capacities.
Three-year warranty. Cons: Requires external power adapter. Pros: Slick, faceted design. Solid-feeling aluminum enclosure. Useful LaCie Toolkit software handles backup and restore, as well as mirroring. On-the-mark performance. Cons: A little hefty. Toolkit utility requires a download.
How to Set Up Time Machine Backups in Mac OS X
It's geared to macOS users, but it will please anyone with an eye for style in their gadgets. Pros: Fabric-covered enclosure.
Small and light. Data protected by password and AES hardware encryption.
Choosing an External Drive: Solid-State Drive (SSD) or Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
Cons: Fabric cover a bit slippery to grip. Seagate Toolkit a separate download. Plus, a fabric coat adds appeal. Pros: Excellent performance. Includes USB 3.
How to Backup Your Mac: Your Complete Guide
Android-, Mac-, and Windows-compatible. Cons: While a comparable good per-gigabyte value, the drive itself is expensive. Pros: Excellent connectivity options and transfer speeds. Solid build quality and attractive aluminum finish. Easy disassembly.
Back up your Mac with Time Machine
Cooling fan can be disabled. No software required for Macs. Hardware RAID controller. Cons: Expensive. Only 27W of power delivery.
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Pros: Relatively low cost per gigabyte. Drive is easily removable from its enclosure. Thunderbolt 3 support. Cons: Included Thunderbolt 3 cable is short.