Time Machine is backup software already built in to Apple operating systems. It automatically saves up-to-date copies of everything on your Mac–photos, music, videos, documents, applications, and settings—to an external hard drive. If you ever have the need, you can easily go back in time to recover anything.
Configuring Time Machine
- Connect the external hard drive that you’ll be using as a Time Machine volume to the Mac if you have not done so already. If you have a Time Capsule, mount the drive according to CIT instructions.
- Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Time Machine
- Click “Select Disk…”
- Choose the connected external hard drive or Time Capsule that you plan on assigning to Time Machine, then click “Use Disk.”
- Optional (recommended): toggle the switch for “Show Time Machine in menu bar”
The Time Machine toggle should now be set to ON and you’ll see some data like the size of the backup, how much space is available on the target Time Machine volume, oldest backup, latest backup (both of which will be "None" on a fresh drive), and the next backup countdown. The first time you run Time Machine can take quite a while to backup, possibly overnight if you have many files. Allow Time Machine to run uninterrupted the first time. Subsequent backups will be much quicker.