Backing up your files

Time Machine Basics Procedure



This document defines the procedure for backing up and restoring files using Time Machine. This procedure has been developed to ensure that quality standards are met and must be implemented as written.


The scope of this procedure includes but is not limited to the areas listed below.

  • Data recovery

  • Schools standardization


Have an external drive formatted as Mac OS X Extended (Journaled).


Setting up Time Machine is as simple as connecting an external drive to your Mac. If you haven’t already specified a backup device, Time Machine asks you when you connect a blank drive to your Mac if you want to use it for backing up.




Click “Use as Backup Disk” to select this drive as your backup destination.


Backing up happens automatically when your Time Machine drive is available. Your first backup may take a while, depending on how many files you have on your startup disk. You can continue to use your Mac while Time Machine is working. Time Machine displays a notification after your first backup is complete, or if any issues happen during the initial backup.




Once the first backup is completed, Time Machine automatically backs up files that have changed on your Mac since the last backup was performed. These backups happen when a connection between your Mac and the backup destination available. Your Mac can even perform these backups as a feature of Power Nap.


Restoring specific files or folders can be done by entering Time Machine from the Time Machine menu to see earlier versions of your files and folders.




Use the timeline on the right side of the window to reach a certain point back in time. The timeline shows the times of all backups on your backup drive.


To restore a file, select the file/folder and click the “Restore” button. The file will automatically be copied to the desktop or appropriate folder.  If the file you are restoring has another file in the same location with the same name, you will be prompted to choose which file to keep or keep both.


 Process Owner

  • Raul Penguin Riera





If your computer is running OS 10.10 Yosemite the Time Machine pane looks a little different but it works the same way. The following link will help you navigate in Yosemite.

OS X Yosemite: Back up your files with Time Machine