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How to backup mac hard drive to an external Hard Drive [ QUICK METHOD ]

Time Machine makes backing up easy: seamlessly back up the hard drives on both of your Mac computers to an external hard drive for optimal protection, guaranteeing their data's safety with this user-friendly backup process.

In this article, we will explain How to backup mac hard drive to an external Hard Drive. You can check the video we have added at the end of the article if you want to understand step by step via an overview of the macOS.

Step 1: External Hard Drive.

You should need to have an External Hardrive or you can buy it online from the online Store to move all files in an external Hardrive.

Step 2: Connect External Hard Drive.

Here you simply have to connect your external Hard drive including SD Card or Pendrive.
Once you connect the external Hard drive it will appear on your desktop screen.

Step 3: Turn off Time Machine.

There is a reason behind I am suggesting you turn off your time Machine to backup all of your files because it consumes space on your PC to store all the backup files.

– Step to Disable Time Machine.

  • Click on LaunchPad.

  • Click on Other
  • Find the Terminal and open it.
  • After Opening Terminal Type: sudo tmutil disablelocal
  • It will ask PC Password.
  • Type password and press Enter.
Note: Do remember once you Stop the Time machine it starts deleting all backup files stored on your PC.
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Step 4: Locate all Files.

  • Click on Finder.
  • Click on the finder top left next to preference.
  • In General, Tick on Hard Disk in show these items on the desktop.
  • Afterward, click on Sidebar.
  • Select all options in Devices.
  • Click on the Hard Driver that appeared in the Finder folder.
  • Click and open the Users Folder.
  • Select your Profile Name.
  • Click on your User Name.
  • In your Username, you will find all of your stuff.

Step 5: Move all Data to External Hardrive.

  • Select your User Name.
  • Click and hold the left click and move all data to Hardrive.
  • And drop all Data to External Hard Drive.
  • It starts by Coping all items you have in your Account.
  • If it does not work for you then you can try out a second method as well.
  • Press hold the COMMAND key on your Keyboard.
  • Click and Select the Folders you want to move.
  • Release the COMMAND Key and Click Selected and Drop them in External Hardrive.
  • Now, wait till it completes copying all Files to External Hardrive.

Method 2. Backup Entire system with Time Machine.

  • Connect an external hard drive to your Mac computer.
  • Launch Time Machine from System Preferences and choose ‘Select Backup Disk”.
  • From here you can choose your external drive as your backup location.
  • Select “Encrypt Backup Disk” for added protection, then “Use as Backup Disk.”

Use Time Machine’s automatic backup feature for regular system back up.

Time Machine will begin backing up everything from files and applications, accounts and preferences, email messages and documents.

Including hourly backups covering the last 24 hours, daily ones covering this month as well as weekly ones from prior months – until your drive fills up, where updated versions will automatically replace older backups with fresh copies.

Time Machine is often recommended due to its ease and integration into macOS, although third-party backup solutions such as cloning software provide alternative forms of protection, like creating exact copies of your entire system – providing extra backup security – which could complement Time Machine as the ideal method.


Q. How to Backup Your Mac to an External Hard Drive?

  1. Connect your external hard drive to Mac PC.
  2. Open up “System Preferences” from the top left Apple menu.
  3. Navigate to “Time Machine” in the System Preferences window.
  4. Click on “Select Backup Disk” and choose the connected external hard drive.
  5. If prompted, erase the disk to prepare it for backup (ensure you have a backup of any important data on the external hard drive).
  6. Once the backup disk is selected, Time Machine will automatically start backing up your Mac.

Q. How to Backup Your Entire Mac to an External Hard Drive Without Time Machine?

  1. Connect your external hard drive to Mac PC.
  2. Open a Finder window and go to your user folder.
  3. Select all the files and folders you want to back up.
  4. Drag and drop the selected files and folders to the external hard drive.
  5. Wait for the transfer to complete, ensuring all your important data is backed up.

Q. How to Transfer Everything from Your Computer to an External Hard Drive on Mac?

  1. Connect your external hard drive to Mac PC.
  2. Open a Finder window and navigate to the files and folders you want to transfer.
  3. Select the desired files and folders.
  4. Drag and drop the selected files and folders to the external hard drive.
  5. Wait for the transfer to complete, ensuring all the files and folders are successfully copied to the external hard drive.

Q. What is the Easiest Way to Back Up Your Mac?

The easiest way to back up your Mac is by using Time Machine, which is a built-in feature in macOS.

Time Machine offers automated backups and allows you to easily restore your files or your entire system in case of data loss or system failure.

It provides a seamless backup experience with regular automatic backups.

Q. Does Time Machine Backup Everything?

Yes, Time Machine backs up everything on your Mac, including apps, photos, documents, and the macOS itself.

However, you can exclude specific items from the backup through the Time Machine options.

By accessing the options, you can choose to exclude certain files, folders, or external hard drives from the backup process.

It gives you control over what gets backed up and allows you to customize the backup settings according to your preferences.

Tajender Singh
Tajender Singh
Tajender is a true tech enthusiast with over 5 years of hands-on experience in the world of technology. Since 2016, He has been sharing his passion through blogging, focusing on creating easy-to-follow, step-by-step troubleshooting guides to help others tackle tech challenges through blogging and real time troubleshooting steps on YouTube Channel.

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