How To Access Time Machine Backups – 5 Easy Ways (Updated Guide for 2022)

In this guide, we will show you everything you need to know about how to access time machine backups, so keep reading!

Below you can find out 5 different methods to access time machine backups,

Method 1 – How To Restore Files From A Time Machine Back Up

Hey everyone in todays video im going to show you how to recover files from a time machine backup so. On this hard drive i have my mac backed up and i plugged this in regularly to get more backups. On this hard drive so if youve done the same you could back up anything youve deleted as long as. The backup is still there so what you want to do is plug in your hard drive to your mac.

And then ill show you how to restore any files that have been lost or deleted now if you have. No idea what im talking about and you dont have a time machine backup watch my video on how to. Set up time machine to back up your mac so then if you ever in the future lose a file. You could recover it through this method when you plug in your hard drive it should show up like this. On your computer and you dont even have to go inside of the folder structure of the drive there is.

A different way where were going to recover a file we want to come down here to our dock and. We want to find system preferences here click that to open it up and in this window look for time. Machine this icon right here press that and right now it looks like its doing a backup because i just. Plugged in the hard drive we dont have to worry about that right now i also have show time machine. In the menu bar so if you do have this checked on you will get the icon for it up.

Here too and you can enter time machine from here so we want to make sure we check this on. And right now we want to go ahead and enter time machine up here and when you enter time machine. You get a window that looks like this where all your different dates are here on the right side so. If you deleted a file last week and you forgot all about it you need to go back to a. Previous backup so im going to choose a different date here and as soon as i click it its going.

To take me back to this date and lets say this is the file that i need to recover that. I have now deleted since that backup all i have to do is select a file and over here i. Could just press restore that when i copied it to my desktop and there it is theres the file on. My desktop and this is my current hard drive now so it went into this hard drive my time machine. Backup hard drive he found that file for me and i was able to recover it now if you remember.

The folder where you deleted that file from you could select that folder and then come up here and enter. Time machine from this page and its going to take you back to this menu but its only going to. Show you the application folder so now if i go back to a different time and select that date its. Only searching inside of my application folder here so if you remember if you deleted something from the documents folder. Or the download folder you could just start by selecting this and just search within that folder and when you.

Find your item just select it and press restore and it will bring it to your current folder thanks so. Much for watching this video i post these types of tutorials every single day on this channel so please subscribe. So you dont miss the next video thanks again for watching and ill see you again.

Method 2 – How To Set Up And Use Time Machine To Backup Your Mac 2020

Note – This section will be updated soon.

Method 3 – Backup Your Mac! – In-Depth Look At Apple Time Machine And Many Ways To Save And Recover Your Files!

Welcome back everyone my name is joel feld and todays topic is all about time machine backup and backing up. Your mac lets rock and roll so theres nothing more important than having a safety net for all of your. Digital files your photos your documents your videos your music all of your content that you create its really important. That you back it up and i do believe that there are alternatives like icloud or google drive onedrive back.

Blazer but theres nothing like having a physical hard drive that you have that you are physically in control of. For your files and your backup before we go any further lets really define a backup a backup to me. Is having your content in multiple locations so that if your computer dies you have that information someplace else safe. And sound where you can recover your documents your files your movies your music your creations that youve done on. The mac specifically theres some built-in software called time machine time machine is a very easy tool to use and.

I want to go through the options of how to set it up pros and cons of it and possibly. Some alternatives now before you even get started what you need for time machine is an external hard drive if. Youre in the market for an external hard drive these things are amazing seriously theyre super tiny look how tiny. It is its so thin theyre waterproof theyre solid state theyre not waterproof water resistant is what they say regardless. Depending i mean theres lots of hard drives options you have lacie you have ones like this as you can.

See over the years ive gained multiple multiple hard drives that just over time they get smaller they get more. Compact and you end up with a plethora of external hard drives now im going to take this hard drive. And the first thing that we need to do is obviously plug it in so let me go ahead and. Take this plug it into my mac here and it pops up on the desktop if it doesnt pop up. On the desktop its because theres a preference in the finder that needs to be turned on so if i.

Go to finder choose preferences i can then go to general and here the options that say show these items. On the desktop so if i had external disks unchecked notice it goes away on the desktop so i want. To have that checked so i can easily see it same thing with your hard drive your internal one you. Can show that there if youd like im going to close this off and you can also access it within. The finder if i go to the bottom left i have the finder and it will show here on the.

Left hand side and heres the extreme ssd regardless of if youre using it for time machine or not its. Always a good thing to format your external hard drive into the format that is most compatible with the device. That youre using i have another video that ill link down below that specifically talks about how to format your. Drive and why to format your drive but for this particular video time machine is actually going to format it. For you which means its going to wipe it its going to delete everything off of there and whenever you.

Buy a brand new one off the shelf its rarely ever formatted for a mac its always formatted for windows. Or formatted for both and in order for time machine to work it needs to reformat it so that it. Only talks to a mac if i right click on this external hard drive and choose get info i can. Always see what format it is and if we look here its the format of exfat meaning that its designed. For mac and windows and as soon as we tell time machine to use this its going to actually change.

That into a different format for us so im going to close out of this now as far as setting. Up time machine you can actually use other locations besides an external hard drive you can use actually another mac. Which is kind of nice so maybe you have a really big desktop imac and its got a lot of. Storage in there and i could actually wirelessly back up this laptop to a different mac in my house or. I can actually back this up to a network drive also known as a nas networked attached storage nas because.

I actually back up my computers through a couple different methods because rather be safe than sorry so lets start. With option number one just using a simple external hard drive im gonna actually go to the system preferences and. Within system preferences down at the bottom we have a category called time machine if i click this this gives. Me the option and tells me all the different setup options which honestly theres not a lot of setup so. Here we have an option that says backup automatically it gives us a saying that says select the backup disk.

What external hard drive what location do you want to use as a backup and then it says time machine. Keeps local snapshots it keeps it does hourly backups every 24 hours when its plugged in weekly backups and whenever. Your external hard drive gets full its going to delete the very very very very old backups so if i. Had three years of content on here its going to delete from three years ago so that i have the. Most recent to free up space underneath here we have the option to show time machine and menu bar so.

With this checked notice it gives you a little option up here on the top if i uncheck this the. Option in the menu bar goes away so i like to have that checked and then i have an options. Button which gives me the choice to exclude items that you dont want to be backed up this is one. Of my biggest pet peeves with time machine you dont have the ability to just say i only want to. Back up this particular folder so lets say i only wanted to back up pictures folder i cant do that.

I have to exclude everything except the pictures folder it would be really nice if i could just say i. Only want to backup this folder and thats it not just exclude stuff now the pros to time machine it. Makes it really easy to back up everything and it makes it really easy to restore a deleted file and. It also makes it really easy that if youre going to a new computer to restore the brand new computer. From a time machine backup is super slick theres pros and cons to both of it so lets go ahead.

And do cancel for the moment and were going to say select backup disk now notice it gives me a. Few different choices here the extreme ssd which is the external hard drive that i have plugged in i have. A backups folder a time machine backups and i have an airport time capsule now these two are what i. Referenced before that is a network detached storage so that means i have a really big hard drive plugged into. The internet in my house that all my devices can see and i can wirelessly back up and access information.

On those its a little bit more in-depth but that gives you another option to back up this other option. Is airport time capsule now i dont even really want to talk about this but ill just reference it apple. Used to make wireless routers and theyre called time capsules and you had the ability where you could plug in. An external hard drive into them and do pretty much the same thing that these network detached storage ones do. But its through their own hardware which they dont make anymore i dont think they support it anymore and so.

Honestly youre not going to be able to buy a time capsule anywhere and if you do just dont because. Just dont so this is its silly that they even offer it or show it anymore so we want to. Do the most simple setup were going to choose the extreme ssd and before i say use disk notice there. Is an option to encrypt the backup what that allows you to do is set a password so that if. This were to get in the hands of someone else they would need a password that you set here in.

Order to use a backup so if i have that checked and say use disk its going to say okay. What is the password now if i forget this password youre pretty much out of luck so either dont do. That or dont set a password so im going to leave that unchecked were going to choose this and say. Use disk and so now its preparing the external hard drive notice to change the little icon if i right. Click on this and do get info it was the xfat format before but now its the apfs which is.

Apples new file system so it actually formatted and deleted that hard drive everything on it and then set it. Up so that it could only be used with time machine i would say dedicate one hard drive to your. Time machine and make that the sole use for it so lets go ahead and close that out and so. Now notice its saying okay its going to use this hard drive oldest backup is none latest backup is none. The next backup is going to happen and you know its counting down 70 seconds 60 seconds now on the.

Top menu bar i can always go up to the top and say backup now and its going to back. Up everything thats on this computer to this external hard drive the very first initial backup could take a very. Long time it really depends on how much content you have locally on your computer whether its 20 gigs 50. Gigs 500 gigs it could take a couple hours it could take a day so here it gives me an. Estimate its going to take a while most likely so were obviously going to let this sit and while this.

Happens i want to show you my other computer that is fully backed up and what the time machine actually. Looks like so on this particular computer i actually have apple photos where its downloading all of the original pictures. Within photos locally to this computer that way not only is it in icloud where i can have access to. It but its also downloading it physically to this machine so that i can then use my external hard drive. To make a backup copy of this computer alright so if we look at my other computer here if i.

Go up to photos at the top and choose preferences notice i have it set to under icloud to download. Originals to this mac that way i know that all of the pictures that i put into icloud that i. Take with my phone my ipad all of those pictures and videos are saved in icloud but theyre also physically. Downloading to this mac and in return through time machine its making a duplicate copy on my external hard drive. So if something happens to icloud or if something happens to this computer i have a safety net on my.

External hard drive so side note for you for you photo users out there now here if i open up. System preferences and i go to time machine ive actually used multiple methods for this computer to back up in. Multiple locations so notice here it says time machine backups on joelfeldphoto.local thats my network attached storage here is the. Physical local hard drive that i have right here in front of me and if i click on add or. Remove backups i can see other locations that i could choose now im going to choose the backup say use.

Disk and if i wanted to refresh and tell it to back up right now i just go up to. The menu bar under time machine and i say backup now and its going to prepare a backup now a. Couple questions while this backs up if you have multiple computers can you use the same external hard drive and. Yes yes you can so while this is backing up if i double click on the icon here notice that. Under this backups folder it actually has one macbook pro and it has another macbook pro here and the name.

Given here is based off of the system preferences of the sharing so if i go back to system preferences. Go under sharing the name of your computer is what is going to be reflected in one of these folders. On that backup so i know that this joel dash photos dash main this is my main computer this is. Whats being backed up currently right now if we go back to time machine we can see that its approximately. 10 minutes to back up that five gigs worth of content so yes you can back up multiple computers as.

Long as you have enough storage available on the external hard drive youre able to do that again the whole. Purpose is to use time machine to backup everything on your computer and if something were to happen to your. Computer this is where you can choose to use time machine to restore specific things or restore a whole entire. Computer if this computer died and i have just this external hard drive and i was going to a new. Computer i would open up the new computer and during the setup process it asks you do you have a.

Time machine backup or if this were a brand new computer here theres a tool called migration assistant if i. Go into the utilities folder i can open up migration assistant and this app also allows you to walk through. That process and its going to say plug your time machine back up in and its going to make your. New mac just like your old mac was from that time machine backup so were not going to do this. Because it puts you out of this but i can show you how it looks to restore a particular file.

So for example i have this file on my desktop its a picture of my dog coco he is just. Hanging out in the front seat of the car because thats what he does now im going to quit out. A preview and lets just drag this to the trash and were going to right click and im going to. Empty the trash and choose empty so that picture is gone its no longer on my computer so if i. Wanted to recover that this is where i need to use time machine in order to do that if i.

Go up to the top menu bar i have this option to say enter time machine so if i enter. The time machine its going to drop down a screen and i have to navigate to the location of where. This file was at so specifically i would go to the desktop and when i select this over here on. The right hand side its saying this is what it looks right here right now today farther to the right. We have this little timeline that gives me the dates of when there were most recent backups and i can.

Go to lets say september 14th or i could go all the way back to august when i did the. First backup i can choose exactly where i want to go or i could use these arrows to go back. And i can see that today at 7 14 here is what my desktop looked like here is that picture. That was sitting on my desktop now if i select this i can click on restore at the very bottom. And its going to bring that file back from my time machine and copy it back to the location of.

Where it was deleted from now if i go back to time machine again we can go through and you. Can go through all of your files so if it were downloads i can travel back in time and see. What was there september 17th and its gonna show me what it looked like at that particular moment in time. So it gives you the ability to choose what you want to recover if something were deleted they dont do. This anymore and its really a little frustrating that they dont but you used to be able to go into.

Photos open up photos enter time machine and you would just be looking through the photos they dont do that. Anymore so as far as recovering photos it does it by the whole entire library which is actually a little. Frustrating to say the least you cant pick and choose different photos so if anyone knows a method to use. Time machine and restore particular photos leave a comment below let me know if youre looking for a particular file. Like a pdf file or word document excel document anything like that if i do a search in the top.

Right and ill do dot pdf and do search it to the kind of pdf document if i go into. Time machine now its only going to search time machine for those particular files and it automatically filters everything out. So its only looking for pdf files kind of cool huh so theres a little hint for you there so. Thats a nice trick with those extensions and trying to find a specific file within time machine now if you. Dont go to the time machine up here to enter time machine you can always go to the applications scroll.

Down find time machine and open up time machine from here as well and its going to bring you to. The same exact place and you just navigate to where your files are at now if we jump back to. My other mac here theres some features where apple allows you to restore previous versions of something and its typically. Within their own tools of documents so for example pages pages is apples version of microsoft word or apples version. Of google docs its a word processing its a very powerful application its actually really awesome and the way that.

It works is if i create a document in here were going to open something up im going to bring. This photograph in here from the desktop well insert that and were just going to say this is a test. File from joel and were going to do file were going to save this as joels example well save this. To the desktop and choose save so here is my file this is my pages file if i go through. Here and i select this picture and i press delete lets get rid of that and then i add a.

Whole bunch of other gibberish to this and i do a file save now that picture is no longer in. That document its its no longer saved however if i go into pages even if ive quit out of pages. Ill quit out of it if i open this file back up and double click on it it opens up. Pages i have the ability to restore to previous versions so this is actually kind of nice if i go. Up to file i can choose revert to it gives me the option to browse all versions and it does.

The same thing that time machine does it gives me the current document on the left and it shows me. Options of what it was on the right so here i can say oh i want to go back to. 822 where i had a photograph i can click on restore and its going to bring that file back to. Me the way that it was now this actually works without time machine i know its really really kind of. Cool i dont need time machine and actually for this to work but it doesnt work with every single document.

Or every single piece of software it works with all of the pages numbers keynote it works with preview so. Preview is just a generic application on the mac that allows you lets quit out of pages here preview allows. You to markup photographs or pdfs things like that so if i went to the markup tool here and i. Just drew all over this and then i did file save now thats on there if i went to file. Revert to i can do browse all versions and again its going to do the same exact thing i could.

Go back in time to what that picture was or that pdf whatever it may be choose restore and its. Going to bring that file back and restore it to the previous version so pretty much if you go under. The file and theres a revert to option it gives you that ability to revert those files so lets go. Ahead and quit out a preview and thats pretty much restoring files from a time machine backup from a local. External hard drive now lets look at for the more advanced setup either between two computers or from a network.

Storage on this computer im gonna go ahead and eject my external hard drive because i no longer need it. And now lets hypothetically say that this computer here is a desktop computer with a giant hard drive in it. Maybe four terabytes worth of hard drive in here and i want to take this other laptop that i have. Here and wirelessly back up this laptop to this computer here so heres how it works on this computer im. Going to create a folder that folder can be anywhere you want it to be im just going to put.

It in the documents folder were going to create new folder and were going to say joels backups then im. Going to go into system preferences and im going to go to sharing im going to do file sharing and. Im going to add a shared folder so im going to click the plus sign here and ive already created. That folder so im going to go into documents im going to select joels backup now i could create a. New folder here and create a brand new folder if i didnt do that previous step but im just going.

To choose cancel and im going to say yep i want to add this as a shared folder now what. Im going to do is right click on this folder go to advanced options and im going to say share. As a time machine backup destination so im going to click ok here and thats all i have to do. Remember im going to take this laptop here and back it up to this computer here so im going to. Put this off to the side and this is where i i did those options to create the file sharing.

Now if i come to this computer and i go to open time machine preferences were going to add or. Remove a disk and if we scroll down notice it says joels backups on youtube dash joel mbp macbook pro. 13-inch so notice thats the name of my computer over here on the left and so now i can say. Use disk on this computer and it allows me to say okay connect and this is going to say use. The username and password for this computer so if i type that in click on connect and now im connected.

Because i use that password for this computer and then all i would have to do is go to the. Time machine tell it to back up now and its going to back up to that computer wirelessly and it. Works great limitations to this you have to be on the same network you have to have the permissions you. Have to know the username and the password but its a nice option if you have a dedicated computer that. Is kind of a household computer that you could backup other peoples macs to so handy little tip there thought.

Youd like that now the last option that we have to back up is to a networked attached storage so. This is if i go into the finder i actually have a network synology network attached storage its connected to. My network and im able to see all of that here now this goes above and beyond what the traditional. Backup is its a little bit more setup involved than just a typical local external hard drive i actually have. To go out to the website and this is where i needed to go and create a shared folder under.

Advanced i need to turn on broadcast bonjour time machine for smb set a time machine folder set of volume. And then this allows me to connect wirelessly to a drive here time machine backup heres that backup right in. Here puts it as a bundle now one other thing when you are working with a network attached storage there. Is another option that you have available to verify these backups if you click on time machine in the menu. Bar if you hold down option on the keyboard it gives you the choice to verify those backups and it.

Also gives you the option to browse other backup disks so if i click on browse other backup disks its. Going to bring up all of these other networked attached locations like my other mac or my nas and then. I can choose these other backups or if i click on here again hold down option i can choose to. Verify the backups and its going to prepare the verification and let me know if the backup is good or. Not another side tip if youre using time machine not locally connected but one connected on the network so this.

Is definitely way more advanced its just another option for you i have links for all of this ill link. These help articles for you because theyre helpful this one is just the the traditional backup your mac with time. Machine its apples kind of step by step of how to do everything we just did in this video so. That is pretty much time machine in a nutshell i will say that having something locally is the fastest method. Going from one computer wirelessly is a little bit slower but again thats depending on your network speed uh same.

Thing with your network attached storage so if you dont have a backup of your computer i highly highly suggest. You get one get something something is better than nothing thank you so much for watching if you enjoyed what. You saw hit that little like button if you learned something hit that subscribe button tap the little bell and. Well see you next time you.

Method 4 – How To Recover Files From A Time Machine Backup

Okay so .

Conclusion – How To Access Time Machine Backups

The purpose of this post is to assist people who wish to learn more about the following – how to restore your mac from a time machine backup, how to back up your mac with time machine — apple support, frequently asked questions about time machine (macmost #1934), wd external hard drive – how to use with time machine on mac, icloud is not a substitute for a time machine backup with your mac, quick guide: easy time machine backup to any nas, how to delete a time machine backup, how to use time machine to backup to an external hard drive, how to restore a time machine backup to a new mac, how to transfer a time machine backup to a new drive!, how to free storage on time machine backup drive, ig69 how to setup qnap timemachine backups for your mac, how to restore files from a time machine back up — apple support, synology time machine mac backups in 4 easy steps with budget ds220j!, how to transfer backups from time machine to a new mac | macbook, imac, mac mini, mac pro.

Thank you for visiting and reading this article! If you found this article useful, feel free to share it with your friends and help spread knowledge.