How to back up your Mac to an external hard drive

Here you will know How to back up your Mac to an external hard drive. Though Apple has iCloud Service for their user’s data if you want to be sure twice about your data you can go with the traditional approach of backing up your data.

That said external hard drives can be used as a solid data holder in physical locations making sure the data is protected, stored and share without using cloud storage fees. Let’s see the step by step process of how to back up your Mac to an external hard drive.

How to back up your Mac to an external hard drive

How to back up your Mac to an external hard drive

Hard Drive needs to for formatted for MacOS

The first step to back up your Mac data is that the external hard drive should be formatted for macOS extended file system. Mean to say it’s the best external hard drive for mac now. Sometimes you get a drive pre-formatted and sometimes not. But nothing to worry as it’s not much difficult and can be informative for the users to learn a bit about the hard drives.

Let’s see how to backup Mac into a hard drive.

1. Connect the external hard drive to Mac: You need to connect your newly bought hard drive with Mac, you can also use older hard drives but they make the process a bit complicated. As this process will erase old data from the drive, therefore double-check before re-formatting and move any valuable data to other device or platform if there is any.

2. Launch Disk Utility: In Mac find the applications, under the subheadings Utilities you will find disk utility and access application via the Dock.

3. Find the drive to format: You will be able to see all the hard drives available in your machine listed inside the Disk Utility, you can pick the drive you want to format.

4. Erase the hard drive: After choosing the drive, choose the erase option and confirm what you are going to do, you will also need to rename the drive. You can set the name Mac Backup, in case the drive is only for the backup purposes.

5. Choose the new map scheme: There are several formats like Extended (journaled), Extended (Journaled, Encrypted), Extended (Case-sensitive,, Journaled) and so on. You have to pick one. The Mac OS Extended (journaled) format is best for the organization of data as it uses Journaled HFS Plus. The Encrypted option increases the security with password and encryption, while case-sensitive differentials folders with upper/lowercase letters (“September” and “September” stay separated, etc.) You can choose the best option for your case but we recommend that you go with the fourth format as it comes with three different options.

6. Move to Security Options: Choose security options and make sure that the hard drive is set the default to writing over any past data at least three times.

7. Erase and confirm: Now the drive will be reformatted.

Backup Large Data via Time Machines

Using Time Machines you can take back up of your Mac and either set it to automatic, scheduled backups. If you keep the drive connected for some time with your Mac, Time Machine will best the right option for the backup process. Let’s see how to do it.

1. Open Time machine and make sure it’s turned on: In your Dock, visit the System preferences and then Time Machine. You will see a big switch on the left side of the window where you can turn it on or off.

2. Select the hard drive: You can pick the drive and select it for backup up your data. This process is quite easy Especially, if you have done the formatting part yourself, here you will be asked to enter the passwords for an encrypted drive.

3. Check Options: Under the options button, you will be able to decide the volumes of data to take a backup, which can be beneficial if you don’t want to save all the data you keep on MacOS. If everything looks appropriate, you can continue the process. Now in some moments the Time Machine will start the backup up process automatically and allowing you to retrieve past data from 24 hours ago in case things go wrong, as well as data of past month and week since Time Machine started working.

Selectively store data on a hard drive manually

If you want to backup of specific files of your Mac, a best solution is saving a certain type of media, or backing up only files related to your job etc.

1. Open your Finder: The Finder resides in the Dock. You can check the left side of your Finder to make sure the drive exists, in the sidebar. You will only see a hard drive present if it’s properly formatted and connected. In case you cannot see it, move to Preferences and select Sidebar, and choose what appears in Finder sidebar and now your drive should appear in the Finder.

2. Create any necessary folder: If the file already exists in organized way in folders,, you can skip this step. In case your files are scattered, you can move to folder icon in the Finder and make new folders to organize your valuable data.

3. Move folder into your external hard drive: Now you need to drag and drop folders you are looking for save in the sidebar. This is the automatic process. You can also save particular files and save them using the search function and make the finder screen to take a closer look.

That’s all for this post. Hopefully, we have covered every aspect for you. Keep visiting our blog for more informative Tech Articles.

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