Time Machine gives you a host of preferences and methods of benefit to those who want to streamline performance and optimise storage. In this guide we will highlight issues such as selective backups and scheduling. To make the most of it, you will require a basic awareness of Time Machine and, of course, access to an external storage drive.
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1 Time Machine Preferences
The Preferences panel provides access to key options for turning Time Machine on, as well as selecting backup disks, adding encryption and making file exemptions. Click Select Disk.
2 Select disks
Here we see the currently selected Backup Disk, in this case My Book, with additional Available Disks listed below. Highlight the drive you wish Time Machine to use and click Use Disk.
3 Encrypt backups
As you select a disk you can also tick the Encrypt backups box. You will be prompted to enter a password that will be required to restore files. Enter the desired text and click Encrypt Disk.
4 Additional disks
With other drives available, you may rotate backups to multiple drives. Highlight the desired drive from the list and click Use Disk. You may also choose to set up a Time Capsule device.
5 Rotating backups
Time Machine will then ask you whether you wish to replace the current drive or add to it. By clicking the Use Both button, your backups will be rotated automatically.
6 Scheduling backups
Backups run every hour and there are no built-in options to change this. You can, however, run them manually by turning Time Machine on and picking Back Up Now from the menu bar.
7 App options
Time Machine functions best on the hourly schedule, but there are apps available such as Time Machine Backup Scheduler that automate the previous step with Time Machine off.
8 Excluding items
From the app’s Preferences, click Options. Here you will get a prompt listing currently selected items to exclude from backups. You may add and remove by clicking the ‘+’ and ‘-’ buttons.
9 Making exceptions
Time Machine does omit certain work files, caches and logs by default, so be sure to only exclude those you are convinced are superfluous for reducing backup sizes.
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