The Time Machine pane

MacBook users are thrilled with the Time Machine automatic backup feature that’s built in to High Sierra. It’s saved my stuff numerous times. You can easily configure how Time Machine handles your backups from this pane, covers how to use Time Machine. Of course, you need an external drive (or an AirPort Time Capsule wireless backup device) for the best backup security. Note that Time Machine doesn’t work with a CD or DVD rewrite- able drive; you must use an external drive or a high-capacity USB flash drive.

To enable Time Machine, click the On toggle switch and then select a disk to hold your Time Machine backup data on the sheet that appears. Click Use Disk to con- firm your choice. (Your external backup drive should be at least twice the capacity of your internal drive, thus ensuring that your backup files have the elbow room they need.) If you have an external Time Capsule wireless unit, click Set Up instead.

By default, Time Machine backs up all the drives on your system; however, you may not need to back up some folders on your MacBook. To save time and backup drive space, Time Machine allows you to exclude specific folders from the backup process. Click Options and then click the Add button (with the plus sign) to select the drives or folders you want to exclude. They appear in the Exclude These Items From Backups list.

  • To remove an exclusion, select it in the list, and click the Delete button (with the minus sign). Note that the Estimated Size of Full Backup figure increases, and Time Machine adds the item you deleted from the list to the next backup.
  • If you enable the Show Time Machine in Menu Bar check box, you can elect to back up your Mac immediately by clicking the Time Machine icon in the Finder menu bar and then choosing Back Up Now.

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