Backing Up Your Mac: The Best Methods

Backing up your Mac is one of the most essential tasks to undertake when it comes to safeguarding your valuable data and ensuring peace of mind. Whether you are a regular user with cherished memories stored on your computer or a creative professional with multiple project files, the risk of data is a common cross to bear. It might be because of accidental deletion, hardware failure, or theft. 

However, you will be glad to know different ways to back up your Mac. The best method will depend on your preferences and needs. This comprehensive guide explores the different backup methods. Let’s go. 

Cloning the Hard Drive 

Cloning your Mac’s main drive means creating a backup of all the important data you can make bootable. Therefore, when the cloned disk is connected to another Mac, you can simply reboot and carry on where you left off. 

Having a clone of your Mac’s hard drive is helpful in recovering files and safeguarding yourself against possible problems like installing a new macOS version, especially in its beta stage. 

It is important to note here that cloned backups are not the same as incremental backups. Cloning means creating a snapshot of your Mac and preserving it for as long as you want. On the other hand, incremental backups mean updating the backups at regular intervals and replacing the older versions. 

So, how to clone hard drive? You need an SSD or any other external drive, and with the help of the Disk Drill app, you can create a disk image of your drive. Once the disk image is created, double-click on it to mount it on Finder. Then, it will be treated as any other volume by macOS. 

Backing Up with Time Machine 

Time Machine is an in-built backup application. It is designed to help you regularly back up your system and keep updated copies of your files. To use Time Machine, you need to use an external storage device. It must be twice as large as the amount of data you wish to back up. 

The first step to backup with Time Machine is preparing the external drive for the backup. Go to the Disk Utility and choose your external drive, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for the Format, and click Erase. 

The second step is to launch Time Machine and choose the Select Backup Disk button. Then, choose the external drive from the list and click Use Disk. You can set up automatic backups to keep your files up-to-date. 

Backing Up with iCloud 

iCloud is Apple’s cloud backup service, and it comes with 5GB of free storage space. If this isn’t enough, you can expand it by paying for more storage space. 

To use iCloud, you need to set up an Apple ID. Once that’s done, the backups will be done automatically. 

You can set this up by going to System Preferences > Apple ID > click iCloud > browse through the list and untick the items you do not wish to back up to iCloud > click the Manage button to see how much storage is left.

The backups will be synced across your Apple devices used with the same Apple ID. 

Backup with third-Party Software 

Several third-party backup software programs are available. These programs offer a wide range of features, such as the ability to encrypt the backups and backups to multiple destinations. These features might be missing in the in-built backup options. Some of the top options are:

  • Carbon Copy Cloner – This popular backup solution allows users to back up their entire Mac. Alternatively, you can choose the folders and files you want to back up. The tool also allows users to back up their files and folders to multiple destinations, such as a network drive, an external drive, or the cloud. 
  • Backblaze – This is a cloud backup service allowing users to back up their system to the cloud. It is a good option as it lets users access the backups from anywhere. The tool offers a free plan that allows a backup of 500GB of data. 
  • SuperDuper! – This user-friendly backup tool allows users to back up their entire Mac or selected folders or files. 


It is essential to regularly backup your Mac to prevent disasters. Backups offer peace of mind because your essential data will be stored safely in a different location, and you can quickly retrieve this data in case your Mac is stolen or lost. 

It is difficult to say which backup is the best because it depends on your specific preferences and needs. If you are unsure which backup software or method to choose, it is recommended to try them all and then compare their features. 

Regardless of your chosen method, remember it is essential to back up your data. 

Do you have anything to add? Leave a comment below. 

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