That Macintosh computer you work on stores a lot of valuable work and home data such as photos, documents, and videos. Your Mac is always one step away from failure caused by a hard drive crash, malware attack or software flaw. If you take steps to back it up on a regular basis, you can relax and know you can recover rather than losing that data and having negative thoughts like hanging yourself in the basement. Telling you that you need to back up your Mac is easier said than done, that's why I going to share how you can use iCloud, Google drive and Time Machine to make sure the data on your Mac computers is always safe.
1. Backing up with Time Machine. Time Machine is the backup program that is pre-installed in all versions of macOS. To get started with Time Machine, you need to purchase an external hard drive or pull that one that has been sitting in your desk drawer. Once you get your external hard drive, plug it into the USB slot of your Mac. You will get a pop-up window asking if you use the hard drive for backup. If you have an external hard drive you've never used you can click on yes. If you have data that is on the external hard drive, you will want to verify you don't have any data you want to save before you opt to use it as a Time Machine backup drive. Once you select the drive to start backing up your data, Time Machine will start to perform hourly backup snapshots to keep your data safe. One of the great things about Time Machine is you never have to worry about running out of room for your backups because it will delete older backups from your external hard drive once the drive gets full. Remember, you have to keep the drive plugged into your Mac to allow Time Machine to backup information. This option works great if you have an iMac or a Mac Mini. If you have a Macbook Pro or a MacBook Air, get into the habit of plugging in your external hard drive whenever you use it.
2. Backing Up With iCloud. Using iCloud back up your Mac is a pretty simple process and it's more convenient than Time Machine because it doesn't require any additional pieces of hardware to connect to your Mac. This comes in handy if you use a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air because as soon as you connect your Mac to the Internet, it will start the backup process. To enable iCloud backup, click the Apple menu located in the top-left corner of the screen. From there click on “System Preferences.” When the System Preferences window opens, click “iCloud.” Once in the iCloud window, make sure there is a blue checkmark next to “iCloud Drive”. If there is not, click the box to turn on the feature.
Next, click on 'Options' and make sure Desktop & Documents Folders” is selected.
Once it’s enabled, all desktop folders and your documents will be saved on iCloud. If you need a backup of your photos and videos, you will need to make sure the 'Photos' option is selected. If you are on Apple's free account, you have 5 Gigabytes of free storage. If you need more room for backups, you will need to upgrade to a paid subscription. The size of your back up will dictate what size premium plan you’ll want.
3. Backing Up with Google Drive. If you have a Google account (Who doesn't these days), you can use Google Drive and Google Photos to store your stuff in the Cloud. Don't have an account, just hop right over to Google and create one. Google has a free utility called 'Google Backup and Sync" that will save your documents and photos from your Mac to Google Drive. Download and install the program, enter your account credentials, and it will start the process of backing up your Mac. The great thing about Google Photos, is that you get unlimited backup of your photos and videos for free. If you're using a free account, you have 15 GB of free storage for documents. If you need 100 GB, 1 TB or 10 TB for your documents, you will need to upgrade to a paid subscription. The size of your back up will dictate what size premium plan you’ll want.
4. Backup with Carbonite or Backblaze. One of my favorite options for Mac backup is using the services of cloud backup providers Carbonite and Backblaze. For as little as $70 a year, you get automatic backup of all of your important files. Once your computer is connected to the Internet, your files will automatically backup. You can have peace of mind with these cloud providers because they keep 30 days of your backups in the cloud.
Following the information I've shared, you can make sure your information is saved in a safe location that can be easily accessed in case anything goes wrong. The most important information you want to remember with backup is to make sure it's done automatically. If any of these steps are too difficult, consider reaching out to our tech experts.
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