How to Select the very best External Hard Drive for macOS Time Device Backups


Time Device lets Mac users quickly backup their computer. In this tutorial, find out how to select a drive and perform your backups immediately.

Time Device is a reliable solution for supporting macOS desktops and laptops. It was introduced in 2007 with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and since then, it has actually turned into one of the most reputable methods to keep a continuous backup of your Mac.

For business users, supporting your Mac is essential for gadgets utilized for productivity. Lost laptops or drives that stop working are genuine circumstances that might cause lost work and revenue for a company. Keeping a backup suggests that you’ll always have access to work and tasks if the worst must occur. Time Machine is a fantastic solution constructed into the macOS operating system that is free to use and easy for anyone to configure.

The primary step to backing up your Mac with Time Maker is choosing a drive you want to utilize, so let’s do that first, then we’ll make it possible for backups in Time Maker.

How to choose a backup drive for Time Maker

While various choices exist, some external hard drives will work better with Time Machine than others, depending upon your choices. Here’s how to choose the best external hard disk drive for Time Machine backups.

Drive size

The greatest question when selecting a drive is: What capability should you choose? While 1TB utilized to prove abundant for gathering a long history of Time Machine backups, some brand-new Macs ship with onboard drives that big.

PREMIUM: Use this computer hardware engineer working with set to find the best fit for your team.

A great guideline is to purchase an external backup drive that’s at least 3 times larger than the Mac’s own disk. If your Mac uses a 256GB SSD, a 1TB external drive must work well gathering Time Maker backups. However if your Mac utilizes a 1TB drive, consider purchasing a 3TB or 4TB external disk. Thankfully, rates has been up to the point that a dependable 4TB disk can generally be acquired for about $150 or less.

Drive type

There are two drive types: portable and desktop. While a lot of drives now use a single USB-C cable to both offer power and information, there are some traditional external drives that need an external power source– generally called desktop drives. We believe many users will choose a portable drive service that doesn’t require an external power source; however, it is very important to remember that these 2 drive types exist.

Connection technique

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In addition to the size and form element, when choosing a drive you need to comprehend the various types of connection and which your Mac requirements. The ones you’ll usually come across are USB-A, USB-C and Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt and USB-C will offer the fastest throughput, specifically if you select an SSD over a conventional magnetic hard drive. You’ll want to select the fastest choice that works with your setup.

When purchasing a drive for Time Maker and paired with a contemporary Mac that uses SSDs, you’ll wish to stick with an SSD for your external backup drive for the speed of backups, especially when using it with a laptop where you’ll wish to disconnect the drive when not backing up.

Some advised drives

How to Set Up Time Device in macOS

Time Maker works like this: Whenever you have a drive established for Time Maker to utilize, Time Machine will immediately start taking snapshots of your Mac every hour (for each of the files that have altered considering that the last backup) for up to 24 hr, a daily backup of your entire drive that is kept for the previous month and a weekly backup that is kept for as long as you have drive area.

Time Maker takes the uncertainty out of backups: Set up a drive and let macOS do the rest. No requirement to configure what gets backed up (though you can leave out things from backups), and no requirement to choose old backups. Time Maker does it all for you.

When you have actually got a drive suitable with your Mac, just plug the drive into your Mac. Most of the time, your Mac will automatically acknowledge the empty drive and show an alert asking if you want to use it as a Time Maker drive.

If it does not, you can still set up Time Device manually by doing the following:

  1. Open System Settings from the Apple menu.
  2. Browse to General > Time Device.
  3. Click Add Backup Disk … (Figure A).

Figure A

Time machine configuration for multiple drives. Time Machine lets you configure several drives as backup locations. Image: Cory

  • Bohon/TechRepublic. Select your drive, then click Continue. Optional: In the alternatives, choose Encrypt Backup, then supply a password and tip (Figure B).
  • Figure B

    Time Machine options configurations. You can configure many alternatives with Time Device, including ensuring backups are encrypted with a password. Image: Cory Bohon/TechRepublic.

    1. Select a Disk Use limitation. No limit suggests that Time Machine can make use of the complete drive; otherwise, you can set a limit on just how much drive space to use.
    2. Click Done.

    When you do this, Time Machine will go to work, scanning for files on your internal Mac drive to backup. It will then begin the process of transferring files over to the external drive for backup purposes.

    Time Maker includes an entire interface for restoring from backups as soon as your preliminary backup has finished. For more information on recuperating files, take a look at our guide on how to recuperate an individual macOS file using Time Maker.


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