What Are Backup Disks You Can Use With Time Machine?

Time Machine make a back up to an external storage device that connected to your MacBook or supported AirPort base station. Then it can also back up to a MacBook or network-attached storage device (NAS) on your network.

In order to use Time Machine for making a backup of your MacBook, you should know one  of these storage devices:

After setting up the storage device, you can use Time Machine to make a backup of your Mac. And after making your backup, you can use Time Machine to restore files from your backup.

External drive connected to your MacBook

Actually Time Machine can back up to an external drive that is connected to a USB, Thunderbolt, or FireWire port on your Mac.

External drive connected to an AirPort Extreme Base Station (802.11ac) or AirPort Time Capsule

You should know that Time Machine can make a back up to an external USB drive that is connected to an AirPort Extreme Base Station (802.11ac model) or AirPort Time Capsule.

  1. Become  sure that the USB drive is really formatted for Time Machine.
  2. Connect the drive to a USB port on your AirPort base station, then turn it on.
  3. Open AirPort Utility, then choose your base station and click Edit to view its settings.
  4. Click the Disks tab in the settings window.
  5. Choose your backup disk from the list of partitions, then select” Enable file sharing”:
  1. In case of it has got more than one user on your network will back up to this disk with Time Machine, you can use the Secure Shared Disks pop-up menu to make sure that they can view only their own backups, not yours. Choose” With accounts” from the menu, then click the Add (+) button to add users.
  2. Click Update to restart your base station and apply the settings.

AirPort Time Capsule

Time Machine can back up to the built-in hard disk of an AirPort Time Capsule on your network.

Mac shared as a Time Machine backup destination

In order to use another MacBook on your network as a Time Machine backup destination, you should complete these steps on the other Mac:

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Sharing.
  2. From the list of services on the left, select File Sharing.
  3. From the list of Shared Folders on the right, Control-click the folder that you want to use for Time Machine backups.
  4. From the shortcut menu that opens, choose Advanced Options.
  5. From the Advanced Options dialog, select” Share as a Time Machine backup destination.”

When setting up Time Machine on your other MacBook computers, it’s important to be able to select the shared folder as a backup disk.

Network-attached storage (NAS) device that supports Time Machine over SMB

Many third-party NAS devices covered Time Machine over SMB. For details, check the documentation for your NAS device.

Format a disk for Time Machine

Time Machine covers all MacBook OS Extended (Journaled) formats and Xsan formats. If the disk isn’t using the correct format, Time Machine prompts you to remove it when you connect it to your MacBook automatically:
erase disk prompt

If you need to remove the disk manually, use the Disk Utility app to erase using the MacBook OS Extended (Journaled) format.

Time Machine can’t make a back up to an iOS device or disk formatted for Windows. And if your disk uses the Master Boot Record (MBR) partition scheme, some of its partitions might not be ready to use with Time Machine.

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