Backing up your file and data regularly is a good idea in using the computer. It is also a very important task that you should do with your macOS devices. Believe me, it is quite simple, does not take a long time but after that, you don’t need to worry about your data at all. If you have never done it before, when reading this post, following the guide and do it, that is it; you keep all your data up to now safe.
Why we need a backup in Mac OS
Your data is your money. But it is not totally safe in your computer. There are many risks in using and keeping data without a proper backup. Therefore, you can lose files, data in an eye blink. That is true; I have an experience in losing more than 500GB data after restart my computer. Four reasons listed here is the most popular:
- Hard drives crash (this is my case)
- Files get corrupted or are deleted suddenly.
- Virus attack and all data is lost
- Moving files, data to another directory, system.
What sort of data should be backup?
Honestly, the answers to this question are different from each user. You should think about what data is your personal, which one is important to you, which one has taken you a long time to build and will be used in the future… Some recommended idea here are the most common to all Mac OS users:
- Documents, file or whatever personal data you use
- Contact, address book and email
- Links, online resources which are collected before, has been and will be used.
Three most easy ways to backup data in macOS Sierra
Using Time Machine in macOS Sierra
Time Machine is a native application in macOS; you don’t have to pay any money to buy the license. All thing you need to do is active this function in System Preferences and set some options.
Turn on the Time Machine
Normally, Time Machine will be turned on automatically when you connect the external drive to your Mac. A window will pop out as the following picture and allow you to select connected disk as Backup Disk by clicking on “Use as Backup Disk” Button.
In case you want to backup in a local partition or the dialogue box hasn’t appeared when you connect the external hard drive, you can activate Time Machine application from System Preferences. Go to System Preferences and click Time Machine.
The user interface of Time Machine application will be showed. In this, you check or uncheck “Back Up Automatically” option to turn on or off Time Machine. After that, you determine Disk Drive or Partition to save Backup Files by “Select Disk…” Button.
When Time Machine is activated, it will run hourly, daily and weekly to back up all previous data.
Time Machine’s Pros and Cons
- Automatically back up
- Fully backup (Hourly, Daily and Weekly)
- Need large space
- Need a good condition external disk drive (should)
Backup to iCloud in macOS Sierra
Apple offers an option to store and share the most common data “in the cloud” – iCloud. Your photos, videos, emails, contacts, passwords and more can be easily backed up, restored and shared between macOS and iOS devices. 5GB is the default and free space when you sign up an iCloud account.
In most cases, when setting up your macOS or iOS for the first time, by logging in iCloud account, you turned on iCloud with included services. You can see detail iCloud backup data from “System Preferences -> iCloud”.
All services which are available to back up to iCloud is on the list. Depend on the application; you can see different options by clicking “Options…” button next to the name of the service. Uncheck application in the list or sign out iCloud will stop back up your data.
iCloud Back Up Pros and Cons:
- Automatically back up
- Safely store on cloud
- Not all data is backed up (only services in the list of iCloud application)
- Limited storage space (5Gb for free, you have to pay more for extra)
Data Backup Software for macOS Sierra
Time Machine and iCloud is the native function in macOS. It is easy to use softwre with very basic backup functions. If you don’t have much important data on your Mac, using these native applications is enough. However, If you need a complete solution to back up your data, you should choose one powerful backup software. Googling on the Internet, you get a list with plenty options. The list from TopTenReviews website is a good one. From recommended software in the list combined with my experience, I recommend you the first two software: Acronis True Image and Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac. As shown in the review page, Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac is in the 2nd position with, but the price of this software is much lower (20%) with the coupon.
I use all three backup solutions together to protect my data completely:
- I turn on Time Machine and select a 100GB partition in my Lacie External Hard Drive as default backup location. This task helps me keep system data safely and save more time if I want to restore my Mac to a previous time position.
- I use iCloud to store and share passwords, photos, calendar, contacts, and other common data between my Mac, iPad and iPhone
- One a month, I backup working data, important folders by Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac. With some advanced functions, this software helps me to extract and restore necessary files, folders from backed up file without restored whole disk.
How about your way to keep your data safely?