Can I manually drag back files from Time Machine?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by baryon, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. baryon macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    I'm planning to reinstall Snow Leopard. I'm using Time Machine. I want to avoid automatic solutions like "Restore from Time Machine backup" and the Migration Assistant because I want to make sure my system stays clean.

    This is how I imagine it:
    I boot my freshly installed system, plug in my Time Machine external drive, open it with Finder and start dragging back all the stuff I need (Photos, Music and Documents) just as if it were a regular external hard drive with files on it. Then I will reinstall all applications manually.

    Will this work? Please tell me if you have ever tried this and whether it worked. Will this not cause problems with permissions or anything like that?
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Should work fine. I can play and view my files backed up via TM fine
  3. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    You wont be able to open through finder. However you can restore individual files through the Time Machine app. I think this should work.
  4. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Yes, it will work. But with some files and folders you might have to enter your password, which might be a nuisance, but it only affects system files and folders and if you have no permissions.

    If it fails, you can always use MA if you want to, it even allows you to select what you want to be migrated.

    What do you mean by this? You mean s/he can't actually open the files while they are in the backup.backupsdb folder* or s/he can't copy them?

    * which is plausible and right, I'm just confused with your wording, even if I shouldn't be.
  5. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Of course you can. The complete Time Machine backup looks like one folder for the whole set of backups, inside that folder there is one folder for each time you actually made a backup, and when you open any of these folders, it contains a complete copy of your hard drive (or something that looks and behaves exactly like a complete copy). The only thing that you can't do is modify anything inside that backup folder.
  6. baryon thread starter macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    Okay, so even if I'm a different user than the user whose data is backed up on the Time Machine volume, I can at least copy the data from there onto my hard drive, even from the Finder. That makes sense, after all every user has at least "read" access, and that should be enough for what I want.

Share This Page