Does time machine back up all files and all user accounts?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by james234232, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. james234232 macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2016
    Hello. I'm planning on moving from one mac to another one. The old mac will be erased and given away. I want to put all of my files onto an external hard drive (for preservation) and from that total backup, select individual files to put on my new computer. Basically, I want to save all of my files on the external hard drive, but only put some on the new computer.

    My biggest fear is forgetting to put a portion of the files on the external hard drive and losing them forever. Thus, I'm wondering if time machine can be trusted to back up every single file onto my external hard drive? Furthermore, I want to know if from that time machine back up I can drag individual files on my new computer.

    Thank you.
  2. velocityg4 macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    Time Machine should backup all files, apps and settings. It's an automated backup so nothing is guaranteed. In my experience it is the most reliable backup I have used. Besides manual, mirrored sync or cloning. If you want you could always boot the new Mac in Target Disk Mode and clone the old drive to the new. Just be sure to update to the latest OS X on the old one before cloning.

    No, you cannot select individual files. Either delete them then perform a Time Machine backup or delete them after you restore on the new computer.

    Why don't you already have a backup? You are placing a lot of faith into your storage device.
  3. LiveM macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2015
    You can include or exclude different disks under Options.
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    If you're not going to bother figuring out where the files you need are until after the switch you should just use something like Carbon Copy Cloner to clone your entire hard drive to the external. CCC has a 30-day trial so for your purposes it would be free.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009

    If you're still reading, I second Brian's post above this one.

    Use CarbonCopyCloner to clone the contents of your old Mac to an external drive.

    Then connect the drive to the NEW Mac, and setup assistant will see it and "bring over" all the relevant stuff.

    Works very well and is probably as quick as anything else.

    CCC is FREE to download, and it's FREE to use for 30 days.

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