Does Time Machine backup applications?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nickc99, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. nickc99 macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2013
    I have a MacBook Pro running OS 10.9.1 that I bought in August of 2012. Today I've been experiencing a problem where an error message saying that Finder has quite unexpectedly repeatedly pops up upon startup. I called Apple about it; after restarting everything was fine, but they told me to back everything up in case it happens again because if it happens again I might have to wipe the computer clean and reinstall the operating system, which leads me to my actual question:

    At the time I bought the computer, I was able to get a free version of Microsoft Office because my girlfriend at the time got a free download from her university, and although the link was only intended to work for one person, it ended up working for me, and so I was able to get a free version that way. So my question is if I purchase an external hard drive and use Time Machine, will I be able to restore all of my applications, including third party applications? Will it restore things like Steam, and Chrome and Spotify (although I don't care as much about those since they're free, it's just the hassle of having to reinstall everything. I don't want to lose Office if I have to wipe the hard drive, but I also don't want to pay for it, so is there any way I can preserve the version I have?

    If you have experienced the problem with Finder and have any suggestions regarding that I'd be would greatly appreciate it. Thanks everybody!
  2. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    TM will backup all your apps but some of them with licenses also have Plist and preference files associated with them that hold info on the license.

    In other words for example. I have Photoshop backed up but if i restore the app PS will ask me to activate it after I restored it.

    You might have that problem with Office.
  3. nickc99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2013
    Is there any way around this?

    Thanks for your reply. I know this is a stupid question but I just thought I'd ask, maybe somebody has a magical solution.
  4. GSPice macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2008
    Maybe try cloning the drive. I'm more familiar with Windows as far as potential licensing issues (some apps care about certain hardware, others don't).
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    It will backup and restore everything, including app registration information. The problem is many apps, notably MS Office and Adobe apps, link the registration to the hardware UUID and any change to the hardware (like installing a new hard drive for example) will require reentry of the registration information even though everything was restored from a backup. I have never seen a way around this.
  6. priitv8, Dec 30, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013

    priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    I came across a problem where Outlook :mac wreaked havoc after being restored from TM backup. It gets its idenitity database messed up and keeps repeating about "Your Office database index is missing and needs to be rebuilt. This Is usually caused by restoring an idenitity with Time Machine". Hitting Rebuild fails with error. Oftentimes "Your database could not be rebuilt [-18000]". MS knowledge base and google are full of stories.

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