Time machine backup to new osx

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by mix2, May 25, 2016.

  1. mix2 macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2013
    Hello, I was wondering if I use Time machine to backup all from there to external drive. From there does Time Machine let me try new OSX (Mavericks or Yosemite) and then revert back to old OS X version? With all data and software app from the external drive set to Time Machine backup. Reason is I want to see if some software apps work on the new OSX, cause there could be some that don't work properly or launch.

    I'm currently using 10.8 Mountain Lion - iMac. I would like to update 10.11 El Capitan, but I'm 95% sure some apps won't work. If you guys think its possible to test out, then I would stay at Yosemite or Mavericks.
  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68040


    Sep 23, 2005
    Not exactly as you describe.
    What you could attempt is making a backup on 10.8, and potentially duplicate the entire backup, then update your OS and try out your apps. If they don't work, you'll need to wipe the HDD, reinstall 10.8 (you will need to create a USB installer for this) then move your backup back over.

    Alternatively, you could partition to hard drive, install the newer OS on that, test your apps, and if it isn't working, boot back over to 10.8 and erase the partition. This may actually be simpler.
  3. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Ensure that there's enough room on the drive to keep the backup of Mountain Lion; beware of subsequent backups using so much space that the required backup (of Mountain Lion) is automatically weeded.
  4. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    Your best solution, if you can "afford" the drive space, would be to partition and set up El Capitan on the second partition or use a virtual machine app to emulate hardware to build a different machine. Then you don't have to worry about restoring your data if things don't work, just delete the partition or VM and your experiment is gone.
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Yes, you can use Time Machine do do that as long as you have not waited so long that the old OS version and associated data has ben purged off the disk due to space issues.

    When you restore there is a window like this where you can pick a restore point from an earlier OS version.

    14d Select a Backup.jpg
  6. chscag macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Why don't you check the list of Apps that work or do not work by going to the RoaringApps site. They maintain a compatibility table that's usually very accurate. That will give you a quick go - no - go. You can always also do what you want as suggested by the replies above.
  7. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    RoaringApps is a good idea but unfortunately not all of the info is up to date or correct. I recommend checking developers sites, they usually have correct information about incompatibility issues.

    Furthermore I agree with hallux, its safer to install new OS into another partition. If it won't work just remove the partition and your done.

    While TimeMachine is a good idea it unfortunately won't always restore previous OS and data reliably if the drive contains newer OS so I would recommend disconnecting it before install and not using it while booted in the new OS.
  8. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2015
    Add in an alternate revert-path prior to your test. Use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone your current disk. It's an easy learn and has a 30 day trial.

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7 May 25, 2016