How to back up your MacBook without Time Machine?


A backup is always handy if you want to protect your documents! The truth is that creating a backup usually needs Time Machine on Mac, but results aren’t always perfect. Trying to do a back up with no Time Machine is actually the better option, because it allows you to organize and manage your content with great results.

Why is Time Machine good for a backup, why is it bad?

The upside of Time Machine is that it does a local backup, it has no monthly cost, and you have file previews along with versioning. The downside however is that it doesn’t perform a malware check, so you can spread malware without knowing. You also rely on an external drive. Those drives can be stolen, lost or damaged, so it’s not always the ideal backup tool.

Preparing your external drive

A good idea is to enter Disk Utility and here you want to select the external drive. You then need to press Erase, just to ensure that your device is clean and free from any issues. When asked for a format, ExFat is ideal if you also use the external drive on a Windows computer.

Manually copy files to the drive

A manual transfer can be great too. You choose the files, and then you just transfer them to an external device. The problem here is that it’s time-consuming to wait for results. Not to mention the time it takes to manually go through everything and ensure you are transferring the right stuff. But if you want to back up just some files, this might help.

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Upload files to the cloud

You don’t need Time Machine for this, and what we like about the method is that such uploads are a pleasure to do. You can install a cloud service client and upload only those files that you want to have a backup for. Most of these are paid apps and you have limits as a free user. Still, it can be an option.

Professional backup software

If you dislike Time Machine and its complex setup, then going for a professional backup tool is a great idea. Generally you need to choose what to backup via the software, where you want to have the backup, and then the software will handle all for you. It’s the best approach because it helps save time, without having to manually do everything on your own.


Is it a good idea to use Time Machine for your backups? It usually depends on what you backup, the size of those files, etc. Time Machine is notorious for being slow, so if you want a fast backup process this might not be the ideal option. It also limits your backup options, so going with professional backup software is a better option.

Even a manual backup is going to help, not to mention you can also update some of the more relevant files to the cloud. It’s important to try out different backup options, then you can make the right pick according to your needs!

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Nagama Ansari
Nagama Ansari is a well-known blogger and digital marketer, working in the industry from several year, and has written more than 1000+ well-researched information guides and product testing review articles..