Alternate methods of restoring from Time Machine

Here are several ways to restore files from Apple’s Time Machine backup. Each serves a different purpose.

  1. Need to restore a lost or damage file? Click Time Machine and Enter Time Machine. You can navigate to any folder and restore individual files & folders from whatever backup snapshot you like.
  2. Missing emails? Open Mail before you Enter Time Machine. You can select mailboxes or individual messages and they’re put right back into Mail (and uploaded to IMAP/Exchange for sync with your other devices).
  3. Replacing a computer? Migration Assistant (in the Applications/Utilities folder) can restore entire user accounts and/or applications (if they were selected for backup previously). This works across different computers, models and operating systems – the OS on the backup doesn’t have to match the Mac you’re restoring. But this isn’t the best for simply restoring a few files – there’s no easy way to combine user data from the backup with any of that same user’s files already on the computer.
  4. Drive crashed or computer lost? Recovery Mode can restore an entire computer – OS, apps, users files – from the backup. All existing data on the drive will be erased. Apps and OS must have been backed up and the computer you’re restoring to must be able to boot from the version of macOS in the backup for this to work. This method also helps if you need to roll back to an earlier operating system. Just remember you’ll lose any data changed since the backup.
  5. Like to do things manually? You could simply open the Time Machine backups folder and hunt for files, then drag them to your drive. This is not recommended because it doesn’t restore files to the same place and might not work due to permissions issues.

Learn more about Time Machine.

   ©2023 Creative Tech Support, Inc.   Experts in Apple support since 1994     Need help? Contact us.     Not officially affiliated, related, or licensed by Apple.