How to Make a backup of your Mac

Whether or not Time Machine backs up your Mac on a regular basis, creating a full duplicate (a clone or mirror) of its data is a good idea before installing macOS updates or upgrades. Carbon Copy Cloner 6 (£29.90, bombich.com) may create a one-time clone or regular backups in addition to, or instead of, Time Machine, and prior versions work for Mojave and before.

Catalina and Big Sur alter how you recover from a clone. It’s preferable to install macOS then migrate from the copy rather than cloning back from the copy to your internal storage, and that’s the only method for M1 Macs. That implies you don’t have to clone the System disk to conserve space, but CCC may still do so if you want.

CCC offers a plethora of choices. Here we demonstrate how to get the most out of them, such as omitting things that should be duplicated individually and creating snapshots for fast file recovery. Whatever you decide, test your clone by restoring test items.

HOW TO CORRECTLY CLONE YOUR MAC

1 Adjust the source loudness.

Select Tasks in the sidebar of Carbon Copy Cloner and name the new, empty backup job. To make your Mac’s starting drive, by default called Macintosh HD, the source for your clone, click on the Source button.

2 Choose a location.

Take note of the utilized space on your source volume and ensure that the destination volume has enough free space to store it. Then, click the Destination button and choose a volume with enough free space to accommodate the clone.

3 Determine whether or not to repeat

If you want this cloning to be repeated automatically, go to Automation and specify the scheduling basis. A daily clone is often recommended for backups or when the disk is remounted on occasionally connected MacBooks.

4 Establish schedule specifics

It’s a good idea to set the run time for when your Mac isn’t in use if it’s left running overnight. If the machine is going to sleep, you may have the backup job wake it up or leave it till later. Weekends may also be skipped.

5 Make a list of things that should be avoided.

To exclude things from the clone, click Task Plan at the bottom of the main window. Consider storing separate copies of large files, such as Virtual Machines, which change all the time while they are in use.

6 Configure advanced options

CCC has numerous sophisticated features, such as executing scripts before and after copying. You may now adjust the priority of its copying jobs here if you want it to back up while you’re using your Mac.

7 Perform a dry run to ensure everything is in working order.

Before you execute the initial clone, make sure that copying produces the results you anticipate. When you use the Preview tool, CCC will do a dry run without transferring any real files and will predict the precise size. Correct any mistakes as soon as possible.

Set source snapshots to 8

Consider taking pictures on a regular basis. In the sidebar, choose the starting data volume called Macintosh HD – Data or simply Data. Turn on CCC to take a picture of each duplicate of that disk.

9 Retention of snapshots

Because older snapshots may take up a lot of disk space, most people will find CCC’s default snapshot retention strategy to be ideal. If you want to create your own policy, click the Customize option, but keep an eye on the available space.

10 Duplicate that volume

When you’ve finished configuring everything, -click the task in the sidebar and use the Run Now command to create the first clone. CCC then displays the clone’s progress in graphical form, as well as an exact time estimate.

11 Examine task activities

When the cloning process is complete, go to Task History, pick the completed task, and then click the Task Trends button to view a summary of activities. If the job will be repeated, click the Start button in the main window.

12 System clone as an option

If you want CCC to clone your System disk as well, configure the Destination to create a complete bootable backup by clicking on its icon and choosing the Legacy Bootable Backup Assistant option before proceeding to step 7.

IT WILL TAKE TIME

ten minutes

YOU WILL BE INFORMED

To transfer files in order to restore them

YOU WILL REQUIRE

macOS 10.15 or later, an external storage device with enough free space, and Carbon Copy Cloner 6

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