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How To Restore Your Mac Computer From A Backup

Article ID = 42
Article Title = How To Restore Your Mac Computer From A Backup
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 18th July 2011
Article Last Updated = 25th February 2015
Article URL = http://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?42

Article Brief Description:
Instructions for restoring your Mac computer from a backup

How To Restore Your Mac Computer From A Backup

There are several ways of restoring depending on whether you have:

Restore Your Mac Using A Time Machine Backup
(New Mac / fresh install of macOS method)

NOTE: Support information on Time Machine from Apple.
  1. If necessary reinstall your macOS system software.
  2. You are recommended to update your macOS system software.
  3. Connect your backup storage device (with the Time Machine backup on).
  4. Go to Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities > Migration Assistant.
  5. Follow the on screen instructions.

Restore Your Mac Using A Time Machine Backup (Erase and Install macOS method)

NOTE: Support information on Time Machine from Apple.
NOTE: If you are restoring from a Time Machine backup that was made on a different type of Mac then install macOS / OS X / Mac OS X first then use the Restore Your Mac Using A Time Machine Backup (New Mac / fresh install of macOS method) above.
  1. Connect your backup storage device (with the Time Machine backup on).
  2. Start up from the macOS / OS X / Mac OS X Install volume.
  3. NOTE: Usually, you can start from an install disc by putting it in your computer, restarting, and holding down the C key or you may be able to hold down Option and choose the install disc from the Startup Manager.
  4. Select your language. Click the forward arrow button.
  5. The Welcome to the macOS / OS X / Mac OS X Installer window appears.
  6. The Important Information window appears.
  7. Manually erase your hard disk by going to the Utilities menu and selecting "Disk Utility".
  8. Format the disk/volume/partition that you want to restore to.
  9. Quit Disk Utility.
  10. Go to the Utilities menu > Restore System from Backup.
  11. In the Restore Your System dialog, click Continue.
  12. Select your Time Machine backup volume.
  13. Select the Time Machine backup you want to restore.
  14. Follow the onscreen instructions.
  15. When the system has been installed download and install the latest macOS / OS X / Mac OS X "Combo" Update
  16. Go to Apple menu > App Store… > click the "Updates" icon in the top right and install your required system updates.
  17. Repeat the above step until all required system updates are installed.
  18. Repair your boot disk's permissions.

Restore Your Mac Using A Time Machine Backup
(Erase and Install OS X method - OS X 10.7 or later)

NOTE: Support information on Time Machine from Apple.
NOTE: If you are restoring from a Time Machine backup that was made on a different type of Mac then install OS X first then use the Restore Your Mac Using A Time Machine Backup (New Mac / fresh install of OS X method) above.
  1. Connect your backup storage device (with the Time Machine backup on).
  2. Start up from the OS X Install volume or Recovery HD (via Internet Recovery if necessary).
  3. NOTE: Usually, you can start from a OS X Install volume by putting it in your computer, restarting, and holding down the C key or you may be able to hold down Option and choose the install disc from the Startup Manager.
  4. The OS X Utilities window appears.
  5. Manually erase your hard disk by selecting "Disk Utility" and clicking Continue.
  6. Format the disk/volume/partition that you want to restore to.
  7. Quit Disk Utility.
  8. The OS X Utilities window reappears.
  9. Select "Restore From Time Machine" Backup and click Continue.
  10. Select your Time Machine backup volume.
  11. Select the Time Machine backup you want to restore.
  12. Follow the onscreen instructions.
  13. When the system has been installed and your applications/data restored, manually download and install the required/latest Combo update:
  14. Go to Apple menu > App Store… > click the "Updates" icon in the top right and install your required system updates.
  15. Repeat the above step until all required system updates are installed.
  16. Repair your boot disk's permissions.

Restore Your Mac Using A Cloned Backup

NOTE: Article on cloning.
  1. Boot from your Cloned backup. Usually the easiest way to do this is restart and hold down the Option key and then choose your cloned backup from the Startup Manager.
  2. Go to your cloned backup > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
  3. Erase the disk/volume/partition that you wish to restore your clone to.
  4. Clone your backup to the original disk.

Restore Your Mac Using A Manual Backup Of Your Data

  1. Erase and Install macOS / OS X / Mac OS X.
  2. Manually download and install the required/latest Combo update:
  3. Go to Apple menu > App Store… > click the "Updates" icon in the top right and install your required system updates.
  4. Repeat the above step until all required system updates are installed.
  5. Repair your boot disk's permissions.
  6. Reinstall (and update) your required applications.
  7. Restore your data.

Article Keywords: Mac OS X OSX 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 1010 1011 macOS 1012 1013 Jaguar Panther Tiger Leopard Snow Leopard Lion Mountain Lion Mavericks Yosemite El Capitan Sierra High Sierra clone cloning backup restore TimeMachine

This article is © MacStrategy » a trading name of Burning Helix. Apple, the Apple logo, and Mac are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.


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All proceeds go directly to MacStrategy / Burning Helix Limited to help fund this web site.
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All proceeds go directly to MacStrategy / Burning Helix Limited to help fund this web site.

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