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Top Mac

12/7/2021
Top Mac

Backing up your Mac is simple and important. We recommend it for everyone.

Aug 25, 2020. Explore the world of Mac. Check out MacBook Pro, iMac Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, and more. Visit the Apple site to learn, buy, and get support. Sep 09, 2020. Aug 16, 2020.

Back up with Time Machine

Time Machine is the built-in backup feature of your Mac. It’s a complete backup solution, but you can use other backup methods as well.

Create a backup

Store files in iCloud

You can also use iCloud and iCloud Drive to store files, such as your photos, documents, and music.

Set up iCloud and iCloud Drive

Restore your Mac from a backup

When you have a backup, you can use it to restore your files at any time, including after the original files are deleted from your Mac.

Restore from a backup

Prepare your Mac for service

Making a backup is an important part of preparing your Mac for service, especially because some types of repair might require erasing or replacing your hard drive.

Get your Mac ready for service

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How much space do I need for a backup?

To see the size of a specific file or folder, click it once and then press Command-I. To see storage information about your Mac, click the Apple menu in the top-left of your screen. Choose About This Mac and click the Storage tab. For Time Machine backups, it's good to use a drive that has at least twice the storage capacity of your Mac.

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Free up storage on your Mac

macOS can save space by storing your content in the cloud. This isn't a backup, but it includes new tools to make it easier to find and remove large or unwanted files before you make a backup.

Use Optimized Storage in macOS

Erase or format a storage device

You can use Disk Utility if you need to erase or format a storage device.

Learn how to use Disk Utility

macOS Community

If you can't back up your Mac

We'll find the best support options for you.

Moving to a new Mac? Before taking these steps, you can use Migration Assistant to move your files from the old Mac to your new Mac.

Create a backup

Make sure that you have a current backup of your important files. Learn how to back up your Mac.

Sign out of iTunes in macOS Mojave or earlier

If you're using macOS Mojave or earlier, open iTunes. From the menu bar at the top of the screen or iTunes window, choose Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer. Then enter your Apple ID and password and click Deauthorize.

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Learn more about deauthorizing computers used with your iTunes account.

Computers

Sign out of iCloud

If you're using macOS Catalina or later, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Apple ID. Select Overview in the sidebar, then click Sign Out.

If you're using macOS Mojave or earlier, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click iCloud, then click Sign Out.

You will be asked whether to keep a copy of your iCloud data on this Mac. You can click Keep a Copy, because you're erasing your Mac later. Your iCloud data remains in iCloud and on any other devices that are signed in to iCloud with your Apple ID.

Sign out of iMessage

If you're using OS X Mountain Lion or later, open the Messages app, then choose Messages > Preferences from the menu bar. Click iMessage, then click Sign Out.

Reset NVRAM

Shut down your Mac, then turn it on and immediately press and hold these four keys together: Option, Command, P, and R. Release the keys after about 20 seconds. This clears user settings from memory and restores certain security features that might have been altered.

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Learn more about resetting NVRAM or PRAM.

Optional: Unpair Bluetooth devices that you’re keeping

If your Mac is paired with a Bluetooth keyboard, mouse, trackpad, or other Bluetooth device that you plan to keep, you can unpair it. This optional step prevents accidental input when the Mac and device have separate owners but remain in Bluetooth range of each other.

If you're unpairing Bluetooth input devices from a desktop computer such as an iMac, Mac mini, or Mac Pro, you must plug in a USB keyboard and mouse to complete the remaining steps in this article.

To unpair a Bluetooth device, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Bluetooth. Move your pointer over the device that you want to unpair, then click the remove (x) button next to the device name.

Erase your hard drive and reinstall macOS

The best way to restore your Mac to factory settings is to erase your hard drive and reinstall macOS.

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After macOS installation is complete, the Mac restarts to a setup assistant that asks you to choose a country or region. To leave the Mac in an out-of-box state, don't continue setup. Instead, press Command-Q to shut down the Mac. When the new owner turns on the Mac, the setup assistant guides them through the setup process.

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No matter the model or condition, we can turn your device into something good for you and good for the planet: Learn how to trade in or recycle your Mac with Apple Trade In.

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