Disk Copy Macintosh for Data Backup and Transfer

Coco Lin updated on Jun 21, 2022 to Mac Disk Clone


Macintosh Disk Copy

Article Summary: If you want to replace the hard drive on your Mac computer, you want to boot your Mac system from an external SSD or back up your current system environment. Below, we will introduce how to clone a Mac system to an external disk.

Method 1: Use Mac Disk Utility to Copy and Clone Mac System

The Mac system comes with a Disk Utility. When you want to clone the Mac system or hard disk to other hard disks, this tool can help you achieve this purpose. However, in the Mac system, cloning hard disk data to other hard disks is called "Restore" (restore one hard drive to another).

The following are the specific operation steps:

Step 1: Connect the prepared external hard drive to your Mac computer. Then start the computer. Keep pressing [Command + R] during the startup process. This will enter the Mac recovery menu interface.

enter mac disk utility

Step 2: When the Apple icon appears on the screen, release [Command + R] and wait for the progress bar to load.

enter mac disk utility

Step 3: In the macOS utility window, select [Disk Utility], and then click [Continue].

enter mac disk utility

Step 4: On the Disk Utility page, select the external hard disk in the left sidebar and click the [Recover] button in the upper middle. Then a window will pop up, prompting that the selected external hard disk will be erased and replaced with The data of the chosen volume below cannot be undone, so please back up the data on the external disk in advance. Then select the recovery source. If you want to migrate the data of the entire system disk to the new SSD, please select the whole disk.

enter mac disk utility

Step 5:

  • Then click the [Restore] button.
  • Wait for the recovery process to complete.
  • Click [Finish].

Method 2: Mac Disk Copy Software for macOS and Data Transfer

DMclone for Mac, a top macOS cloning software, can help you create a bootable backup for macOS by cloning all data (macOS data, apps, user files, settings included) from the Mac startup disk to an external HDD or SSD. Compared with the Mac Disk Utility, DMclone is much simpler and more convenient.
The following are the specific operation steps: 

Step 1:Select the external disk as the destination drive.
First of all, connect the external disk to your Mac, then choose Clone OS. The system drive will be selected as the source drive, and you just need to select the external disk as the destination drive.

Select destination drive

Step 2. Clone system drive to the external disk.
Click on Clone Now button. This process will format the external disk first, then wholly clone the system drive to the external disk.

Clone system

Once the process gets finished, you’ve successfully created a bootable backup for your Mac.
You can use the clone disk as a bootable startup disk on any compatible Mac. You also can use the backup to restore macOS or data in macOS Recovery mode.

macOS cloning: Best Mac cloning software, Clone USB to Mac, Backup Mac

How to boot the macOS after Mac disk clone?

Step 1: After the Mac system is cloned/restored to the solid state drive, please keep the external hard drive connected to the computer and restart the Mac computer.

Step 2: Press and hold the [Option] key during the restart process.

Step 3: The boot switch menu will then appear, where you can select the system disk you want to boot.

Step 4: Click the arrow icon below the SSD and continue to start the Mac computer.

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