How to Restore Your Mac from A Backup?

Maria updated on 2022/11/28 to Mac Disk Clone

Back up your Mac, as you've probably heard a million times! If your device fails or you unintentionally remove something, doing this enables you to restore all of your data, including apps and preferences. But how can a Mac be restored from a backup?

Various methods for restoring your Mac from a backup are covered below. Of course, it’s expected that you already have a backup of your Mac. Let’s move forward!

Restore Your Mac from A Backup

How to restore Mac from a Time Machine backup?

You can restore your entire hard drive to an earlier time if Time Machine is your preferred method of backing up your Mac, or you can choose only to restore a select few files. Additionally, you can utilize Migration Assistant and Time Machine to move all of your files from an old Mac to a new Mac.

Retrieve Time Machine backup from an earlier date

Once you start, you won't be able to use your browser, so be sure to print or open this page on another device to save these instructions later. Make sure the Time Machine backup drive is also plugged in and turned on.

Depending on the kind of Mac you own, the procedure differs. However, in most cases, you’ll have to boot your Mac into recovery mode to begin the restoration process.

If you own an Apple silicon:

Turn off your Mac. Hold the power button while waiting for the screen to display Loading Startup Options.

Click Options > select your account > enter your password.

Pick Restore from Time Machine Backup from the menu.

Choose the time and date that you wish to roll back to. To finish the restoration process, adhere to the onscreen directions.

To restore your Intel-based Mac to a previous date:

Turn off your Mac.

Activate the power switch. Hold down Command + R until a spinning globe appears on the screen. Enter your admin login information.

From the list of choices, pick Restore from Time Machine Backup.

Then, as directed on the screen, choose the date and time you wish to restore.

Get back specific files with Time Machine on Mac

Time Machine can also be used to recover previous versions of your data or to retrieve objects that you have inadvertently lost.

Find a related word or phrase by opening a Finder window. Click the triple-dot icon, select Show Search Parameters, then enter more search criteria to narrow your search.

Click the Time Machine icon on your menu bar > Enter Time Machine.

If it isn’t on your menu bar, go to System Preferences > Time Machine > tick Show Time Machine in the menu bar.

To view your Time Machine backups, use the timeline on the right side of the screen.

The backup highlighted in red is the one you are browsing; older backups currently loading are indicated by grey marks or pulsing lights.

Choose the things you want to have restored. You can choose specific directories or the whole disk.

Tap Restore.

How can Migration Assistant restore Time Machine backup on a new Mac?

You may quickly move all the data from your old Mac to your new Mac with Migration Assistant if your old Mac has recently died or you have recently decided it's time to switch to a new one. A helpful article we've prepared explains how to transfer data from a dead Mac to a fresh Mac.

You must configure your Mac before utilizing iCloud to restore it. To do this:

Go to Apple menu > System Preferences.

Click Apple ID > select iCloud from the left-hand pane.

On iCloud Drive, click. The Desktop and Document folders on your Mac can all be stored on your iCloud storage by clicking Options and selecting whatever you want to.

Additionally, you may decide which other apps, including Photos, Notes, and Music, you want to sync.

You only get 5GB of space by default, which is probably insufficient, mainly if you use iCloud on many devices. On any Apple device, you may always upgrade your iCloud to iCloud+. Apple gives customers access to up to 2 terabytes of iCloud storage.

An iCloud backup, unlike Time Machine, only backs up particular files and data and does not include all of your Mac's settings, data, or installed programs.

How to restore your Mac from a Cloud Backup?

You can download lost data to recover your Mac using a cloud backup service like Backblaze or CrashPlan. Every cloud backup service is unique. But unless the business offers to send you a real hard drive that you may use as a backup, all of them will require you to download a backup from their remote servers (Backblaze provides this feature).

The user interface of the majority of apps will include a mechanism for restoring files. On your Mac, start the remote software, or go to the business’ website. The files and folders you want to restore can then be chosen from your backup menu.

I only advise using a cloud-based backup service to restore your Mac if you don't already have a local backup available because you either have to download things from the Internet or send them somewhere for a physical copy. It takes much longer and is less effective than a direct restore from an external hard disk on your desk.

How to restore your Mac from a local backup (clone)?

A bootable copy or clone of your Mac’s whole hard disk is also an option. When your Mac has already been copied to your external disk, follow these steps to restore it:

Connect your external drive containing the clone while your Mac is off.

Hold Command + R while turning on your Mac to launch Recovery Mode. Wait until the macOS utility panel appears on your Mac. (If you are using Apple silicon chip Mac, just turn on your Mac and press Power button)

Select Continue after clicking on Disk Utility.

Restore Your Mac from A Backup

Select your hard drive, and then, in the Disk Utility window, pick the Restore tab.

Next to Restore From, select your external drive, and next to Restore To, select the hard disk of your Mac.

Tap Restore.

Create a bootable clone backup for Mac

DMclone for Mac is a powerful disk cloning application which is able to create a full backup for Mac or external storage device. Now follow the steps below to create a bootable clone backup for your Mac.

Step 1. Download and install DMclone for Mac.

DMclone - reliable disk cloning software

Step 2. Open DMclone for Mac and connect an external hard drive to your Mac. Choose disk cloning mode - OS Clone.

Create a bootable clone for Mac

Step 3. Click on Clone Now button to securely clone Mac startup disk to the external hard drive.

Create a bootable clone for Mac

It will clone all data including system data, settings, apps and files to the external hard drive. Once the process gets finished, you can use the external hard drive as a bootable backup.

Create a bootable clone for Mac

Final Words

You can download lost data to recover your Mac using a cloud backup service like Backblaze or CrashPlan. Every cloud backup service is unique. But unless the business offers to send you a real hard drive that you may use as a backup, all of them will require you to download a backup from their remote servers (Backblaze provides this feature).

The user interface of the majority of apps will include a mechanism for restoring files. On your Mac, start the remote software, or go to the business’ website. The files and folders you want to restore can then be chosen from your backup menu.