Mac full restore from time machine

Step One: Boot Into Recovery Mode

Make sure your backup drive is connected to the Mac and powered on. Next, start up the Mac in Recovery mode.

Restore a Mac Hard Drive from a Time Machine Backup

Right as the Mac begins booting, press and hold Command-R until the Apple logo or a spinning globe appears. The Time Machine restoration process first erases the selected disk and then starts copying the Time Machine backup to it. A Restoring screen appears.

You can keep an eye on this screen to monitor the restoration, which may take several hours or even overnight. Your Mac will restart automatically when Time Machine finishes restoring the backup. When you sign in to your account, you may have to go through a few setup screens, such a screen for signing in to your iCloud account or setting up Touch ID on a MacBook Pro.

Once the restore finishes and you follow the instructions to restart your Mac, you should be back where you were before the problem occurred.

How to transfer backups from Time Machine to a new Mac

On the Restore From Time Machine screen, notice the text saying that the drive you restore onto will be erased. This is true—the entire volume will be erased and your Time Machine backup will be copied to it. This problem not only prevents the backups from being listed as valid restore points, but also keeps migration tools like Apple's Setup Assistant and Migration Assistant from using them.


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To check whether your backups are experiencing these problems, first go to the Time Machine menu extra enabled in the Time Machine system preferences and choose "Back Up Now" to manually create a new backup instance. When the backup is completed, reboot your system to the Recovery drive by holding the Command-R keys immediately after hearing the boot chimes at startup.

How to transfer backups from Time Machine to a new Mac | Macworld

At the OS X Tools window, choose the option to restore from backup, and then see what backup instances are available. The latest backup you created should be listed as the first restore point available. If the available backups listed do not include this latest one, and especially if the only ones available are from a while ago even if you have had Time Machine running regularly, then it is likely you are experiencing this bug. Unfortunately, for now the only known way to fix this is to reset Time Machine and start over, which can be done by the following steps:.

Restore your Mac from a backup

When you do this, new backups created on the drive should now be accessible. Prior backups on the drive should continue to be available. Have a fix? Post them below or e-mail us!


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