How to Back Up an iMac

Backing up your iMac is very easy thanks to the tools built into the Mac OS X operating system. As long as you have an external hard drive that can be dedicated to backups, the process can be started manually and from then on will work automatically according to your preferences.

Step

Click the "Apple" and then "System Preferences." Look for the "Time Machine" icon and click it.

Step

Ensure that the external hard drive is clear of any data. Time Machine will have to format the external hard drive to Apple's journal format, and the drive will not be usable for Windows computers. If you're using Time Capsule, simply power the unit on.

Step

Return the Time Machine settings page you opened in Step 1 and click the switch to turn Time Machine on. This will automatically bring up a window with available backup locations. Select your desired storage medium and click "Use for Backup." If using a Time Capsule, just click "Set Up Time Capsule."

Step

Click "Options" to choose what portions of your hard drive you would like to backup. Once you are finished, click "Done." If you want your entire hard disk to be backed up, you can skip this step.