Q & A

Choosing a drive

Choosing a drive

Q:  I want to back up my Mac’s 500-gigabyte hard-drive with Time Machine. Do I need a 500-gigabyte backup drive as well, or one that’s even bigger?

As a general rule, your external backup drive should be at least twice the size of the amount of data that you are backing up.

You can find out how much of your hard drive you have personally filled by going to your start-up volume, selecting the Users folder and choosing Get Info from the File menu. Time Machine does not back up things like temporary system caches and log files.

If you are close to filling up your 500-gigabyte drive, getting a 1-terabyte external drive provides room to back up the entire computer and keep older versions of your hard drive’s contents on hand. 

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