One of the primary benefits of using Time Machine is that it allows you to restore your backup on a new Mac or a new macOS installation. This makes it so that you can essentially pick up where you left off from your old machine or old installation.
Fortunately, restoring Time Machine backups to a new Mac is extremely easy and straightforward. In this fifth tutorial in our Time Machine how-to series, we’ll show you how easy it is.
First and foremost, you’ll need to perform a Time Machine backup on your old machine. You’ll then use this Time Machine backup to restore on your new machine.
To learn how to perform a Time Machine backup, see our how to set up Time Machine tutorial.
How to restore a Time Machine backup on a new Mac
Note: these screenshots are photos taken with my iPhone’s camera, as macOS doesn’t allow you to take screenshots during the setup process.
Step 1: On the Transfer Information to This Mac screen, choose the first option—From a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk and click Continue
Step 2: Make sure your drive is connected, and select the disk that contains your Time Machine backup and click Continue
Step 3: Select the desired backup from the disk and click Continue
Step 4: For a full restore, check all of the boxes on the Select the Information to Transfer screen and click Continue
Step 5: You’ll be asked about disk encryption—select your preference and click Continue
Step 6: Your information will now begin restoring to your Mac
Step 7: Once complete, click Start using your Mac
As you can see, restoring a Time Machine backup is extremely straightforward. You can even do it after the macOS initial setup process. To do so, simply use Migration Assistant found in Applications > Utilities.
To learn more about Time Machine, make sure to also check out these other tutorials:
- How to set up Time Machine on OS X
- How to encrypt Time Machine backups
- How to exclude files from being backed up in Time Machine
- How to view and restore specific files using Time Machine
- How to create a partition on your Time Machine external hard drive
- How to move Music or Photos to a new Mac using Time Machine