Apple’s Time Machine is an effortless way to ensure that your data is being backed up. If you are new to Apple or haven’t set up a backup routine (stop reading this and do so now!) then you can use the step by step process here.
If you use this approach it is inevitable that your backup destination (external drive, time capsule etc) will eventually get consumed and you may want to move to a new or larger drive. There is way to do this without losing all of your backup history, which is really why we backup in the first place.
How to move a Time Machine to a new drive
STEP ONE – Drive format
A. Connect the new backup drive to your Mac, whether it’s an iMac, MacBook or MacMini.
B. Launch the Disk Utility app from the Utilities. Alternatively type “Disk Utility” in Spotlight (Command-space to launch spotlight)
C. From the Disk Utility app check that your new backup drive has a GUID partition that is MacOS Extended formatted. Reformat the drive (ensure that any data you want to keep has been taken off the drive) to this standard.
STEP TWO – Setting Permissions
A. Launch Finder and select your new backup drive
B. Right click on the drive icon and select “Get Info”
C. Scroll to Sharing & Permissions and ensure that you deflect / uncheck the “Ignore ownership on this volume”
STEP THREE – Stop Time Machine
A. Open System Preferences from the Apple menu (top left of your Mac screen) or launch via Spotlight
B. Select Time Machine
C. Turn off Time Machine to stop it backing up
STEP FOUR – Copy your data
A. From Finder open the original back up destination drive
B. Copy & Paste or Drag & Drop the “Backups.backupdb” file from the original drive to the drive
C. Wait patiently as the data is copied to the new drive. You may have to enter an Administrator password to start this process.
STEP FIVE – Redirect Time Machine
A. Check that the copying process is complete
B. Open the Time Machine window from System Preferences again and hit “Select Disk”
C. Select your new backup drive and hit “Use Disk”
Time Machine will now back up your data to the new drive.