I have a 2010 MacBook Pro and I am planning on swapping out the Optical Drive for an SSD in the near future, and then re-installing OS X across the Hard Drive and SSD (in a Fusion Drive format).

I have about 2-3 years worth of backups on my Time Capsule. Will I still be able to access them once I've reinstalled OS X? I don't want to restore from Time Capsule (I want a clean install) but I need to be able to access my backups so I can get some data back. By this, I mean go into Time Machine, go back in time to a backup and select a folder to restore. If I can't, and I have to start my backups from scratch and stuff, I will just move some stuff over to a Hard Drive and then re-import it once OS X is reinstalled.

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can access the backups after changing the drives out. If you control-click or right-click on the Time Machine app icon, one of the items is "Browse other TIme Machine Disks..." from where you can select your Time Capsule backups. You can also re-associate your new drive to the old backups in Terminal with tmutil so that your backups will continue as if the drive change never happened. There's a good set of instructions here on how to use tmutil to accomplish that.

One of the other options you have is to do your clean install and then use Migration Assistant with your Time Machine backups to restore all your files and settings.

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