I'm clicking "Browse other backup disks..." in the Time Machine menu, then selecting a Time Machine disk. This puts me into the Time Machine interface, but I just see my home folder. Not my home folder from my old computer, but my current home folder. How can I browse my old backups to retrieve files?

  • Does it allow you to go back in time in the interface at all? – Ezekiel Elin Aug 13 '15 at 2:16
  • Yes it does. I can access my current Time Machine just fine. – Hassan Aug 13 '15 at 2:17
  • No I meant on the disk you wish to retrieve your files from. – Ezekiel Elin Aug 13 '15 at 2:20
  • No, not at all. It just shows my current files on my current computer. – Hassan Aug 13 '15 at 2:22

To retrieve files from a Time Machine disk without using the Time Machine interface, open a new Finder window and open the volume from the sidebar. You should see a folder called Backups.db. Open this and the folder it contains for your computer.

Note: If you're using a Network Disk, such as a Time Capsule or Airport Extreme with a connected disk, you will not see Backups.db, you will instead see a .sparsebundle file. Open this and you should be able to continue these instructions.

You will now see a list of folders, named by their date/time. Open the folder you wish to retrieve the file from and navigate to the appropriate location.

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  • I didn't understand... where is this backups.db? Is it on my time capsule (where the backups are stored)? Also I was hoping for a way to do this within Time Machine, since that's what it's supposed to do. – Hassan Aug 13 '15 at 2:38
  • If I can't do it within Time Machine, that's also okay, I do need the files on there either way – Hassan Aug 13 '15 at 2:38
  • You want to open the backup disk itself in Finder. Just updated the question in regards to Time Capsules. – Ezekiel Elin Aug 13 '15 at 18:35
  • I don't know which folder I need to select. There are many of them, and I just don't know when I added the files I need. – Hassan Aug 23 '15 at 15:10
  • Is there a way to do this with the regular interface? At least that shows the most recent files. – Hassan Aug 23 '15 at 15:11

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