How do I (automatically) backup my Time Capsule?

I'm worried that I will lose important data like photo's and video's when the harddrive of my Time Capsule crashes.

2 Answers 2


Apple does not provide an automatic function for this.

You can manually Use Airport Utility and its "archive disk" function to make a snapshot copy of the current Time Capsule drive to an external disk connected directly into the Time Capsule's USB port.

This can take several hours. But if your time capsule dies then you could copy these files back to a new Time Capsule or a repaired Time Capsule.

See pondini.org.

  • 1
    Or several "several hours" =P. The APTC's USB port is only USB 2.0 compliant, even to this day, which blows my mind (way to go, Apple, nothing like seeding your profit margin by using 17-year-old technology). USB 2.0 is constrained to ~35MB/sec sustained throughput. A full archive of my 2.4 TB filled APTC primary backup disk takes almost 24 hours. Not joking. Worse, during the archive, client backups are disabled. And the archive is not differential. It's the whole thing every time. In a word: painful. USB3.0 would have have that at ~ 2 hours. Grrr.
    – WhozCraig
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 12:45

The only way you can back up a Time Machine disk is to create a disk image, as TM uses special hard links to backup differential items.

You can add another disk to your Time Machine preferences. OS X will then back up to each one, switching every hour (i.e. 1:00: HD, 2:00: TC, 3:00: HD, 4:00: TC, etc...). It's very easy: http://www.maintain.se/blog/backing-up-to-multiple-time-machine-drives/

  • Hi @ironcraftman thanks for your answer. Could you explain in more detail or linkt to a step by step manual/article? I'm having trouble understanding the precise steps to make your answer work for me. Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 7:18

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