I am currently backing up my MacBook Pro late 2013 to a Time Machine. If something happens to my Mac (I can't use it anymore), can I retrieve my files and data onto another Mac? Thanks.

  • Yes. Doing it right now from my Mom's old computer to her new computer. Works like a charm.
    – IconDaemon
    Jul 10, 2016 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


Yes that is exactly one of the reasons it's great to have a Time Machine backup.

With the new Mac, if you want to restore the data from the Time Machine backup, ensure it is connected to the new Mac. Then power on the new Mac and follow the setup instructions.

When you get to the question asking if you want to migrate data you would choose the option to do so from a Time Machine backup.

Choose the Time Machine drive (shows up as a green icon) and then click next. Choose what data you want to restore and then click next again.

For clarification and further information have a look at, Move your content to a new Mac and How to transfer backups from Time Machine to a new Mac.

  • No worries. Don't forget to regularly connect your drive and do another backup, at least monthly. You can force a Time Machine backup to occur straight away once the drive is connected by going to the Time Machine icon in the menubar in the top right corner and choosing Backup Now. Jul 10, 2016 at 17:03
  • I have my Mac automatically backup each night if it is being charged. Jul 10, 2016 at 17:09
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    Important note: To save a lot of trouble later, don't postpone the migration. When asked during the initial setup of the new machine if you want to migrate now or later, do it now. If you postpone, you will end up with two accounts rather than one nice shiny migration.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 10, 2016 at 17:29
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    Good tip @Tetsujin Jul 10, 2016 at 17:32
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    @DavidBaverstock - a lesson I learned the hard way. My nix chops got a good workout merging the two accounts afterwards... not something I really ever want to try a second time ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 10, 2016 at 17:37

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