How To Restore Mac From Time Machine MacOS Recovery Title Image

You’ve not upgraded to MacOS Big Sur yet. And need to know how to restore your Mac from your Time machine backup.

MacOS 10.13 High Sierra uses MacOS Recovery and can restore everything back to your Mac in one go.

On newer versions of the Mac operating system you need to install MacOS first. And then use Migration Assistant to restore your user data. And or applications, system files and other files.

If you have a Mac running Catalina, or Big Sur and need to restore your Mac. Then click this link. And go over to this article ‘How To Restore Mac From Time Machine.

Otherwise please read on.

What You’ll Need To Do A Full Time Machine Restore With MacOS Recovery

1. Your external hard drive with your Time Machine backup on it.

2. Your MacBook Pro or Air or iMac.

When Wouldn’t You Restore Everything?

When your Mac’s internal drive is having problems and you’re getting errors.

If this is happening to you. Then it could be that the disk itself is failing. And there’s no way of fixing those problems with only a backup restoration.

This means you’ll need to fix any issues with your physical storage first. Before restoring your back up.

Use Disk Utility to check and fix problems with your internal disk.

Then restore your backup.

How To Restore Everything Back To Your Mac From Your Time Machine Backup

MacOS Recovery will restore all your files and applications. And your MacOS operating system from your Time Machine Backup.

MacOS Recovery is a utility built into the most basic system of your Mac. It’s there in case of a catastrophe.

You can use Recovery Mode to check your internal disk drive. And carry out repairs on your disk drive by using Disk Utility option.

But the bit we’re interested in here –  restore everything back to your Mac.

It’s your safety belt. Your if all else fails.

Starting Your Total Restore

1. Plug In Your Mac To External Power.

So you don’t run out of charge part way through.

2. Shutdown. Or Pick Restart From Your Apple Menu.

Restart Mac
Restart Mac

3. Hold Down Your Command Key And The R Key.

And while your Mac is booting up you hold down your Command key + your R key.

You hold down those keys till you hear a chime. And you’ll see the Apple logo.

Hold the keys down for a few seconds more.

Then you’ll see the MacOS Recovery Utilities screen.

MacOS Recovery Screen
MacOS Recovery Utilities

4. Plug In Your External USB Backup Disk.

Connect up your Mac to your external drive. The one with your Time Machine backup on it.

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5. Click ‘Restore From Time Machine Backup’.

It’s the first option on the menu. Click on that.

Then click Continue.

Your internal drive is then wiped clean.

And after that Time Machine will restore all your files. Everything from your backup disk to your Mac’s internal drive.

Even though Time Machine does incremental backups when it backs up. It will restore everything back to how your Mac was when you did your last backup.

Your full restore could be a while. It all depends on how fast your internal drive is. And how fast your external backup drive is.

That’s why it’s best to plug power into your Mac. So you can leave it till it’s finished.

In Closing

So, you’ve not yet upgraded to MacOS Big Sur and need to know how to restore your Mac from a Time Machine backup. Well, that’s okay!

MacOS 10.13 High Sierra will restore everything back to your Mac in one go. And recover all your data without missing a beat.

Check out other helpful articles on the site. Before you take that next step towards upgrading your Mac.

Related Articles

Restore From Time Machine To A New Mac (Whoosh)

Restore From Time Capsule

Related Links.

Important Changes to Recovery Mode




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