What to Do If the Backup or Restoring Data with Time Machine Fails?

Time Machine – the system is quite reliable and fast. However, sometimes, it happens that Mac users cannot create a backup, or the computer cannot select a disk to save information.

To understand the reason for the failure, firstly, it should be known that Time Machine requires an external storage device that is sold separately. It can be:

  • A USB-linked external hard drive, FireWire or Thunderbolt; a Time Capsule or macOS Server on the network;
  • A Time Capsule:
  • macOS Server on the network;
  • An external hard drive connected to the USB port of the AirPort Extreme base station on the network.

If the backup drive is not connected in one of these ways, Time Machine may not work.

When you checked everything, but still face the problem, audit next items:

  • Mac in general;
  • AirPort base station;
  • Network connection;
  • Backup itself;
  • Drives.

Checking your Mac

Ensure that the latest version of the software is installed on your machine.

Restart the computer and see if the problem is resolved.

Test the AirPort base station

If you use a drive connected to an AirPort Extreme base station or AirPort Time Capsule, make sure you have the latest version of AirPort.

Reopen the base station – to do that, disconnect it from AC power for at least 5 seconds, then connect again. Check, if the issue continues.

Review network connection

If you perform the back up to a server, drive connected to an AirPort Extreme base station or AirPort Time Capsule, ensure that your Mac is connected to the same network as the drive itself. Remember, that you can choose a wireless network from the list in the Wi-Fi status menu.

Check the backup copy

If you copy to the server, the drive connected to the AirPort Extreme base station or AirPort Time Capsule, ensure that the current Time Machine backup does not have problems that will affect the future process.

Click and hold down the Option key on the keyboard, open the Time Machine menu and choose Verify Backups.

If the system finds a problem in the backup copy, a message containing detailed information is displayed. In this case, follow the instructions on the screen of your computer.

The problem can be on disks

  • If you use a drive, which is connected to a Mac port or an AirPort Extreme base station, ensure it is enabled.
  • When you use a USB hub or similar device, connect the drive straight to base station or Mac.
  • Backing up on a third-party external drive, make sure that the drive has the latest firmware version.
  • If the copy is created on an external drive, check out its formatting. For Time Machine, the external disk must be formatted as a Mac boot disk: Mac OS Extended (Journaled) with a GUID Partition Table (GPT). Selecting a disk formatted differently to use with Time Machine will trigger Mac to automatically prompt you to clear it for Time Machine’s proper operation.

If the drive’s formatting is correct, turn off the system and check for these issues:

  • To verify the AirPort Time Capsule drive, perform the Hard Disk Check procedure for the AirPort Time Capsule.
  • To check the external drive that is connected to the computer, open the Disk Utility in the Applications directory. Then, test the drive through the First Aid feature in Disk Utility. Repeat the actions to audit the boot disk.

After reading these tips, you definitely will not have problems with the backup.