MacBook’s Time Machine Pane - dummies

By Mark L. Chambers

MacBook users are thrilled with the Time Machine automatic backup feature that’s built in to Mavericks. You can easily configure how Time Machine handles your backups from this pane. Of course, you need an external drive (or an AirPort Time Capsule) for the best backup security. Note that Time Machine doesn’t work with a CD or DVD rewriteable drive; you must use an external drive or a USB flash drive.


To enable Time Machine, click the On toggle switch, and then select a disk to hold your Time Machine backup data on the sheet that appears. Click Use Disk to confirm your choice. (Your external backup drive should be at least twice the capacity of your internal drive.) If you have an external Time Capsule wireless unit, click Set Up instead.

By default, Time Machine backs up all the drives on your system; however, you may not need to back up some folders on your MacBook. To save time and backup drive space, Time Machine allows you to exclude specific folders from the backup process. Click Options, and then click the Add button to select the drives or folders you want to exclude. They appear in the Exclude These Items list.

To remove an exclusion, select it in the list and click the Delete button (with the minus sign). Note that the Estimated Size of Full Backup figure increases, and Time Machine adds the item you deleted from the list to the next backup.

If you enable the Show Time Machine in Menu Bar check box, you can elect to back up your Mac immediately by clicking the Time Machine icon in the Finder menu bar and then choosing Back Up Now.

By default, Mavericks warns you when deleting older backup files, but you can turn this off from the Options sheet as well.