Backup – Restore – Clone

This page offers links to Apple's Support webpages relating to Backups and Time Machine, as well as to 3rd party software to clone, backup, and restore Macs, iPhones & iPads.

But first you need a Backup Plan.

3… 2… 1… Backup!

What is a 3–2–1 backup plan?

3 — You should have at least three copies of all files important enough that you would seriously regret losing them. I have actually needed to restore an extremely important file that wouldn't open, only to discover that 2 of my saved copies of that file also wouldn't open. 3 is the minimum for any important files for backup.

2 — You should have at least two different backup formats. Hard Drive, SSD, Cloud storage, Thumbdrive, TimeMachine — these are each different formats. If all of your backups are just one format, they may all fail for the same reason around the same time. I've had multiple thumbdrives used for storage all fail to be readable on the same day. I had used them all within recent months, but one day several of them quit reading/writing. All drives are manufactured in batches or lots, and devices from one lot tend to have similar failure times and faults. 2 different formats is a minimum.

1 — At least one of your backups should be Off-Site — not in the same building with your other backups. If something happens to that building — fire, earchquake, tornado, flood, Godzilla — you'll need a safe backup elsewhere. The Cloud is a good choice, though cloud backups may be slow, but even trading encrypted drives with a friend to store each-others off-site files is better than having all your eggs in 1 basket.

Remember, 3–2–1 is the minimum backup plan for all files that you value.

Schedule & Test

Run your backups regularly, and always check your new backup to be sure that your files are all there.

iDevice Backup & RestoreiPhones, iPads, iPods Touch

Mac Backup & Restore using Time Machine (TM)

Commercial Software to Backup, Restore, and Clone

3rd-party programs that do things a bit differently than Apple