One of the most important things that anyone must do when using a computer is to perform a backup of their files. If one does not perform a backup, they may be prone to losing their music, documents, videos or other important data. The Time Machine backup option is embedded into the Leopard OS for Mac computers and is easily accessed. Additionally, when using the system, it is able to perform backups easily without causing confusion to the end user.

In order to use The Time Machine, one must first acquire the appropriate hardware materials. In order to utilize the features of the Time Machine, one must have an external hard drive with either a USB or FireWire connection. Typically a standard size backup hard drive ranges from 300GB to 500GB upwards of 1TB. Once the person has acquired their external backup hard drive, they may or may not need to format it for use. This depends on the specific hard drive and will need to be researched before using the hard disc for backing up data.

When the person is ready, they may plug their external hard drive into their computer and wait a moment for the Mac OS to prompt the user if they would like to use the Time Machine feature to perform a hard drive backup. The user will be asked if they would like to perform a “Big Backup” with the Time Machine. The user then needs to simply click on the “Use as Backup Disk” option to backup the contents of their hard disc to the backup drive.

Once this option has been chosen, the preferences window will be displayed so that the user may configure various options as they see fit. Besides setting the backup option to perform periodically, the person may also deselect some items from being included in the backup to help save data space. In order to select this option, the person needs to click on the “Options” button in the Time Machine preferences window and click on the “+” button. Next the individual can add specific files or even entire directories to the exclude list before continuing. If a directory is added that shouldn’t have been, it can be removed by clicking on the “-” button and choosing the specific file or directory. Once done, the person may click on the “Exclude” button to add the items to the list.

To start the backup process, the person may click the “Back up Now” button located in the Time Machine preferences window to begin the process. The first time that the Time Machine backup process is used, a process window will be displayed on the user’s desktop so they may monitor the backup progress.