Backing Up MacBook Air to external hard drive... How?
November 5, 2019 7:28 AM   Subscribe

I would like to back up my new MacBook Air to an external hard drive, but have no idea how to configure this...

I have a new MacBook Air. I have an external 8TB hard drive that has a USB connection. How do I do this without a USB?

Is there some other adapter that I use through the power plug? Do I need to interface it with one of the other computers (see below) over WIFI and do it that way? Is there some secret external hard drive WIFI connection that I don't know about?

Please explain how I can make this happen like I am an idiot - which I may very well be - because I can't seem to find anything online except generic backup advice.

I have a 2015 MacBook Pro and a 2010 iMac as well as a couple of iPhones if any of that is useful at all.
posted by Tchad to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, you can buy an adapter that has a usb port on it. Amazon has several types, most of them have a variety of ports.
posted by ananci at 7:33 AM on November 5

The "power plug" you refer to is a USB-C connector. You can buy (from Apple or elsewhere) a USB-C to USB-A adapter, which will allow you to plug your hard disc in and back up using Time Machine as normal.
posted by parm at 7:34 AM on November 5 [1 favorite]

Specifically, one of these will do the job:

You can probably find cheaper ones on Amazon or similar.
posted by parm at 7:35 AM on November 5

Thanks, everybody! I thought there had to be something I was missing and that the power plug is a USB-C is exactly it. Perfect. Done and dusted.
posted by Tchad at 7:56 AM on November 5

Another thing you'll want is software to do the backup. Apple's TIme Machine is great for backing up your documents and things, but an application like SuperDuper lets you do a complete clone of your entire MacBook Air hard drive that you can boot from if you need to. Every week, I do a SuperDuper clone of my MacBook Pro's hard drive, just in case, and do incremental backups of my files with Time Machine onto a different drive.

(Also, look into a cloud backup solution as well. If you don't have at least one off-site backup of your stuff, you don't really have a backup. I like Backblaze.)
posted by SansPoint at 8:00 AM on November 5

Carbon Copy Cloner is similar to SuperDuper!, costs a bit more, and generally releases updates anticipating the current Mac OS release cycle before Apple releases the new OS. Either program is awesome, though.
posted by mwhybark at 11:57 AM on November 5 [1 favorite]

I've been a longtime user of both TimeMachine and SuperDuper, and heartily endorse both.

But use them on different drives.

Also & anecdotally, while there almost certainly do exist USB-C adapters from other parties, my sense is that people are far less likely to have trouble if they just buy the one at Apple.
posted by uberchet at 12:08 PM on November 5 [1 favorite]

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