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Do I Still Need TimeMachine?

I just upgraded to a new MBP 16, replacing a 10 yr old mbp. Obviously, I missed a few Mac OS changes.

I rent a bunch of space in iCloud from Apple to share among all of my devices. I think (emphasis on think) I have every thing pointed to my space on iCloud (pix, doc, etc.). Although the Documents folder on my MBP has far less in it than the Document folder in iCloud, all the stuff I put in that folder on the machine ends up in iCloud.

I have an old portable drive that I used for TimeMachine with my old MBP. But do I still need it? And why can’t I just point TimeMachine to my iCloud account anyway?

Rick – Patreon Supporter

Comments: 4 Responses to “Do I Still Need TimeMachine?”

    2 years ago

    Using iCloud does offer some protections. If you Mac is stolen, dies, is destroyed or otherwise fails, then you can get a new one, sign into your iCloud account, and you have all of your files. At least the ones you saved in iCloud Drive. If you saved any to your Home folder, or places like Movies, Pictures and external drives, then those wouldn’t be in iCloud. As long as you are also using iCloud Photo Library then your photos are saved in iCloud too.

    So Time Machine will backup all of your files, including the ones not in iCloud. That’s one way it is still needed.

    But it also protects you against mistakes. Say you open a file and work on it, deleting or changing something in the file. Then save it. Then realize the next day you want back what was deleted or saved in the file. With Time Machine you can go “back in time” and rescue the file the way it was yesterday, or last week, or 6 months ago. You can’t do that with iCloud.

    100% of my use for time machine is this. So I highly recommend still using Time Machine. Good to have 2 backups anyway, right?

    2 years ago

    Gary, related to this topic, does it matter if your Mac drive is in APFS format and your external, Time Machine drive (SATA) is in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format? Before I upgraded to Mojave, I was using Time Machine. During the upgrade, my MacBook Pro automatically got converted to APFS (I didn’t see an option to not do it). Do I need to reformat the TM drive to APFS and do a brand new backup now?

    2 years ago

    Cassie: No, it does not matter. In fact, Time Machine drives are ONLY Mac OS Extended format. If you tried to format the drive APFS, it would reformat it Mac OS Extended when you set up Time Machine.

    2 years ago

    Thanks, Gary!

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