Time Machine Backups Over a Network

Officially, you can use Time Machine to back up to a connected hard drive, or to a Time Capsule or Airport Extreme hard drive. But an unsupported mode allows you to back up to a drive connected to another computer on your network. You’ll need to run the Terminal program and execute the line “defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1”. Then mount the network drive you wish to use. Then you should see it turn up in the drives you can select in the Time Machine preferences.

Comments: 2 Responses to “Time Machine Backups Over a Network”

    7 years ago

    Hi Gary… I’m not quite getting these instructions. Run the Terminal app on my iMac? “back up to a drive connected to another computer on your network.”… is that “connected” via WiFi or cable?
    “mount the network drive you wish to use.” I don’t know what this means. I’m a 7 on a tech 10 scale… at least I thought I was, perhaps not. Any way to re-write this in a tech 4 lingo?
    Thanks again for your ever-present assistance. John

      7 years ago

      This post is from 2009. I don’t think this is needed anymore. Try adding the drive as you would normally add a new Time Machine drive.
      But, to answer your questions: this is about network drives. You don’t need to do anything like this for a local drive (connected to your Mac via USB, for instance). It would only be if you owned a drive that was part of some special network storage solution.
      As for “mount” — that simply means to get the drive so you can see it and its files on your Mac. Mount = connect to and have as drive in the Finder.

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