Nowhere does anyone ask; What is AUTOMATICALLY backed up by Time Machine ?

Who can give a straight answer please ? Everyone talks about backup - but what ????

QA Apple Time Capsule

QA Apple Time Capsule

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3 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    Clarifying and expanding on a few of the other answers:

    Time Capsule is a networked hard-drive, and you can access it like a file server, so you can manually copy anything you want on to it.

    Mac OS X includes "Time Machine" software, which can store backups on the Time Capsule (or an external hard drive).

    Time Machine:
    - Watches for files which change and makes a note of them (even when not near your Time Capsule)
    - Next time you are connected to the same network as the Time Capsule, will automatically push these changes to the backup being kept on that device.

    Time Machine also provides a nice recovery interface to allow you to quickly find deleted/old versions of files (in the backup).

    Time Machine doesn't by default back up everything -- it ignores system files and directories, that you normally wouldn't need (as they come on the Mac OS X disk); and focusses on user documents. So there is a minor risk if an application uses non-standard directories for storage, that it wouldn't be backed up. You can turn off 'ignore system files' in the settings I recall.

    If your Mac dies and is replaced/etc, then when setting up your new mac you get asked something like 'do you wish to restore from a time capsule backup'.

  • Time Machine software can back up only what is located on Leopard, Snow Leopard, or Lion Mac internal hard drives/SSDs and their directly connected USB hard drives/SSDs. It will automatically backup WHATEVER you have chosen for it to backup.

    Time Machine is software that is not located on the Time Capsule, but is located on your Mac as part of the above versions of OS X.

  • It acts the same as a normal external hard drive would. It will automatically back up EVERYTHING from your Hard Drive/SSD, as if it were an exact copy of your computer.