Mac OS X comes with a built in tool called Time Machine which can be used to backup your System and also create restore point at various intervals. Once Time Machine is setup, it runs a automated incremental backup every hour. This sometimes can be a problem when you are tight on Backup Disk space or when you want to control when to backup your System. In this article we will show you how to overcome this problem by running manual backups using Time Machine instead of using the default automated backups.
Please note, using Time Machine to backup manually may limit your ability to restore to hourly (past 24 hours), daily (past month) and weekly (previous months) restore points. Instead, you will only be able to restore to a point when the manual backup was initiated. To run manual backups using Time Machine follow the below steps.
Open System Preferences > Time Machine, unlock to make changes, then click on “Select Backup Disk” button to specify a Backup Disk.
Select the Drive you would like to use as a Backup Disk from available list of Disks, check the “Encrypt backups” check box and click “Use Disk” Button. I would highly recommend using a external Drive as a safe guard against disk failures.
Once the initial System backup is complete, Time Machine will then begin to encrypt the Backup Disk. Backup and encryption process usually takes a while (couple of hours depending on your data), so plan ahead.
After the initial backup and encryption is complete and if Time Machine is left on, Time Machine will run an incremental backup of your System every hour, which can cause you to run out of Backup Disk space pretty quickly, especially if you have a busy machine and a relatively small Backup Disk.
So, to run manual backups using Time Machine, simply move the switch to “OFF” position as shown in the screen shot below. This will turn off Time Machine automated backups.
To continue taking future backups manually simply click on the Time Machine icon in the task bar and select “Back Up Now” from the drop down list. This will take a incremental System backup from the point the last automatic or manual backup was run.