Back Up Mac Computers to an External Device


All of your personal files should be saved within your username folders (i.e. your Desktop, Documents, Library, Movies, Music, Pictures, and Sites folders). If your files are not stored within your username account, it is important to re-arrange your files, so you can easily back up your computer.


  1. Click the Finder icon on your desktop
  2. Click on the Macintosh HD icon
  3. Click on the Users icon
  4. Click on your username to select it
  5. Select your data:
  6. Control click on your username to display the pull-down menu
  7. Select Copy "your username" from the menu
  8. Backup your data: Paste your files onto an external device.

This image shows the Copy folder action to select when backing up your Elon folder to an external device.


Handy Hint
  • For backups of individual files, network storage, a jump drive, or CDs are appropriate.
  • For full backups of all of your computer data, we encourage the use of an external hard drive.
    • For instructions on how to automatically back up your full system using Time Machine, a program built into the Mac OSx 10.5 or higher, click here.
After completing these steps, remove your storage media and keep it in a safe and separate location away from your computer. It should always be kept away from extreme heat, extreme cold, and magnetic items.


Article ID: 78063
Fri 5/10/19 9:38 AM
Tue 7/14/20 1:43 PM
Internal or External