How to Use a Time Machine Drive for Both File Storage and Backups

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Whenever you arrange Time Machine, your Mac needs to use a whole exterior drive completely for backups. Right here’s how one can get round that and use a Time Machine drive each for backups and file storage.

Utilizing a 2 TB exterior drive for Time Machine backups of a Mac with a 128 GB solid-state drive doesn’t make a lot sense. Higher to put that exterior drive to use storing video recordsdata and different knowledge you would possibly want.

The Fast and Soiled Methodology: Put Recordsdata on the Time Machine Drive

The best means to retailer recordsdata in your Time Machine drive is simply putting the recordsdata on there straight. Plug in your Time Machine drive and open it within the Finder. You’ll see a folder named “Backups.backupdb”. Time Machine shops all its backup recordsdata below this folder. Simply go away this folder alone and let Time Machine use it usually.

Place private recordsdata and folders exterior the Backups.backupdb folder. Don’t place something contained in the Backups.backupdb folder—Time Machine routinely deletes recordsdata and folders inside there to release house, so chances are you’ll discover your private recordsdata deleted if put them there.

Keep in mind that Time Machine requires the drive be formatted with the Mac’s HFS+ file system, which implies you received’t have the opportunity to simply entry these recordsdata on Home windows PCs or the rest that isn’t a Mac. Time Machine may even work towards filling up your complete drive, not leaving further room for your recordsdata.

A Higher Choice: Create Separate Partitions for Backups and Recordsdata

The perfect means to do that is to create separate partitions on the exterior drive. Use one for Time Machine backups and one other for your private recordsdata. This can guarantee your Time Machine backups don’t develop too giant, so you’ll all the time have room for your private recordsdata. You can too make the recordsdata partition an ExFAT partition, which implies you should use it with Home windows PCs and virtually some other machine you may join an exterior drive to.

You’ll want to use the Disk Utility constructed into your Mac to work with partitions. Press Command+Area, kind Disk Utility, and press Enter to open it.

Within the Disk Utility window, choose the drive you’re utilizing for Time Machine backups and click on the Partition button within the toolbar.

In the event you’ve already arrange the drive to work with Time Machine, click on the “+” button to create a new partition, then resize it by shifting the dial or by typing a particular quantity.

Select the ExFAT file system should you plan to use this drive with Home windows computer systems, or Mac OS Prolonged should you’re simply utilizing it with different Macs. Give the brand new partition a significant title—like “Recordsdata”—to preserve monitor of which partition is which.

In the event you’re establishing the drive from scratch, or don’t thoughts wiping your Time Machine backups and beginning over from scratch, you too can try this. Open the Partition instrument for the drive, then delete any partitions that exist. Create two clearly labeled partitions, selecting Mac OS Prolonged (Case-sensitive) for the Time Machine partition and ExFAT for the file storage partition.

Warning: This course of will wipe all of the recordsdata on the drive! You’ll have to begin utilizing Time Machine from scratch, so that you’ll lose any outdated backups and private recordsdata that could be saved anyplace on the drive.

In the event you resized an current Time Machine partition, Time Machine ought to routinely preserve utilizing it for backups. In the event you wiped your drive otherwise you’re establishing Time Machine from scratch, you’ll want to level it at that particular partition. Select the Backups partition in Time Machine’s settings and Time Machine will again up to that particular partition solely, not your complete drive.

Each time you join your drive to your pc, you’ll see two completely different volumes. These are the 2 partitions on the drive. It can save you recordsdata to the recordsdata partition, leaving the backups partition for Time Machine alone. Keep in mind that the drive could also be sluggish should you’re studying and writing recordsdata whereas Time Machine is backing up to it.

Recordsdata you retailer on the exterior drive received’t be backed up by Time Machine, so bear that in thoughts. If the recordsdata are necessary, you’ll need to have redundant backups. However, in the event that they’re simply movies and different kinds of knowledge you could possibly obtain once more from the Web, there’s no want to have a number of redundant copies. You may all the time simply obtain them once more in case your drive fails.

Picture Credit score: Piotr Adamowicz/

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