Time Machine Backup from macOS 13 Ventura

With Time Machine, Apple offers a system-internal tool under macOS that helps you to create a backup of your Mac computer on an external storage medium. This data backup makes it easier to restore the system, the installed apps and your data and files if they are ever deleted. Such is a hard drive failure on the Mac or an attack with Ransomware half as bad. In this guide I have put together for you how the Time Machine backup on Mac macOS 13 Adventure functions. There are also a few tips for use. At the end you will also find a video about it.

In line with this topic: Hard drive recommendation for Time Machine backup

The Time Machine backup on the Apple Mac from macOS Ventura: Here are the instructions for finding the settings and using them correctly to back up data on the hard drive. You will also receive tips for setting up and using external hard drives.
The Time Machine backup on the Apple Mac from macOS Ventura: Here are the instructions for finding the settings and using them correctly to back up data on the hard drive. You will also receive tips for setting up and using external hard drives.

The right hard drive for the Time Machine backup on Mac

Based on the size of your Mac hard drive and how much of its memory has already been used, you should choose the storage capacity of the external hard drive. So if you have a 1 TB SSD in your computer, the backup hard drive should also have at least 1 TB of storage space. It is also advisable to only use the hard drive for backups. Installing additional files, folders, systems, apps and so on can result in the loss of required space. For individual project files, photos and the like, it is better to use another hard drive or a USB stick.

In addition, you should not use a single backup hard drive permanently on the Mac, but only for backup creation and system recovery (if necessary). Because if the Mac breaks down due to overvoltage / a short circuit, this can also affect the Thunderbolt / USB connection and thus the external hard drive. You can find more tips, including how to format the hard drive correctly before using it as a Time Machine medium for the first time, in the guide linked above. There it goes among other things to the questions SSD or HDD? and 3,5 inch or 2,5 inch?.

Find Time Machine in System Preferences

Before you start Time Machine, you should get a dedicated external hard drive and format it. Once these steps have been completed, start your Mac, iMac or MacBook and connect the storage medium to a Thunderbolt or USB port. Then follow these steps to get to the correct Apple “Time Machine” menu:

  1. Click on the in the top left Apple logo ()
  2. Choose from the drop down menu System settings ... from
  3. Click in the left column General and then right up time Machine

Details about automatically creating Time Machine backups

Before you now set up the connected hard drive as a backup volume, you should read the information that can be found in the menu created for this purpose. Because there are certain intervals in which backups and snapshots are saved and overwritten. If there is not enough storage space, older backups will also be deleted:

Time Machine backs up your computer and keeps local snapshots, as well as hourly backups for the last 24 hours, daily backups for the last month, and weekly backups for all previous months. The oldest backups and local snapshots are deleted when space is needed.

Set up Time Machine from macOS Ventura

If you have called up the above-mentioned menu of the system settings, then only the button "Add backup volume..." is available for the further procedure during the first setup. There you click on it to set up the connected hard drive. You may be asked for your password for this. However, this step may also be omitted. After that is done, you select the hard disk and click on "Configure Volume...". 

You can then specify certain settings for future backups to be created. For example, they can be encrypted and a password set for decryption. If you choose this option, you will have to enter the password twice – in each case in the “New password” and “Re-enter password” fields provided. Under "memory" you can enter a mnemonic so that you can access your backup even if you can't think of the right password.

Basically, you can already click on “Done”. Unless you want to define a disk usage limit, which is possible in the corresponding section of the window. If you only use the hard drive for your Mac backups, as recommended, then you should not set a limit. If you also have to use the hard drive for other things, or if you just want to leave a few gigabytes free to be on the safe side, click on “Own” under “Hard disk usage limit” and then specify the storage capacity that can be used for backups. When that's done, click on "Done".

The automatic backup may take some time

Depending on how full your Mac hard drive is and how many different files need to be transferred, the first backup may take some time. It will start immediately after setting up the external hard drive as described above. A loading bar shows you the progress of the backup creation. Below that is a percentage of the progress and the estimated remaining time. 

Click the button below the display to make further settings. Or wait for a notification that the backup is complete. As long as the hard drive remains connected, Time Machine runs automatically in the background and regularly saves system images with the latest changes (see above). However, as already mentioned, the hard drive should not necessarily always be connected, as system failures can also damage it. Tips on that below.

Starting a Time Machine backup manually from macOS Ventura

In order to create manual backups, a hard drive for Time Machine must also first be identified and set up. To do this, follow the steps explained and illustrated above. Then you will find the "Time Machine" icon in the top right of the Mac menu bar, which consists of a clock face around which a circular curved arrow is placed. In its menu, the following procedure for manual Mac backups from macOS Ventura results:

  1. Closes the previously as backup volume configured hard disk
  2. Click on that Time machine icon in the macOS menu bar
  3. Pick the point Back up now from

You can then click on the menu bar icon at any time to view the progress of the initiated backup and/or cancel the creation of the system image. You can also access the “Time Machine” settings in the macOS system settings via its menu. By the way, you can use the plus symbol (+) to add more hard drives to the storage media list there, if you want to use several storage devices to create backups. 

Permanent + Manual: Backup system with two hard drives

On the one hand, you shouldn't leave your backup medium on the computer 24/7 so that system or hardware damage doesn't have a chance of damaging the backed up data. On the other hand, you want to include every current change in real time in the backup so that you can restore the latest processing status at any time. To be completely on the safe side here, you can use two hard drives.

You leave the first hard drive set up for Time Machine connected to the Mac while you work, so that it notes changes at any time and, with the help of the so-called Snapshots always notes the current processing status of files and folders. When the work is done, you unplug this first hard drive, connect the second and use it to make a manual backup. Once this is complete, you also remove this disk and turn off the Mac.

In this way, in the event of a spontaneous system failure, short circuit, overvoltage or other error, you have the chance to restore the latest status of the system and files on the repaired or new Mac. However, if the hard drive connected at the time of the damage was also affected, you can still use the backup from the previous day, which was not damaged because the second storage used for it was not connected at the time of the damage.

Official Apple sources on the topic

  • Support document with instructions and screenshots: Read here
  • YouTube video from the Apple Support channel (English): View here

Do you have any questions or tips on the subject? Then please leave a comment!

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16 comments on “Time Machine Backup from macOS 13 Ventura”

  1. Well, I love macOS and I can't have a say in Ventura yet, but I personally find the cramp Apple has been delivering with Timemachine for years to be terrifying. In my opinion, Timemachine only works for fixed Macs connected to the LAN. The Macbook user was not thought of at all.
    With the latter it happens that he just closes the MB - TM has to cope with that .... but it doesn't

    Ever since Sierra, I've had recurring defective fuses with TM, days of long runs and never-ending problem searches. I don't even want to count how many times I just had to create a new backup because the old one didn't work anymore :-(

    Has that gotten better with Ventura?

    After trying Acronis and Duplicati in addition to TM and backing up important data via FreeFileSync for a while, I've been on Carbon Copy Cloner and Bork (with Vorta frontend) since January.
    Unfortunately, you still have to lend a hand with the script and include amphetamines, since "putting away" the notebook here also leads to an abort (but at least not to a defective fuse).

    1. So for me, Carbon Copy Cloner also runs cleanly under Ventura. No crash, although it always writes 1 TB of data. I only use Time Machine on the side. I would never recommend that as the only backup as too often it just doesn't work when you need it.

  2. Thanks for the info - between the years I'm due to update to Ventura.
    I can only recommend Borg/Vorta as an additional data backup!
    Here, hashes are formed from data packets that are secured. The advantage of copying or renaming data is that it is not backed up again.
    Therefore, the backup is super fast. Restoring is done via macFUSE - just mount the volume and browse inside.
    I have a 256gb stick on my Fritzbox to back up the most important things and have now forgotten that Borg is running in the background :-)

  3. Hi Jens,

    First of all, I would like to thank you for your site, here you get direct, practical information in a nutshell and in the comments there is a normal, friendly culture of discussion. Certainly not a matter of course!

    As a freshly switched Windows user, I wanted to contact you with a problem that I found on the www. couldn't google a solution:
    I am currently backing up my Mac (Ventura 13.2.1) to an external HDD (APFS) using Time Machine. So far so good, but I had to realize that I cannot include my external SSD (exFAT), on which my raw photo data is located, in the backup on TimeMachine, more precisely, I cannot remove the SSD from the list of media not to be backed up Remove (under Settings/General/TimeMachine/Options) because the minus button is greyed out and doesn't work.

    I've been thinking in different directions... Could this be due to the formatting of my external SSD or my Time Machine HDD? Do all media have to be formatted the same? Is there a release somewhere in the settings that I've overlooked?
    And does the problem also exist with CarbonCopyCloner? Because, following your advice, I plan to use CCC to make a second backup copy.

    I would be very grateful for an answer and help!

    1. Hello Johannes! Thank you for the praise. That's the way it's supposed to be: I don't want beginners to get silly comments - like on many forums - just because they ask things that some Mac users take for granted. Here you can confidently ask anything that's on your mind. ;-)
      But to your two questions:
      1. Yes, unfortunately exFAT does not back up Time Machine. Therefore you cannot remove the volume from the list.
      2. Carbon Copy Cloner will of course make you a backup of it. The program copes with exFAT without any problems. I also believe the online backup service”Backblaze', which I've been using for years, backs up your data from this external SSD.

  4. Hi Jens,

    Thank you for the article, however, since the switch to MacOS Ventura 13.2.1, my iMac no longer recognizes my WD MyBook hard drive and no longer displays it. Of course, the Time Machine backups no longer worked either.

    Strangely, I can check the disk with the WD tools (everything is fine), so it's kind of there already.

    Any idea? So far I've only read that there are problems with "CD" drives.

    VG Jens

    1. Phew... right off the bat I have no idea what the problem could be here. Did you connect the hard drive directly to the Mac? And doesn't it show up in Disk Utility? It is indeed very strange that it no longer works after the switch.

  5. Hey Jens,
    do you have any adapter to connect in between?
    My port replicator doesn't do it anymore either since Ventura. An HDMI adapter is also “wide”

    If necessary, open the console, go to crash reports and connect the HD. Are there any error messages?

    Or google it... Under Catalina there were also problems: https://communities.apple.com/de/thread/250966033

  6. Good morning,

    Many thanks for the hints!
    While there are many articles about Time Machine, unfortunately they are never really specific.

    The hard drive is connected directly to one of the two USB C ports (iMac Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017).

    Have now completely erased and reformatted the disk – Mac OS Extended (Journaled). At least it's now recognized again and I can successfully test it with Disk Utility.
    I hope that Jens' recommendation for the file system also applies to macOS Ventura. (?)

    Will do a full drive test again with WD Drive Utilities and see what's up with rum.

    Incidentally, the disk is always connected, but is also switched off when the iMac is switched off and on (WD MyBook 12 TB). - Is this a problem? Should I always leave them plugged in?

    Any recommendation for a reliable alternative to Time Machine backups?

    Thank you ever.

    VG Jens

    1. Hi Jens! I think AFPS is the right choice for macOS Ventura. I need to update the article. 😊
      But if Time Machine macOS Extended doesn't get along, it'll report it.

      Switching the hard drive on and off with the iMac is not a problem.
      VG, Jens

  7. As far as I know, APFS is the format for SSD and optimized for it. So MAC OS Extended would still be the right choice for a hard drive.

    Regarding a reliable alternative.
    I have had an MBP for 15 years and have been looking for 10 good backup tools for almost 2 years.
    For me TM is not the best choice. In the past (before Ventura), long-running and broken, blown ™ fuses were part of normal day-to-day business. I have had to reset the TM countless times. This does not speak for a procedure that one must be able to rely on.

    My recommendation would clearly be CarbonCopyCloner.
    As a 2nd variant for backing up pure databases, take a look at BORG with the frontend VORTA (freeware)
    A combination of both tools has been running stably for me for 2 years now and without a crash.

    (BTW: In my opinion, the reliability of TM has improved over the course of the macOS versions. So I can no longer say how things are with Venutra).

  8. Hallo,

    Thanks again to everyone for the tips and advice!

    I think, since the disk is again not accessible for Time Machine, although the first large backup was created without any problems, I will now download the Carbon Copy Cloner 6 program and save it on another disk in parallel for testing purposes. If what is promised on the site really works, then the program is actually a perfect alternative to Time Machine and does exactly the same thing. Here and on the net there is actually only good information about it and I don't feel like searching for a long time for the solution anymore.

    Thanks again!

    VG Jens

    1. You definitely can't go wrong with CCC. The program is really good and is constantly evolving. The programmer takes very good care of the app.

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