Have you ever ruined an essay by over-editing it? Did you ever mistakenly delete a huge chunk of a report, and not realize it until days later? Maybe you thought you’d saved another copy of that important document, but your Mac seems to have swallowed it. No problem, because your Mac saves versions of your documents as you go, and lets you browse and restore them. And it’s all built in to — yes — Time Machine.
Wait, what? Why would you want to back up your iCloud Photo Library? Apple takes care of that, right? After all, the clue is in the name — the library is stored in iCloud.
Not so fast. That’s true, but what if something screws up at Apple’s end? What if you lose access to your iCloud account? What if, what if, what if? In most cases, you’ll be fine, but being a good computer nerd, you probably understand the value of redundant backups. So today we’ll see how to make sure all your images are safely stored. Just in case.
What happens if you’re working on a document and you realize you screwed it up? Maybe you deleted a few paragraphs without realizing. Or you’ve just been writing a bunch of nonsense for the past half-hour and wish you could go back to where you were before? On the Mac, you can easily do just that. It’s called versions, and it’s automatic.
Using versions, you can easily browse and restore previous versions of any document. Some apps have this built in, so you can do it right there inside the app itself. But the Finder also supports versions, so you can revert to a previous state of almost anything.
iCloud backups are just about the best thing ever. Not only is all your data safe if your iPhone is lost, or dies, but you can also use it to setup a new iPhone with minimal fuss. But iCloud is in the cloud, and local backups also have their uses. For instance, maybe you don’t like the idea of all your data on someone else’s computer? Or perhaps you just want double-protection in case you can’t access iCloud some time.
Or maybe you just have slow internet, or you’re on a long trip away and there’s no Wi-Fi, only data-capped cellular?
For the Mac there’s Time Machine, which automatically makes incremental backups. For iOS, you can use iMazing, a multi-purpose Mac app which can backup your iPhone or iPad to your Mac, and do it automatically, and wirelessly, so it should be as seamless as Time Machine or iCloud Backups. Let’s see it in action.
Apple’s AirPort routers introduced one game-changing new feature to the world: easy backups. Time Machine is Apple’s automatic backup utility, and it made backups easy enough for non-nerds to use regularly.
The easiest way to use it was to buy a Time Capsule, a wireless AirPort router with a hard drive built in. Before Time Capsule, nobody backed up. After Time Capsule, anyone could keep hourly, daily and weekly backups without even thinking about it. But now that Apple has stopped making Time Capsule, and AirPort routers in general, how do you keep using Time Machine?
MacOS High Sierra upgraded the Mac’s under-the-hood file system, replacing the decades-old HFS+ with the shiny new APFS. What this means for the user is way faster file copying, the ability to revert to previous versions of your documents, and several other neat features. But it also means that you may have a lot less free space left on your storage disk, thanks to APFS’ habit of using it to store special ‘dark matter.’Today we’ll learn what this dark matter is, and how to free up disk space.
I do wonder who might need their Time Machine backups to run every single hour. With the versioning tools built into Dropbox, or into text editors like Ulysses, and the reliability of SSD drives, hourly backups may be overkill. Or they may just be annoying. Or, if you have an older Mac, they may slow things down while you’re trying to work. Whatever your reason for complaining about hourly Time Machine backups, then, TimeMachineEditor has you covered. It’s a free utility that takes control of Time Machine scheduling.
This week on The CultCast: Is a secret Apple project stalling Mac updates? It wouldn’t be the first time. Plus: Apple teases Black Friday deals; AirPort routers are walking dead, and the Mac Pro might be next; the future of Time Machine; why iPad should be an iOS/OS X hybrid; and Jony Ive’s new role designing Apple itself.
Black Friday is still a week away, but that doesn’t mean the savings are: Best Buy is already offering its Black Friday price on a MacBook Air. That, plus iPad keyboards, a Time Capsule and a MacBook Pro are in this week’s best Apple deals.