How To Backup Mac To An External Hard Drive Without A Time Machine

When you install more applications on your Mac, it will run out of space at some point. In that scenario, you may want to back up some applications to your external hard drive. 

Time Machine is the default option for Mac users to back up their data in a streamlined manner. But the problem is Time Machine has some shortcomings as it will work only with the hard drive plugged into your Mac before running the backup. Moreover, setting up Time Machine on a Network Attached Storage device is a tedious process. Therefore, it is always an extra layer of security to back up your data to an external hard drive.

On this web page, we will show you three different methods to back up your data from your Mac without Time Machine.


You can back up your Mac to an external hard drive manually. Take your external hard drive, plug it into your Mac, and then back up your important data. Here is the detailed procedure for you.

  • Click Finder and select the Preferences option.
  • Next, under the Show these items on the desktop section, examine the hard disks connected to your Mac.
  • Create a new folder in your external hard drive and give it a name.
  • Open your Mac disk and highlight all the files you want to back up. Then, drag these files and folders to the folder you have just created.
  • Wait until the backup process gets completed. The duration to back up your data varies depending upon the backup files.


  • Manual backup consumes significant time. In case you don’t have time to back up your Mac, you can try a third-party application to back up your data.
  • On the Internet, you can find several backup tools. Pick the one you prefer the most and download it from its official site.
  • Once you have downloaded the backup tool, open and run the software.
  • Set up the destination to archive your Mac data and start adding the files and folders according to your preferences.
  • You can also schedule the backup process according to your preference. When you do this, you don’t need to back up your data manually.


  • Mac users can also use iCloud to back up their data. It lets them create a backup set and access them across your devices.
  • When you choose iCloud to back up your data, you don’t need to run behind any external hard drives.
  • If you are not satisfied with iCloud, you can try Dropbox or Google Drive. They are the best alternatives to iCloud. They enable you to synchronize and share your files effectively.
  • Just install the software on your Mac, create an account, and go ahead to back up all your important data.

This is how you should back up your Mac to an external hard drive without Time Machine. In case you still have questions, you can reach our technical experts for assistance.

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