Au­to­mate off­line back­ups

Take the pain out of re­mem­ber­ing to back up your most im­por­tant data

Mac Format - - IMPROVE -

Use tools that come with OS X to en­sure you have a backup sep­a­rate to Time Ma­chine


Any­one can do it


1 hour


OS X 10.4 or higher

We’re big fans of Time Ma­chine, but it’s not the be-all and end-all when it comes to back­ing up your Mac. Ev­ery back‑up rou­tine should have checks and fail-safes built in. Mul­ti­ple back­ups in mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions is good, so that if any of them should cor­rupt or be lost you can al­ways re­vert to an­other.

Tra­di­tion­ally, this meant man­u­ally copy­ing data out of your apps one by one, but that’s no longer nec­es­sary. OS X’s Au­toma­tor knows all about the other apps Ap­ple pro­vides, like Mail, Con­tacts and Cal­en­dar, and both how and where they store their data. That means it can rum­mage around in­side their files and back things up on your be­half.

Don’t worry if you’ve never used Au­toma­tor be­fore, it doesn’t re­quire any man­ual cod­ing and doesn’t as­sume prior knowl­edge. Its func­tions are bro­ken down into cat­e­gories: all you need to do is drag them into the or­der in which you want them per­formed and the out­put of one will au­to­mat­i­cally be used as the in­put of the next.

Don’t worry if your Au­toma­tor cat­e­gories don’t ex­actly match ours as apps can add new abil­i­ties to it, so some may be miss­ing on your Mac if you haven‘t got the same apps in­stalled as us. In this tu­to­rial we’ll only be us­ing Au­toma­tor ac­tions that are in­cluded with OS X. Nik Rawl­in­son

Au­toma­tor can rum­mage around in­side apps’ files and per­form the back­ups on your be­half

Delegating re­spon­si­bil­ity for back­ups to Au­toma­tor and Cal­en­dar is safer than per­form­ing man­ual copies.

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