MAKE THE MOST OF TIME MACHINE AND VERSIONS
RESTORE A FILE OR FOLDER
Deleted a file or folder you need? Browse to where it was stored, then click Time Machine’s menu bar icon and choose ‘Enter Time Machine’ (or use Spotlight to open the app).
Apps that don’t save documents may still enable you to restore items; contacts or messages in Mail, say. Open the app and enter Time Machine; you’ll be able to step back in time through the app’s older contents and recover them.
Auto Save and Versions aren’t part of Time Machine, but work similarly and complement it. If an app’s File menu contains Revert To, it works with these features; as soon as you create a doc in an app, save it to benefit from them.
Choose ‘Browse All Versions’ there; this works much like Time Machine, with one key difference — as well as rolling back to an older version, you can selectively copy from the old version (right side) and paste into the current one (left side).
RESTORE THE SYSTEM
To restore to an earlier state, hold Shift, power on, and release at the Apple logo. The options you’ll be shown include one to restore a backup; further into the process, select the backup to restore by its time, date and system version.
Already put a clean installation of macOS on your computer? Use Migration Assistant (‘Applications > Utilities’) to restore users, files, apps and settings. Again, choose the date and time of a backup, plus what to restore from it.