Backing up with Time Capsule
Your first Time Machine backup will be several gigabytes because it is backing up your entire computer. This may take overnight or longer, depending on how much data you have.
Once the initial backup is complete, all subsequent backups are incremental. That means Time Machine copies only files that have changed since the previous backup. All of this happens automatically in the background.
Tips for your first backup
- You should let the initial back up process complete without interruption.
- If you’re using a portable Mac, leave it in the same room as Time Capsule for best 802.11n performance (and leave your computer connected to an AC power outlet).
- Time Capsule doubles as a full-featured AirPort Extreme 802.11n. So, if you’re adding Time Capsule to an existing wireless network, you’ll want to set it as your primary base station, rather than as a network client. That way, you benefit from its faster performance and ensure that your backups occur without any speed bumps.
- If you have an Ethernet cable, you could do your first backup via Ethernet; this will allow for the fastest initial backup. Simply plug the Ethernet cable into one of Time Capsule’s Ethernet ports and the other into your Mac’s Ethernet port.
- For your backup to initiate automatically, a portable Mac’s power adapter must be connected to an AC outlet.
- In Sharing Preferences in System Preferences, make sure a name is entered in the “Computer name:” field.
Configure Time Machine to use your Time Capsule
- From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
- Click Time Machine.
- Set Time Machine to On if it is off.
- Choose your Time Capsule as the backup destination. (If you’re not automatically prompted to do this–because you’ve used a different backup disk, for example–click Change Disk, select the Time Capsule, then click “Use for Backup”.)
- In the alert window that appears, enter the password for your Time Capsule.
- Click Connect.
Time Machine will start your initial backup after a countdown timer. You should let the back up process complete without interruption.