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OS X Mavericks: Recover your entire system

Recover your entire system

If you use Time Machine to back up your Mac, you can recover your system’s contents if your system or startup disk is damaged.

Important: Only use your Time Machine backup to restore your system to the Mac that is the source of the backup. To transfer your information to a new Mac, use Migration Assistant.

Transfer your info from a computer or disk

If you’re restoring your system because of a problem with your startup disk, repair or replace the disk before following these instructions.

  1. Make sure your Time Machine backup disk is connected and turned on. If your disk is on a network, make sure your Mac is on the same network.
  2. Choose Apple menu > Restart. Once your Mac restarts (and the gray screen appears), hold down the Command (⌘) and R keys.
  3. Select “Restore from a Time Machine Backup,” then click Continue.
  4. Do one of the following:
    • External backup disk: Select it, then click Continue.

    • Time Capsule: Choose your network from the AirPort menu on the right side of the menu bar, and then select your Time Capsule and click “Connect to Remote Disk.”

    • Network backup disk: Select it, then click “Connect to Remote Disk.”

  5. If necessary, enter the name and password you use to connect to your backup disk, then click Connect.
  6. Select the date and time of the backup you want to restore, then follow the onscreen instructions.

After you restore your system, Time Machine may perform a full backup at the next scheduled backup time. This is normal. Time Machine resumes incremental backups after the full backup is completed.

Last Modified: May 8, 2014
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