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How to transfer Time Machine backups from one AirPort Time Capsule to a different one

Learn how to transfer existing Time Machine backups from one AirPort Time Capsule to another, then use the new one for regular backups.

To transfer an existing Time Machine backup on a AirPort Time Capsule to a new AirPort Time Capsule, follow these steps.

Tip: Leave the computer in the same room as the AirPort Time Capsules, or use an Ethernet cable to connect the Mac to the Ethernet port on the existing AirPort Time Capsule, then use another Ethernet cable to connect from the existing AirPort Time Capsule to the new AirPort Time Capsule.

  1. Configure your new AirPort Time Capsule for the home network. See the documentation that came with your AirPort Time Capsule for information about setting it up on the home network.
  2. Open the Time Machine pane in System Preferences (choose Time Machine menu > Time Machine Preferences…).
  3. Slide the Time Machine switch to Off.
  4. Open a Finder window.
  5. Locate both AirPort Time Capsules listed in the SHARED section of the Finder window sidebar. Note: If you do not see the AirPort Time Capsules in that section, choose Finder > Preferences… > Sidebar  and make sure "Connected servers" & "Bonjour computers" are checked.
  6. Select the new AirPort Time Capsule in the sidebar, click "Connect As…" and enter the password for the AirPort Time Capsule.
  7. Mount the AirPort Time Capsule volume by clicking it.
  8. Repeat the previous two steps with the existing AirPort Time Capsule, to mount it.
  9. Open a new Finder window and drag the backup disk image from the existing AirPort Time Capsule to the new AirPort Time Capsule. This may take some time to complete because all your backups will be copied.
  10. Open the Time Machine pane in System Preferences (choose Time Machine menu > Time Machine Preferences…).
  11. Click "Select Backup Disk...", highlight the new AirPort Time Capsule, then click "Use Disk".
  12. Perform a Time Machine backup.
  13. After the initial Time Machine backup completes, you can remove the Ethernet cables and continue wireless Time Machine backups.
Last Modified: Jun 11, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Jun 11, 2013
  • Article: HT5097
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