How to Create a Near Complete Back Up of Mac in iCloud

How to Create a Near Complete Back Up of Mac in iCloud

We are closer to making wired backups on external hard drives obsolete. With the expanding capabilities of iCloud and iCloud Drive, the relevance of external hard drives continues to shrink, especially for Mac and iOS users. If you want to eliminate the need for an external drive, you can now back up almost your entire Mac through iCloud with some different steps.

How to Create a Near Complete Back Up of Mac in iCloud

Note: This won’t be as comprehensive as a Time Machine backup.

1. Upgrade Your iCloud Storage

Storing your computer files in iCloud requires more than the free 5GB of storage Apple provides. To upgrade, open System Preferences on your Mac and select iCloud.

How to Create a Near Complete Back Up of Mac in iCloud

At the bottom, click “Manage”. Now click “Buy More Storage” or if you’ve already purchased a plan and need more, click “Change Storage Plan”.

How to Create a Near Complete Back Up of Mac in iCloud

Choose from the available pricing options for storage. 50GB costs $0.99 per month, 250GB costs $2.99 per month, and 1TB costs $9.99 per month.

How to Create a Near Complete Back Up of Mac in iCloud

To estimate what you need, click the Apple logo, select About This Mac, and click Storage. Follow the process of upgrading your storage plan, then return to your iCloud settings.

Click the check mark for every iCloud service. This is especially important for iCloud Drive and Photos. Make sure iCloud Photo Library is turned on to avoid losing any photos. Keychain is also important for saving passwords and credit cards on all devices.

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How to Create a Near Complete Back Up of Mac in iCloud

This will benefit you by keeping your content in sync across devices, both now and in the future. Considering an Apple Music subscription (or Spotify Premium) is also recommended, as it allows iCloud Music Library to automatically store and transfer your music to any new or existing device. Subscriptions are priced at $9.99 per month.

3. Copy User Files Into iCloud Drive

To migrate, follow these steps:

1. Copy all valuable files and folders to iCloud Drive. This includes movies, local music (such as the iTunes folder,) iMovie or GarageBand files, pictures, screenshots, and downloads. Avoid clicking and dragging, instead use copy and paste in Finder.

2. Complete the migration process.

How to Create a Near Complete Back Up of Mac in iCloud

If you are using macOS Sierra, learn how to add your Desktop files and Documents to iCloud Drive automatically.

Note: Do not move applications to iCloud Drive. Applications are more complex than they seem. However, you can move application data, which I will discuss in the next section.

Do not concern yourself with sensitive system files, caches, messages, or anything of that nature. Concentrate on your personal user files for now.

How to Create a Near Complete Back Up of Mac in iCloud

When finished, you can add folder shortcuts like Music, Movies, etc. to the Finder sidebar by dragging and dropping them from iCloud Drive. Since you’ll still access most files locally, this isn’t necessary.

4. Copy Library Files

This will only take a moment because you’ll leave most of the junk behind. With Finder active, click Go in the menu bar. Press and hold the Option key and choose Library.

All you need from here is Application Scripts, Application Support and Containers. Also grab Safari if it’s your primary browser. Select and copy these four and paste them into iCloud Drive as well. They will help preserve some of your application settings.

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How to Create a Near Complete Back Up of Mac in iCloud

As for applications, you’ll have to reinstall them manually. If you get most of them from the Mac App Store, this won’t take long as you can re-download them from the cloud. Otherwise, keep installation disks, license keys, and download accounts in a note for later use.

5. Restore

Now that everything you need is in iCloud Drive, getting a new computer requires minimal work. You can copy sensitive Library files from iCloud Drive to the local library. All user files, media, messages, etc. should be easily accessible in iCloud.

The only task remaining is reinstalling your applications and adjusting system settings to your preferences.

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