How to Access Time Machine Backups on a Mac and Restore Your Data

Learn how to access Time Machine backups and recover data with our detailed tutorial. Discover how to find, explore, and restore Time Machine backup files and propose data recovery software.

Table of Contents

Learning how to restore Mac from Time Machine backups and restore vital data is crucial for peace of mind. This guide will walk you through the process of how to access Time Machine backups easily.

Our guidance will let you confidently investigate Time Machine backups and recover data quickly. Understanding how to access Time Machine backups is the first step to recovering lost or accidentally deleted information. Let's find out!

Where Is Time Machine Backup Location on a Mac

Have you wondered where your Mac saves Time Machine backups? Time Machine backups are stored in a restricted folder named ".MobileBackups" which is present at the root of volume. In case you cannot find or access the Time Machine backup, there can be several reasons, such as the external backup drive not being connected to the Mac, the drive having a password, or the files being corrupted/deleted accidentally.

Worry no more! Have you accidentally deleted or corrupted your Time Machine backups by any chance? Or is the Time Machine backup not visible on a Mac? Consider using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac in these cases. This robust program lets you recover lost data, including Time Machine backups.

For a trustworthy data recovery process, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard has an easy-to-use interface and an innovative algorithm for deep scanning.

Let's look at the important features designed particularly for Time Machine backup recovery:

Download and install this professional data recovery tool, and check out the steps below to recover your data even if the Time Machine backup is lost or deleted:

Step 1. Search for lost files

Correctly connect your external hard drive to your Mac. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac, and select the external hard drive. Then, click "Search for lost files" to find lost/deleted files on your external devices.

Note: Before data recovery, you'd better click "Disk Backup" from the left sidebar to create a backup of your external hard drive to avoid further data loss. After backing up the external hard drive, the software can recover data from your external hard drive's backup, and you can remove the external hard drive and use it again.

select the external hard drive and click Search for lost files

Step 2. Filter and find lost files

After the scan, all file types will be presented in the left panel. Select the file type to find wanted files on your external devices.

scan for lost files on external hard drives

Step 3. Preview and recover

Click the file and preview it. Then, select the files you want to recover and click the "Recover" button. You can save your data to local and cloud drives.

recover lost files on external hard drives

Share this article on social media to help others learn how to access Time Machine backups on a Mac.


How to Access Time Machine Backups with Finder

Using the Mac's built-in Spotlight search tool, you may swiftly restore lost or deleted data, moving on from using Time Machine backups with Finder. Follow these simple instructions:

Step 1. Open a Finder window on your Mac. To begin a search, insert a search term or phrase into the search area in the upper-right corner, such as Backups.backupdb.

Step 2. Customize your search results by entering specific keywords in the search window.

Step 3. Click the Time Machine symbol in the menu bar at the top of your screen.

Step 4. In case the Time Machine icon is not found, navigate to the "Apple menu > System Settings > General > Time Machine".

open Time Machine

Step 5. Choose the Time Machine icon in the menu bar and select "Browse Time Machine Backups" from the drop-down option.

browse Time Machine backups

Step 6. Navigate through your Time Machine backups using the arrows and timeline, then pick whatever things you wish to restore.

By effortlessly using the Finder, you may easily find the Time Machine Backups without the need for complicated processes. This simplified procedure allows you to easily discover and recover your crucial files, boosting your entire Mac experience.

How to Access Files from Time Machine Backups on macOS

After accessing Time Machine backups, you must understand how to access data files from the backups on macOS. Time Machine reliably restores data lost due to accidental deletion, formatting difficulties, or other disasters. To properly access data from Time Machine backups, follow these easy steps:

Step 1. Select "System Preferences" from the drop-down menu after clicking the Apple logo in the upper-left corner.

Step 2. To access Time Machine choices, locate and click the Time Machine icon, which is a downward-pointing curving arrow around a clock face.

Step 3. Click "Show Time Machine in the menu bar" to add the icon.

Show Time Machine in the menu bar

Step 4. To examine all previous backups, click the Time Machine icon in the menu bar and choose "Enter Time Machine".

Step 5. Browse the Time Machine backups to find the file or folder you want to restore to its original location. Here, you can access all the data files in Time Machine backup.

Note: Once you've discovered the required item, select it and click the "Restore" button to retrieve the files to their original location.

Step 6. Confirm the restoration procedure, and Time Machine will return the chosen file or folder to its original place on your Mac.


Accessing and restoring Time Machine backups on macOS is a simple operation that provides peace of mind to Mac users. Whether you need to recover accidentally lost information or restore your system to a prior state, Time Machine is a trustworthy option. If you follow the simple steps outlined in this article, you should be able to retrieve deleted files and keep important documents protected.

With the Time Machine, you can reliably handle any unexpected data-related issues on your Mac. Thus, always use a Time Machine to back up your data; doing so will lessen the likelihood of data loss in the future.

However, if the Time Machine backup is lost, deleted, or corrupted, consider using the professional data recovery software EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac to recover the data you want without Time Machine backups.

How to Access Time Machine Backups on a Mac FAQs

Following are some common questions about how to access time machine backups:

1. How do I browse Time Machine backups?

Follow the steps below to browse files stored in Time Machine backups:

Step 1. Open a new Finder window.

Step 2. Locate your Time Machine disk (backup drive) in Finder.

Step 3. Search for the "Backups. backupdb" folder.

2. How do I access my old Time Machine backups on my new computer?

Use an external hard drive or network transfer to access old Time Machine backups on a new machine. Once transferred, utilize the Time Machine program on the new device to explore and recover data from previous backups.

3. Where are my Time Machine backups stored?

All Time Machine backups from years ago are saved on your external hard disk until you run out of space. If you have room, local snapshots are stored hourly on your internal drive for files you've recently updated. These are stored in the restricted folder ".MobileBackups," which is present at the root of the volume.

Was This Page Helpful?

Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech lives easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. In her spare time, she loves sharing things about her game experience on Facebook or Twitter.

Read full bio

Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 59 reviews
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a powerful system recovery software, designed to enable you to recover files you’ve deleted accidentally, potentially lost to malware or an entire hard drive partition.

    Read More
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we have seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past.

    Read More
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro has a reputation as one of the best data recovery software programs on the market. It comes with a selection of advanced features, including partition recovery, formatted drive restoration, and corrupted file repair.

    Read More