If you have Time Machine installed on your Mac, you may be confident that you will never miss any of your important documents. If you have a Mac, you can restore individual files from a Time Machine to new Mac, or you may travel back in time and restore your computer from the ground up if you have lost everything.

1. How to Recover Files Without Time Machine Backup

It is possible to use EaseUS Mac recovery software to recover lost files from SD cards and external memory device volumes on Mac OS X in a few easy steps. Recovering lost Mac data from macOS is made effortless and straightforward even for those without technical expertise, thanks to the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.

 It comes with a preview mode to help you view the found files and recover deleted files on a Mac easily.

Before you restore individual files from a Time Machine to a new Mac, watch this video first. It provides you with more details on Mac document recovery.

  • 00:11 - How to restore a specific item from a Time Machine backup
  • 00:34 - Search your backup
  • 00:49 - Browse through backups
  • 01:13 - Preview the file
restore a specific item from a Time Machine backup

How-to Guide

Note: You can create a backup by clicking the "Disk Backup" on the left first. The software will recover the deleted files from the backup image. It can prevent further damage to your disk and data, making it safer and more reliable.

Step 1. Scan for deleted files

Select the hard drive, external drive, or SSD where your important data & files were deleted and click "Search for lost files".

select a location and scan for deleted files on Mac

Step 2. Filter the lost files

The software will run quick and deep scans and work hard to find as many deleted files as possible on the selected volume. Filter wanted files through the "Type" and "Path" options.

Filter and select the lost files

Step 3. Recover deleted files

Double-click the deleted files to preview. Then, click the "Recover" button to get them back.

recover deleted files from Mac

2. How to Restore OS from Time Machine

If you've altered your HDD with another one, macOS recovery is essential.  So, does Time Machine restore OS? Sure, Mac's Time Machine has made it possible for Mac users.

Time Machine is supported by macOS 10.5 or a newer version. It was first launched in macOS 10.5 Leopard but is wholly revamped in macOS 11 Big Sur.

Step 1. Put the Mac in Recovery Mode

Restart your Mac. Press the Command + R keys until the machine boots into recovery mode. If you see the Apple logo on the screen, release the keys. Choose "Restore" from a Time Machine backup and click "Next" using the recovery mode.

Select Continue

Step 2. Choose a Backup Drive

Click the "Continue" button on the Restore from Time Machine page. Hit "Continue" after selecting your Time Machine backup drive to proceed

Note: You'll need to enter the credentials to decrypt an encrypted drive.

Select Backup

Step 3. Choose a Backup by Date

Click "Continue" once you've chosen a backup and sorted it by date. Then, you can restore your Mac to a previous date.

Select Backup by Date

Step 4. Restore macOS

Restore the contents of your Mac's hard drive by selecting the drive and clicking on "Restore". Restart your Mac when you've finished.

Click on Restore

3. How to Restore Files from Time Machine

Sometimes, you delete files unknowingly, format a hard drive containing some essential data, or empty the Mac Trash of your PC containing work files. Recovering the data securely in these scenarios is pretty necessary. And the good news for Mac users is that it's possible with Time Machine.

Typically, individuals restore a backup from Time Machine to restore their computer to the exact condition it was in a few days or weeks ago, depending on the situation. You'll need your Mac and an external hard disc with the Time Machine backup to complete this task successfully. However, ensure that you've previously backed up the files in Time Machine.

To recover files from a Time Machine, follow these instructions:

Step 1. Click on System Preferences

In the upper-left corner of your screen, click the "Apple logo". Then, choose "System Preferences" from the drop-down menu.

Select System Preferences

Step 2. Access Time Machine

Click the downward-pointing curved arrow around a clock face symbol to access the Time Machine. Open the "Time Machine" options by clicking on this icon.

Select Time Machine

Step 3. Click on Time Machine in Menu Bar

Ensure the "Show Time Machine in the menu bar" option is checked. The Time Machine symbol has been added to the menu bar. It's time to press the button.

Check Show Time Machine in the menu bar

Step 4. Enter Time Machine

Click on the "Enter Time Machine" button. All of your previous Time Machine backups will be shown on this screen. Look for a file or folder in its original location to restore it.

Select Time Machine

Step 5. Restore the Files

Afterward, click the "Restore" button. This will transfer the file back to its previous place and restore the item.

Select Restore

Restore Files from Time Machine to Another Mac

It is possible to restore files to another Mac using Time Machine. To transfer files using Time Machine to another Mac, follow these instructions:

Step 1. Plug in USB Drive

Plug in the USB that contains the Time Machine Backup to the Mac you're transferring data.

Note: Ensure that the source Mac is running

Step 2. Open the Time Machine Backup

Now, you'll see the Time Machine Backup drive. Open it and click on the database file to view the backup.

Click on Database File

Step 3. Restore the Files

Copy the files you want to restore and paste to the new Mac.

Note: You can also drag and drop the files.

Drag and drop the files

related articles

Time Machine Restore Button Greyed Out, How to Fix?

You may find the time machine restore button greyed out occasionally just the same as the above user experience, which the following issues may cause...

time machine restore failed


Losing data on your Mac is unpleasant, but the issue may often be lessened if you have Time Machine backups handy. You should utilize the program periodically to back up your essential information. Your backups can be the only method to recover from a significant data loss event. Moreover, we hope that you know How to Restore from a Time Machine after reading this article!


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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.

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Written by Jean

Jean is recognized as one of the most professional writers in EaseUS. She has kept improving her writing skills over the past 10 years and helped millions of her readers solve their tech problems on PC, Mac, and iOS devices.

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