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Back up your Mac with Time Machine

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Question: two Macs, one external Hard Drive

I have an iMac and a MacBook. Both running Sierra v10.12.6. I just got a 2TB Seagate portable external hard drive that I want to use as my Time Machine back up for both Macs. I know this means I will need to disconnect it back and forth between the two Macs and use manual back ups rather than the auto back up feature.


My question is do I need to partition the drive into two partitions - one for each Mac? Or can I just connect it as it is currently configured and will Time Machine automatically distinguish which Mac was which?

iMac, macOS Sierra (10.12.6)

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You do not need to re-partition the external drive. Time Machine will store its backups separately for each of your Macs.


One suggestion: Leave the external drive connected to your iMac. Then share this drive to your local network. You can then have the MacBook configured to have Time Machine perform backups to this shared drive.

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Mar 9, 2018 1:28 PM in response to MikeLV In response to MikeLV

You do not need to re-partition the external drive. Time Machine will store its backups separately for each of your Macs.


One suggestion: Leave the external drive connected to your iMac. Then share this drive to your local network. You can then have the MacBook configured to have Time Machine perform backups to this shared drive.

Mar 9, 2018 1:28 PM

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Question: two Macs, one external Hard Drive