Having regular backups is always recommended, no matter if it’s on a smartphone or a desktop. If you’ve recently migrated from Windows or would simply like to have your backups on a
Mac, you might be wondering how to. In this guide, we will go through the various steps and iteration of Windows which have various backup options.
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How to back up a Mac
How to Restore Files from a Windows Backup on a Mac: Restore from Windows 10 and 8
Windows 8 and 10 have ‘File History backup’, which can be found in Settings > Update & Security > Backup on a Windows computer.
Once you’ve got your backup from your Windows PC, you’ll be able to simply browse your hard drive or USB stick and extract the files you wish from your Finder. Due to the way Windows creates its backups, it might look a little confusing with all the folders, but it’s a relatively straight forward process once you get used to it.
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How to Restore Files from a Windows Backup on a Mac: Restore from Windows 7
A Windows 7 backup is a little more complicated, whereby the file structure is set-out differently by Microsoft. If you’ve got access to a Windows PC it might be an easier task to extract your backup and then transfer it through a USB flash drive. ‘Back up and Restore (Windows 7)’ can be found within the control panel on Windows 7 and above.
If you’ve only got a Mac, plug in the backed up drive and you’ll see your backups set within zip files – depending on how big your backup was, you might see a large list of zip files.
From here, copy or extract the zip files to a location within your Mac. The difficulty here is that your files will be split into different zips and be disorganised, thus the suggestion to restore through a Windows PC first. However, with a little due diligence, you’ll find all your files – better still use the search functionality on your Mac to sieve through those files!
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How to Restore Files from a Windows Backup on a Mac: Restore a System Image Backup.
A system image is a direct copy of your entire drive, including Windows system files and personal folders.
In Windows you’ll find the option by typing System Image Backup in the search bar or by finding it within File History Settings.
Extracting a system image is tricky, even on Windows, as you’ll need a tool to extract the individual files. Thanks fully there are programs out there, such as
Paragon’s VMDK Mounter. In order to use the program you’ll need an email address so that you can register, but other than that the software is free to use.
Once the a system image is mounted on Paragon’s software, you’ll see different hard disk partitions – unless you touched the partitions on your Windows PC, the largest one is most likely your main hard drive backup.
It should be noted that Macs can’t properly access NTFS drives, so if you happen to have a NTFS drive backup, then you’ll need to transfer the .vhdx file from your drive to your Mac’s desktop in order to be able to access it.
After you mount the drive, you’ll find your hard drive backup under the Devices within your Finder. From here you can view the files and save the files you require to your Mac.
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