How To Backup Macbook Air to iCloud?

Apple doesn’t provide the option to directly back up Macbooks to iCloud like an iPhone or an iPad. Nevertheless, there are still a few good ways of maintaining a proper backup of your MacBook Air using iCloud.

Method 1: Utilising Time Machine with iCloud Drive:

  • Open Time Machine: Navigate to System Preferences > Time Machine.
  • Select Backup Disk: Choose “Select Backup Disk” and then pick “iCloud Drive” in the list.
  • Enable Time Machine: Click “Use Disk” to enable Time Machine iCloud Drive backups.
  • Set Backup Frequency: Choose how often you want Time Machine to backup your data (e.g. hourly, daily, weekly).
  • Exclude Unnecessary Folders: Choose “Options” and exclude folders like Movies or Music if they are saved there.
  • Monitor Backups: Time Machine will automatically back up your data to iCloud Drive. You can see the status in the status bar next to the Time Machine menu.


  • Automatic and continuous backups: Our Time Machine saves your entire system, including documents, applications, and settings.
  • Version history: You can recover those files if you accidentally modify or delete them.
  • Secure storage: iCloud Drive provides you with encrypted space for your backups.


  • Storage limits: Free iCloud accounts provide 5GB of storage space, efficiently fulfilling their capacity for large backups. Your storage plan needs to be upgraded.
  • Internet bandwidth: Doing frequent backups can be a bandwidth hog, especially if you have a slow connection.

Method 2: Using iCloud for Specific Files and Folders:

  • Enable iCloud Drive: Go to System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud.
  • Choose Files and Folders: Choose the apps and folders you wish to sync with iCloud Drive (such as Documents and Desktop).
  • Optimise Storage: Choose “Optimise Mac Storage” to store only recently used files locally and retrieve older files from iCloud when required.


  • Selective backups: You can select which files and folders you want to save the storage space.
  • Accessibility: Access your backups on any device online.


  • Not a complete backup: This approach only copies data files, not your entire system.
  • Internet dependence: You need an internet connection to access the files in iCloud Drive.

Additional Tips:

  • Strong password: Use a solid and unique password for your Apple ID to secure it.
  • Encrypted backups: Think about using a third-party backup solution that makes encrypted backups add an extra security level.
  • Regular verification: Test your backups regularly by attempting to restore a file to ensure it works properly.

Doing so allows you to select the most suitable and affordable method of keeping your MacBook Air data safe, even under unexpected events.


Whether you prefer a comprehensive system backup or a selective approach focusing on specific files, these two methods empower you to choose the most suitable and affordable option for your needs. Remember, regular backups are vital, so don’t wait! Implement one of these methods today and enjoy knowing your precious data is secure.