How To Back Up Mac Does Not Boot Up

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Nobody wants to lose the data on their computer. However, if your Mac suddenly does not boot up, what will you do to secure your data? Backing up Mac that does not boot is difficult, but that does not mean it’s not unattainable.

Here is how to back up the data from your Mac to a third party hard drive, even if your MacOS doesn’t boot up.

Back Up Important Files

The best method to make sure your files are safe is to do a backup, and before problems happen. Since the data is important, make sure you frequently perform backups to avoid an accident.

Many start-up problems pertaining to your Mac can be addressed. But your data might be lost during the process. That’s why it’s very important to back up all your data to an external hard drive before your Mac has issues.

You will need an “image system” to help you. The image will utilize the Disk Utility of your MacOS in order to create a backup containing a copy of your files, system settings as well as other information.

How To Back Up Mac That Does Not Boot

Here are the steps that are done on MacOS El Capitan interface; the process is different from each MacOS version.

First of all, you need to have an external hard drive and make sure it has enough space for storing all the data, and connect it to your Mac.

Next, boot your computer into Recovery Mode by following the below steps.

  • Power off Mac completely.
  • Press the R + Command keys to restart your Mac as soon as you hear the start-up sound.
  • Keep holding those keys till Apple logo displays on the screen.
  • When you see Mac OS Utilities window on the screen, simply choose “Disk Utility and then click on Continue.

If you are not able to enter the Recovery Mode, you should probably need hardware rather than a start-up issue.


You are now in MacOS Disk Utility, and from there, you can take the system image that we mentioned above. Simply follow the below steps to do this:

  1. Choose the Disk name that you want to back up on the screen. It’s named “Macintosh HD.”
  2. Now, follow the patch by choosing: File – New Image – Image from “Macintosh HD” or “Insert the name of your Disk here” section.
  3. You can change the Disk name as your liking, after choosing Save As option. (If your data is backed up periodically, it is worth mentioning the data, so that you can see when the recovery started, and you would be able to track your backups progress.
  4. Select your external hard disk’s name under Where bar, which you could see as connected to the Mac.
  5. Under Format, select “compressed” and then click on “Save.”
  6. The backup process will now get started. This will need some time, so you should be patient.

Once the backup process is done, your Mac will notify it. All the files and data are now backed up on an external hard drive; you can then fix any startup issue that you are facing without worrying about being separated with the data.



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