How to Use Time Machine on Synology NAS: A step-by-step Guide

Embracing the power of ‘time machine on Synology’ has transformed how I approach data backups as a Mac user. This game-changing combination of MacOS’s Time Machine and Synology NAS elevates data security and ensures a seamless backup experience.

In this guide, I’ll dive deep into the nitty-gritty of setting up and maximizing time machine on Synology’ From initial setup to advanced tips, I’ll cover everything you need to know to make the most of this dynamic duo.

Let’s embark on this journey to make data backups more efficient and worry-free!


How to Use Time Machine on Synology NAS: Back Up Your Mac to the Future

What is a Time Machine?

Every Mac desktop and laptop comprises a backup software by default, known as a Time Machine. Time Machine, powered by Apple, operates with network discs and local storage devices and connects via Thunderbolt or a USB socket. Adding APFS support has enabled Time Machine to execute backups more thoroughly and quickly. 2007, its first version, “Mac OS X 10.05 Leopard, ” was launched.

It employs a variety of applications like iWork and Mail to assist us in backing up and restoring presentations, contracts, and text documents. You would be glad to hear that the software allows you to restore the backup data for the future.


Use Time Machine on Synology NAS:

Synology NAS assists Time Machine in backups and other stuff for Mac. I would add on by saying that using a Synology NAS saves your data on your local network and frees you up from the extra cloud storage cost. You have complete control over everything, but remember to follow the 3-2-1 backup rule.

I want to clear your mind about this rule: You must make three copies of your data (you are backing up). These three copies should exist on two different media, disk and tape. One separate copy is held for recovering data in case of any mishap.


How Does the Time Machine Operate?

When I learned about the workings of the Time Machine, I was surprised to know that it works automatically every hour to back up the previous 24-hour data, every day for the past month’s data, and every week for all last months’ data. Once backup storage becomes full, the former backups get deleted. To alternate that backup setting, head to “Time Machine Menu” and open “Time Machine Settings.”

Important to Know: I noticed that the first backup might be slower. But don’t you worry; the next backups will be quicker.

Time Machine allows you to back up your Mac over the network and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. But it entirely depends on your software version. Whether it’s a Synology NAS device or a NAS server, Time Machine is built-in to back up files. It supports both the SMB and AFP protocols and comprises everything to perform backups for Synology NAS. Follow the steps given below to continue backups in Time Machine:

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  1. Open the “control panel” and proceed to “User”.
  2. Then, move toward the “User Creation Wizard” option.
  3.  Enter the required credentials, add the name Time Machine, and set up your desired password.

Set up DiskStation Manager to Support Time Machine:

Step 1: First, make a shared folder for Time Machine backup.

Step 2: Turn up to DSM employing an administrator account.

Step 3: Visit the “Control Panel,” then click on “Shared Folder” and press the “Create” option.

Step 4: Add a name for the Shared folder, like “Time Machine Folder,” and choose a location (If numerous volumes are present). Suppose we elect volume 1.


Synology NAS set up shared folder

Step 5: I don’t endorse you turning on the “recycle bin” option or utilizing

The “encrypted shared folders” are a Time Machine’s destination. Then tap on the “Next” option.

Step 6: Set up the “Shared Folder” as required and tap the “Next” button.

Step 7: Carry on the crimped wizard to complete the procedure.

Step 8: Select the Shared folder as the Time Machine’s backup destination. Then, proceed to Control Panel > File Services. Do the following settings as your DSM version:

  • DSM 7.0 and Above: For SMB, visit the SMB slot and mark the Enable SMB service checkbox. For AFP, visit the AFP slot and mark the “Enable AFP service checkbox.
  • DSM 6.2 and Below:  Visit the SMB/AFP/NFS screen. Mark the Enable SMB service checkbox for SMB, or mark the Enable AFP service checkbox for AFP.

Step 9: Navigate to the “Advanced” tab and mark the Enable Bonjour Time Machine broadcast through SMB or Enable Bonjour Time Machine broadcast through AFP checkbox, following the file service you use.

Step 10: After that, tap on the set Time Machine Folders button.

Step 11: Select the shared folder you created from the Time Machine menu. After that, save your settings.

Step 12: Make a DSM user account on your Synology NAS for Time Machine. Then, set a quota for your backup file.


Settings Before Using a Synology NAS with Time Machine

A few Settings are required to change on Synology NAS. Firstly, you have to turn on Bonjour Time Machine Broadcast for SMB on your NAS. Make sure that your user account has access to the shared folder. After that, do the settings of the shared folder quota in the following way:

Step 1: Start with making a “Shared Folder” to save the backup files.

Step 2: Approach the “Control Panel” and choose “Shared Folder” to make the necessary changes.


Synology shared folders

Step 3: Turn on Shared Folder Quota after selecting Advanced. Keep in mind to set a quota at least two times bigger than your hard drives’ size and then save it. In this way, Time Machine doesn’t take all the free space on your NAS. Further, it will quit everything when the quota is met.


Synology edit shared folders

Step 4: Move to file services in the control panel>Advanced> Turn on Bonjour Time Machine broadcast via SMB.


Synology bonjour file service

Step 5: Head over to set time machine folders and then look up the folder you are using for time machine backup to Synology NAS.


Synology time machine foldder


How to Use Synology NAS with Time Machine for Mac Backup?

Step 1: Visit “System Preferences,” then go ahead with “Time Machine.”


MacOS System preferences

Step 2: Go to “Backup Automatically .”It makes you sure that Time Machine is constantly backing up your data.


MacOS Time Machine

Step 3: For backups, choose Synology NAS’s folder and then click on “Use Disk.”


MacOS Set time machine devices

Step 4: Your screen will show a popup featuring a connection facility. Proceed with clicking on “Connect” and type the User and Password in the next step. To continue as a DSM user, make sure to connect with the user who has permission to the shared folder.


enter time machine credentials

Step 5: The backing-up procedure is completed now. However, it may take a little time to back up data from MacOS to NAS, depending on the size of the files.


MacOS Time machine

Important to Know:

  • If you click on Time Machine from the Menu Bar, the Time Machine shortcut will appear on the Menu Bar interface.
  • Selecting the “Encrypt Backups” will secure your backup. You will be required to set a password for encryption.


How to Restore Mac from Time Machine?

Time Machine, the default MacOS software, brought up revolutionary changes in backing up data from Apple devices. From the launching of this application, backups have become automatic for Mac users. Along with this, it has become more convenient to restore a missing file or recover the former version of a document.

When you open the Time Machine application, your screen will show the most recent Finder window in the center, preceding many dwindled copies of the window expanding out at the back. It is a great thing for you to have a look at backup data when you need it. You have an option to click any of the windows at the back of the main window to view the former content. The recent copies always show at the bottom. Tapping on anywhere in the timeline makes the contents of the recent Mac folder at a precise time and date apparent.

Step 1: locate the file you have to backup. After that, right-click on the file/folder. Then, select “Restore to.” from the menu bar.


MacOS restore from time machine

Step 2: The screen will show a file browser window asking where to save the file/folder.

If the item of the same name is present already, you get three options, “Keep original,” “Keep both,” or “Replace.” If you want to keep both versions, the former versions will be saved as original.

Step 3: When the file/folder is restored, it will appear in your selected folder.

Lastly, I would summarize in these words that Time Machine represents itself as a default MacOS backup application, and using a Synology NAS boosts its usefulness in storing your backup files on the local network. It eliminates the need to pay additionally for extra cloud space. This article is a comprehensive guide about all the must-to-know details of Time Machine. By understanding how to use Synology NAS with Time Machine, you can take advantage of restoring your Mac data, even for the future.

Before you go …

If you found the guide on using Time Machine with Synology NAS helpful, you might be interested in exploring more about Synology’s offerings. I recommend checking out Which Synology NAS next. This article will provide insights into different Synology models, helping you decide which one suits your needs best. It’s a great follow-up to deepen your understanding of Synology’s range and capabilities, especially considering a purchase or upgrade.

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