What to Do When Mac Restore Is Not Working for Data Recovery?

Mac Time Machine not Working

About Mac’s Time Machine feature

You may already familiar with the Time Machine feature that’s available on most Mac’s. This feature allows you to store a backup of all files and folders on your Mac to an external storage device. An external device can be anything like an external hard drive or SSD connected via USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt or through a Wi-Fi connection.

Setting up Time Machine for the first time may take some time, so please be patient and wait for the process to complete. Once that’s done, Time Machine updates itself automatically without you having to bother about it. Once the Time Machine backup drive is full, old files are deleted automatically to make place for new ones.

For this reason, many users use Time Machine for regular backups but save full backups on an external storage device using other backup tools like Carbon Copy Cloner.

But due to various factors, you can face situations where Time Machine fails or pose problems. So, what can you do when Time Machine fails to restore Mac to an earlier date? Let’s find out here in this article.

Reasons why you are unable to restore Mac using Time Machine

  • Errors such as ‘The backup volume is read-only’ in the Time Machine drive
  • Corrupted files in the Time Machine drive
  • Issues with Time Capsule
  • Errors in Time Machine configuration setup
  • Physical damage to the drive where Time Machine has stored its files

What to do if you are unable to restore Mac using Time Machine?

Consider a situation where you are trying to restore files backed up on Time Machine. But for some reason, you are unable to restore them and receiving an error message. What to do in such situations?

Use Yodot Mac data recovery software to recover files in case Time Machine fails and you are unable to restore your Mac to an earlier date.

Steps to recover data from Time Machine drive using Yodot data recovery software

The following steps will help you recover files using Yodot if Time Machine fails and you are unable to restore your Mac.

  1. Download and install Yodot data recovery software on your Mac system and connect the Time Machine backup drive
  2. Then select the option labeled Recover Volumes/Drives from the main screen followed by Partition Recovery
  3. Now, select the drive representing Time Machine drive and click Next
  4. The software scans the Time Machine drive and lists all found files
  5. Now, you can preview files to check the effectiveness of the software
  6. Finally, select the desired files and save them to any suitable location

After the recovery process completes, you can access Time Machine files in the location specified in the last step (Step 6) of the recovery process.

Note: There is also a file recovery version of Yodot available using which you can recover deleted files from Mac. Accidentally deleted files, files lost during Cut & Paste operations and files lost due to a virus can all be recovered by this tool.


In order to avoid problems with Time Machine, as a general rule of thumb, make sure that you are using a storage drive that does not have any existing issues. Also, if your Time Machine has failed due to a one-time thing such as power outage or random reasons, then you will be probably fine. But, if the problem re-occurs, it may due to other reasons, in which you are better off replacing the drive.