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Backing up your virtual machine with Time Machine

  • Parallels Desktop for Mac


Using Time Machine to back up your virtual machine is one of the easiest ways to keep your computer safe.

Parallels Desktop for Mac includes improved integration with Time Machine. When your virtual machine is backed up, only the most recent changes are saved (the latest snapshot), so the backup process takes less time and uses less space on your Time Machine storage device.

To enable improved integration with Time Machine:

In Parallels Desktop 11:

  • Click on the Backup tab.

  • Check the SmartGuard: Enabled checkbox.


In Parallels Desktop 9 and 10:

  • Click on the Security tab.

  • Check the SmartGuard: Enabled checkbox.

In Parallels Desktop 8 and earlier:

  • Click on the Options tab and hit Backup.

  • Select Optimize for Time Machine in the Smart-Guard menu.

If you do not want your virtual machine backed up by Time Machine:

To disable Time Machine backup for your virtual machine simply check the Do not back up with Time Machine checkbox.

To learn more about the SmartGuard feature, please refer to KB 115052.

NOTE: To restore your virtual machine after a Time Machine backup, please follow the instructions in this Apple KB article: HT1427.

If you cannot find your virtual machine's .pvm file in Finder, please see KB 117333.

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