how to backup using Apple’s Time Machine on any network share

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Obviously you need to be running Leopard (Snow Leopard) or later, and you’ll need a network share which is larger or equal to your hard drive in your Mac. In my case these shares are on SMB and AFP.


  • Go into Applications > Utilities and open up Terminal
  • Copy and paste this command into terminal (all on one line)

defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

  • Hit enter / return
  • Mount your network share, in my case my share is off our server called TMBACKUPSand my share is called User-Backups
  • Go to System Preferences and open Time Machine
  • Click on Change Disk
  • Select the share you wish to backup to, I’ve selected User-Backups
  • That’s it, you’re done
  • Wait until the drive image is generated (a couple of minutes) and you should be set. To verify it is working open up your network share in Finder and you should see a file which is named [your computer name] [your MAC address].sparsebundle

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