# Mac – Will I be able to access the Time Machine backups after changing Hard Drive

backuphard drivessdtime-capsuletime-machine

I have a 2010 MacBook Pro and I am planning on swapping out the Optical Drive for an SSD in the near future, and then re-installing OS X across the Hard Drive and SSD (in a Fusion Drive format).

I have about 2-3 years worth of backups on my Time Capsule. Will I still be able to access them once I've reinstalled OS X? I don't want to restore from Time Capsule (I want a clean install) but I need to be able to access my backups so I can get some data back. By this, I mean go into Time Machine, go back in time to a backup and select a folder to restore. If I can't, and I have to start my backups from scratch and stuff, I will just move some stuff over to a Hard Drive and then re-import it once OS X is reinstalled.

Yes, you can access the backups after changing the drives out. If you control-click or right-click on the Time Machine app icon, one of the items is "Browse other TIme Machine Disks..." from where you can select your Time Capsule backups. You can also re-associate your new drive to the old backups in Terminal with tmutil so that your backups will continue as if the drive change never happened. There's a good set of instructions here on how to use tmutil to accomplish that.