“With Time Machine, you can back up your entire Mac, including system files, apps, music, photos, emails, and documents. When Time Machine is turned on, it automatically backs up your Mac and performs hourly, daily and weekly backups of your files.

When you use Time Machine on a computer using Apple File System (APFS), Time Machine not only keeps a copy of everything on your backup disk; it also saves local snapshots of files that have changed on your internal disk, so you can recover previous versions. These local snapshots are saved hourly (unless you deselect Back Up Automatically) and they’re stored on your computer’s internal disk. (apple.com)”

Full details and instructions from Apple Support about Time Machine can be found here.

So let’s get started

The first thing that we need to do is to make sure that your standard user account can setup and configure Time Machine.  By default, Apple computers require an administrative password to unlock this feature.

Start by opening Managed Software Center – in your Applications folder.  This tool is only available in Managed Software Center, you cannot use the FileWave kiosk to unlock Time Machine.
Click here for full instructions for using Managed Software Center.

On the Managed Software Center main screen, you will see a number of tools available to you.  Please be mindful of what you click to install, you may remove software inadvertently from your computer.  Nothing that cannot be undone, but it may take time and prevent you from doing work while software re-installs.

We are looking for the tool called “Open Time Machine.”  Once you locate it click “Install.”

As long as your machine is not waiting for any additional changes from Manage Software Center, the entire process should only take about 5 minutes from the time that you click install.  You can monitor the progress on the Update screen in Managed Software Center.

Next, we need to open Apple System Preferences and open the Time Machine Preference Pane, by click on the icon displayed below.

You will notice that the pane is still locked (lock icon in the lower left corner).  Clicking on the lock should prompt you for a password.  It may say that it requires an administrative password, but if you followed the steps above, it will accept your computer login password for this prompt.

Connect an external hard drive to your computer via USB.  It is strongly recommended that you only use the drive for backup purposes and no other use.  We also recommend that a drive is at least 500GB in size, 1 TB is recommended.  The computer should ask if you want to use the drive for Time Machine – click yes.  Doing so will erase and format the drive, wiping all data currently on it.  Proceed with caution.

Once you format your drive, it will be ready for Time Machine and Time Machine will be turned on.  Time Machine will first take a backup of your entire computer.  This first backup will take some time, usually about an hour.  After that, as long as your hard drive is connected, Time Machine will automatically backup all changes on your computer every hour. Connecting the drive to your computer will ensure that you do not lose data if your computer crashes, or if you accidentally delete a file from your computer.

Whenever possible, you should back up your data once a day.  You may miss a day occasionally, but it is a good life-habit to build.

This is a link to the hard drive that we recommend purchasing from Amazon.
Any drive of the recommended size will work though.