My Time Machine Restore Button Greyed Out. How to Recover Data?

Time Machine is a useful backup and restoration application that is provided in your macOS. You can set up a Time Machine backup drive, keep it connected to your Mac, and let the application perform your start-up disk backup at the scheduled time. And, in case of any data loss, you can access your Time Machine backup to restore your lost, deleted, inaccessible, or corrupt files.

However, sometimes, your Time Machine’s Restore button is greyed out, and you can’t click it to restore the backed-up files to your Mac. This inability to restore can result in data loss as you’ve lost the files from your Mac storage drive and they are also irretrievable from the Time Machine backup drive.

Relax! There is a DIY method through which you can fix your Time Machine backup drive issue. In case the drive isn’t fixed, you can use a data recovery software for Mac to recover lost files from your Mac running on macOS Big Sur or earlier.

1. Repair Your Time Machine Backup Drive

When your Time Machine Restore button is greyed out, you can open Disk Utility and repair it using the First Aid tool. The steps to repair the Time Machine backup drive are as follows:

a) Go to Applications > Utilities and double-click on Disk Utility to launch it.

b) Click the View icon from the top and choose Show All Devices.

c) In the sidebar of Disk Utility, select the Time Machine backup drive, then click First Aid.

d) Click Run to initiate the repair process. If the drive is repaired, try to restore the file once again.

Hopefully, the Restore button won’t be greyed out this time. In case, you can’t fix the Time Machine backup drive, perform the next method.

2. Use a Mac Data Recovery Software to Recover Lost Data

When the Time Machine Restore button is greyed out, and it can’t be fixed, leverage a Mac data recovery software to recover your lost or inaccessible data from your Mac.

The steps to recover data from your Mac are as follows:

a)Download and install Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac on your MacBook, Mac mini, or iMac.

b) Watch the following video to perform data recovery on your Mac.

c) Once data recovery is through, erase the Time Machine backup drive using Disk Utility.

d) Set up the device as Time Machine backup drive and back up your Mac once again.

You can use the Restore button of your Time Machine backup drive for future data losses without any issue.


Sometimes, when you try to restore your lost files from the Time Machine backup drive, the Restore button is greyed out. You can try fixing the backup drive by using First Aid feature of Disk Utility. And, if the Time Machine backup is corrupt or the issue isn’t fixed, you can Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac software to scan and recover your lost or deleted files directly from your Mac. The free-to-try tool is compatible with macOS Big Sur and earlier macOS versions.

Aruna Attri
I am Computer expert and geeks with over 3 years of experience. Share my knowledge and expertise over different media channels from time to time or as soon as find a new one.
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