Note: This guide aims to recover and restore an entire Mac, including all files, all applications, and OS X system software, everything that is made from and contained within a Time Machine backup. If you only want or need to re-install OS X, you can use Internet Recovery for that, which will replace only the system software portion, without any personal files or applications.
Restoring and Recovering an Entire Mac System from Time Machine Backups
1. Connect the Time Machine backup drive to the Mac if you have not done so already
2. Start up or reboot the Mac and hold down the Command+R keys simultaneously, this will boot into the OS X Recovery Partition
3. At the “OS X Utilities” screen, choose “Restore from Time Machine Backup” and click on the Continue button
4. Select the Time Machine volume (either the external back up drive, network Time Capsule, or otherwise)
5. Select the date and time of the Time Machine backup you wish to restore the entire Mac from, and click on “Continue” – this begins the restoration process from the backup you selected, generally you’ll want to pick the most recently made backup but advanced users may choose another date (keep in mind if you pick an earlier date you will lose files and data created from that date onward)
6. When Time Machine has finished restoring everything, the Mac will reboot into the restored state from the chosen backup date