Every time I make a backup with Time Machine, the size of the data backed up is always 2Gb+.
I don't understand where all these data are coming from.
Is there a way to inspect the content of the single backup?

  • 1
    Are you using torrent or usenet software? If so, open the TM settings and add the working directories pointing to these to ignore.
    – EDP
    Oct 19 '15 at 1:41

TimeTracker - this allows you to see the individual files backed up to Time Machine.

(It's a little down on the website.)

  • I already tried this, but whenever I launch the app, it says it doesn't have the permission to read the backup file and becomes unresponsive.
    – pasine
    Oct 18 '15 at 22:13
  • @pasine I don't have that issue, it works fine for me. Are you logged in as an admin?
    – At0mic
    Oct 19 '15 at 2:30
  • 1
    yes. maybe because the TM is on a NAS?
    – pasine
    Oct 19 '15 at 8:24
  • Same here and my TM is on a NAS too.
    – Kalle
    Feb 3 '16 at 16:31

I guess this question is pretty old now, but just in case anyone is still looking for something, I use BackupLoupe.


You can use the preinstalled tmutil utility on the command line (Terminal.app) to show the difference between two snapshots.

sudo bash

# Go to the time machine folder on your backup disk
cd /Volumes/BackupDisk/Backups.backupdb/mymac/

# List all available backups
ls -l

# Compare two backups
tmutil compare 2019-01-15-203957 2019-01-15-211038

Manpage entry for tmutil compare:

If no arguments are provided, tmutil will compare the computer to the latest snapshot. If a snapshot path is provided as the sole argument, tmutil will compare the computer to the specified snapshot. If two path arguments are provided, tmutil will compare those two items to each other. tmutil will attempt to inform you when you have asked it to do something that doesn't make sense or isn't supported.

  • Sounds good, but cd: Permission denied: '/Volumes/whatever/Backups.backupdb ... it seems that permissions arent allows allowing to do it like this.
    – GhostCat
    Jan 11 '21 at 7:52
  • @GhostCat Try as root (sudo bash), see updated answer.
    – seb
    Feb 4 '21 at 20:24
  • I read your whole answer, I am in a bash that I started with sudo. I am root. But maybe I somehow messed up my backup disk. I can do backups to it, and time machine shows what is in, but I also cant change the password for it.
    – GhostCat
    Feb 5 '21 at 7:37

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