Time machine keeps daily snapshot for past month and hourly for the last 24 hours.

My question - I am only seeing backups at the rate of anywhere from 3-6 per day. Looking at the TM folder I see this -

enter image description here

3 backups yesterday, 6 the day before. We are 8 hours into the new day, and no backup has completed yet.

I am running 10.6.8 on a 12 core MacPro. The only BU is for the main drive, a 512GB SSD with only 52GB of capacity used.

  • Is it normal for the backs to take so long?
  • Is there anything I can do to speed this up?

For what it's worth, I rebooted after posting (6 hours ago) and told time machine to start a backup. It still shows "indexing" after 6 hours.

New Edit - After posting the above, backups continued to take a few hours, so I still saw a few per day. As of now, no backup has completed in 48 hours. Still hoping for a way to troubleshoot this. Even wiping the backup and starting fresh would be ok, but I'm not confident the problem won't reappear.

1 Answer 1


After searching, I've found that generally, even though this is the stated timing

enter image description here

the best you are likely to see is every 2-3 hours for this size drive. Sometimes a backup will stall, and the software will restart, so I have a few daily backups remaining that time stamp as late as 6 am, showing there was at least a 6 hour gap.

That said, I have a second MacPro, running Yosemite, same 50GB used, and its backups are every hour, like clockwork.

  • 1
    Search for backupd in the console.app - look in /var/log/system.log and you can see when a backup takes more than an hour to complete. If you want to narrow down a specific folder, you can use Time Machine preferences to exclude some folders and then see if they are busy or changing too often. Once you've done the math - if you actually have more data than can physically be copied in an hour - getting a faster drive or just knowing that everything is explained might help.
    – bmike
    Jul 9, 2016 at 18:28
  • Much thanks, the best I can find is a line "Jul 11 09:04:13 MacPro12 com.apple.backupd[54595]: Copied 4954 files (1.7 GB) from volume Newton SSD." which seems like a huge change of data, given that I wasn't on the computer at this time, and much of the data that changes is not on the startup drive. eg, my dropbox, evernote, etc, are all linked to a spinning drive, the boot drive is the SSD. Jul 11, 2016 at 17:37

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