I plugged an external drive into Time Capsule using the USB input on the back.

Then I used Finder to move data from the Time Capsule's drive to the USB drive.

Finder says it'll take over 24 hours to move that data.

There must be a faster way. Do you know how I can do that?

3 Answers 3


If you want an exact copy of the TC drive, the fastest way is to connect the USB drive directly to the TC and use the archiving option in Airport Utility:

enter image description here

Other things to consider:

  • Transfering data over wire (ethernet) is faster than over Wi-Fi
  • Connecting the USB drive directly to the computer (than to the TC) gives better results if you use the Finder to copy data.
  • 1
    In AirPort Utility 6, they removed the Archive function (the mind of Apple, who knows why). You will need to install 5.6 in order to carry on using this function. v6 and 5.6 can live side by side on your Mac. Download it here: support.apple.com/kb/dl1482
    – Jowie
    Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 12:05
  • Airport 6.3.2 on Mavericks has this function. Whether it will in fact be done by 10:35 tomorrow morning (nearly 20 hours from now) is a different matter, especially since the TC is in a tangle which makes it stick for hours at 80% complete while verifying a backup. Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 14:51

I can't say for sure (so someone can correct me if AFP (which I assume is being used) works differently) but a common problem with Windows network transfers from one remote device to another is it will pull the file TO the computer you use to initiate the transfer, then move it to the destination, which is much slower than a direct transfer.

If Time Capsule has a function in its interface for transferring files to a connected drive (or can be connected to via ssh to do the same), that will probably be a better solution than initiating the transfer via Finder.


If you are not going to take apart Time Capsule then connect USB drive to your Mac and connect your Mac to TM by wire if possible. That would be the fastest way to copy.

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