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My TimeMachine is in the cleanup state for a long time (several days). The backup is to an external drive and the disk on the mac laptop is less than 500 GB. It usaually takes much less time to clean up.

The following log is not helpful.

Is there a way to inspect what the TimeMachine actually is doing during the cleanup? Thanks.

$ log show --debug --predicate 'subsystem == "com.apple.TimeMachine"' --info --last 4h
Filtering the log data using "subsystem == "com.apple.TimeMachine""
Timestamp                       Thread     Type        Activity             PID    TTL  
2020-02-21 13:36:41.329729-0600 0xb4acfa   Info        0x0                  98     0    backupd-helper: (TimeMachine) [com.apple.TimeMachine:TMLogInfo] Not starting scheduled Time Machine backup: Backup already running
2020-02-21 14:36:55.424274-0600 0xb60241   Info        0x0                  98     0    backupd-helper: (TimeMachine) [com.apple.TimeMachine:TMLogInfo] Not starting scheduled Time Machine backup: Backup already running
2020-02-21 15:42:20.848345-0600 0xb64cb9   Info        0x0                  98     0    backupd-helper: (TimeMachine) [com.apple.TimeMachine:TMLogInfo] Not starting scheduled Time Machine backup: Backup already running
2020-02-21 16:36:27.614466-0600 0xb8060d   Info        0x0                  98     0    backupd-helper: (TimeMachine) [com.apple.TimeMachine:TMLogInfo] Not starting scheduled Time Machine backup: Backup already running
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Log      - Default:          0, Info:                4, Debug:             0, Error:          0, Fault:          0
Activity - Create:           0, Transition:          0, Actions:           0
  • You probably updated to latest MacOS, then there is a lot of work to do. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Feb 21 at 23:58
  • I have not updated my MacOS. The only thing is that there might be 100GB data changed since the last backup to the current one. But it doens't make sense to clean up for many days, it takes even more time than the backup stage. – user1424739 Feb 22 at 5:51
  • I would suspect the Time Machine drive is damaged. I used to see this kind of thing a lot on [High] Sierra, a lot less since Mojave. The only thing I've found that can fix it is DiskWarrior You could also try thinning/deleting local snapshots, but I never found that to really fix anything - see apple.stackexchange.com/a/362658/85275 – Tetsujin Feb 22 at 8:30
  • Buy another disk and do a fresh backup to that. The cleaning process to remove old images may apparently be quite slow in the latest. My time capsule took forever to catch up – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Feb 22 at 10:18
  • Buying another disk could be a solution. But I will lose the history of the backups. Is there a way to see debug what is wrong with the excessively long cleanup stage? – user1424739 Feb 23 at 2:04

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