I'm trying to copy files from one HDD to another. For some reason copying ''Backups.backupdb'' folder won't end. The original size of the folder is 145gb,but when it hits 145,it is just adding more GBs.


enter image description here


enter image description here

Btw,when copying stars,after 10-15 mins mac asked my for password to copy ''Backups.backupd''.Maybe this is the problem?It doesn't ask anything for other folders.

UPD I have ''stop'' symbol on my folder,maybe this is the problem?How do i remove it,so my mac has access to it without pass.?

  • I've edited out the second question you've asked, the site works better with one question per post. You can always ask additional questions separately.
    – nohillside
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 6:40
  • What format is the disk you are copying to? I suspect the Finder can only get this right between identically-formatted disks, not HFS>APFS etc. & certainly not to such as ExFAT.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 7:27
  • @Tetsujin both hdd are Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled) Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 7:41
  • Case sensitive might be the issue. Technically the Mac can use them, but it doesn't like them & you should avoid if possible. I've never used one, so idk for sure.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 8:01
  • Ahh! Did you switch off TM auto-back ups and remove the existing drive as backup location before you started this?
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 8:45

1 Answer 1


Backups.backupdb contains the TimeMachine backup which uses hard links to preserve space (basically this ensures that files/folders only get backed up if their content changes). Wenn copying Backups.backupdb via Finder, these hard links are not rebuild, so copying it will create a folder containing a full backup for each time TimeMachine run. This is most likely not what you want (and it will need a huge amount of disk space).

To clone a TimeMachine disk, use a tool like SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner.

  • But i already copied Backups.backupdb once from one HDD to another without any problems.Maybe ''mac wants password to copy Backups.backupdb'' interrupts copying and makes endless copying error? Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 6:47
  • @alexandergill Well, maybe the process gets confused if you don't enter the password. And did you check whether you got duplications the first time (maybe the backup was smaller)?
    – nohillside
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 7:02
  • my Backups.backupdb is stored in one external HDD,can i ''clone'' it into another external HDD with Carbon Copy? Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 8:06
  • @alexandergill yes, should work.
    – nohillside
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 8:08
  • I updated my post,please check.Btw,even after adding app to Secutity&Privacy still have this note and can't clone :( ''Time Machine backup volumes use Apple-proprietary filesystem devices, and Apple does not support the use of third-party utilities to copy Time Machine backups. Use Finder to copy this proprietary data store to another disk.'' Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 8:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .