I can transfer dates folders (backups from different dates), but I can't transfer backups.backupdb. Will I lose something if I just transfer those files?

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Is there a way to transfer somewhere backups.backupdb if it's on external HDD and not in my TimeMachine? I saved backups a long time ago from my old MacBook Pro with Mojave. I saved them on external Transcend HDD and now I can't transfer them anywhere :

  1. To another HDD? No, I can't, I get endless copying of files.

  2. To my Mac? NO! The volume is wrong format for backup

  3. Encrypt backups inside the HDD and transfer dmg verison? NO! Operation failed: Operation not permitted.

  4. Just wait till endless copying end? Well, it won't end.

Please help me or just say it's just impossible in MacOS to transfer your backups if they are on external HDD


1 Answer 1


Starting with Big Sur, (incl Monterey, Ventura...) TimeMachine uses snapshot technology on APFS volumes. Quoting Boromir, one does not simply copy or move an APFS volume. The .backupdb file is no longer used. I'm placing this answer here, not necessarily for you(the OP) but for others searching for the same answer.

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