How can I tell what Time Machine is backing up?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Evangelion, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. Evangelion macrumors 68040

    Jan 10, 2005
    I have noticed that my Time Machine-backups are quite big. 1+GB a day is not unheard of. How can I tell what data Time Machine is backing up, so I could determine where all that data is coming from? I don't download all that much stuff (no P2P for example), so I have no idea where it gets all that data to back up. Is there a tool I could use for this?
  2. pyrodex macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    One thing is you can look at the timemachine icon in your menubar if you have that enabled. It will tell you when it is backing up by the motion of the clock hands spinning. Also you can check your console/system logs for backupd and see the logs for that.
  3. Evangelion thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jan 10, 2005
    Yes, I can see when it's backing up. But the "problem" is that when I check it's progress it tells me "Backing up 2.4GB" (as was my latest backup). I would like to know what makes that 2.4GB (or whatever it happens to be). I don't download stuff that much, I don't create files.... Where is all that stuff coming from?
  4. reubs macrumors 68000

    Jun 22, 2006
    If you mucked around at all with your iTunes library (changing genres, artists, or anything of the sort) that would all register as a change, and Time Machine would back that up. Have you done anything like that recently?
  5. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I don't know how to do it "live" (i.e. tell what's being backed up while the actual backup is running), but you can use BackupLoupe to see what all is in a backup that has completed.
  6. Evangelion thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jan 10, 2005
    Thanks, that tool helped me track down the problem :). It seems that it's Techtool Pro-folder in my Library that is causing those huge backups. It contains folders called "Leopard" (my OS X-partition) and "Drobo" (obviosuly the Drobo I use for backups (among other things). For example, a recent 1.65GB backup consists mostly of 3 564MB files in the Drobo-folder. Those files are called "Directory Backup 2009-10-02-07-47-15" (the numbers differ in each three files). What are those files? Occasionally they are in the Drobo-folder, sometimes in the Leopard-folder (or both).

    I excluded the Techtool-folder fro the backup, so things should get back in control now.

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