How to see what Time Machine is backing up?

dcains

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 27, 2007
192
0
Short story - if my MacBook was sitting mostly idle (i.e. some light web browsing or email activity) the hourly Time Machine backups would usually be ~55-60MB. At some point in the recent past, those backups have increased to ~500MB. Is there a way to tell which files are being backed up, so I might eliminate whatever has caused such a huge increase in backup size? I really can't recall installing any new software which might be responsible. Thanks in advance.
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,199
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
Short story - if my MacBook was sitting mostly idle (i.e. some light web browsing or email activity) the hourly Time Machine backups would usually be ~55-60MB. At some point in the recent past, those backups have increased to ~500MB. Is there a way to tell which files are being backed up, so I might eliminate whatever has caused such a huge increase in backup size? I really can't recall installing any new software which might be responsible. Thanks in advance.
What are you backing up to? If its a TC, open a folder in finder, and click on the TC in the left hand pane. You can see the folder or folders where your backups are and investigate from there.

I would not advise doing this during backup though.

If you are using an external USB drive, just mount it, and open it from the icon on the desktop, or from finder..Once again, you can see what's being backed up.
 

saberahul

macrumors 68040
Nov 6, 2008
3,616
88
USA
I don't know of any way of actually seeing what is being backed up but maybe you have updated your documents or downloaded some new music or such? My backups (done weekly) are about 15-20GB each but that is also due to a lot of activity that goes on during that week.
 

dcains

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 27, 2007
192
0
Well, I'm backing up to a 1TB TC, and I'm not sure how looking at the folders will help me. I need to see what files have changed between backups? Is there a way to do that?

No new downloads, and really no new file activity (docs, photos, etc.). Even if I leave the MacBook untouched, the backups are ~500MB per. That's what is baffling me.