Lion, Time Machine, and Gmail...(Issue Resolution)

jimckimmel

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
50
3
Not sure if this has been posted before, but after upgrading to Lion, I noticed that my hourly Time Machine backups were saving 5-7GB every hour (and I don't do that much work on it).

Looks like Lion is storing my GMAIL email locally and TimeMachine is backing up the database(s) every time it runs. The files were located at ~/Library/Mail/V2 , and I excluded the two gmail accounts (1 google app) that I have set up on the Mac.

The easiest way that I found to do this was to use the Finder to get to the ~/Library/Mail/ folder and move the V2 folder onto the sidebar - then I could go into the Time Machine Prefs, add the exclusion, and click the icon in the sidebar to select the two mailbox folders under V2. For some reason (probably safety), I couldn't get to the ~/Library/Mail folder easily in the Time Machine Exclusion selection box....

Anyway, now my backups are like 150K - 2MB/hour which makes much more sense... :)

Hope this helps...

Jim
 

ghsNick

macrumors 68030
May 25, 2010
2,677
551
Haven't been able to check this (at work) but if Time Machine is backing up with every change in Gmail that's not good.

Anyone confirm/deny this issue/fix?

Or is it just happening to the OP?
 
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jimckimmel

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
50
3
Could be that there's a setting that I'm missing in mail, somewhere, and I don't have any other email accounts, besides my gmail and my google apps accounts, to really test with, but it definitely appears (thanks to BackupLoupe) that Time Machine was backing up the entire database for each mailbox (Inbox, etc) when they are updated. My All Mail folder in gmail is 5GB, so it was killing my Time Machine backups...
 
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mrapplegate

macrumors 68030
Feb 26, 2011
2,818
8
Cincinnati, OH
Could be that there's a setting that I'm missing in mail, somewhere, and I don't have any other email accounts, besides my gmail and my google apps accounts, to really test with, but it definitely appears (thanks to BackupLoupe) that Time Machine was backing up the entire database for each mailbox (Inbox, etc) when they are updated. My All Mail folder in gmail is 5GB, so it was killing my Time Machine backups...
5GB will take a little time, but in the big picture is not a lot to back up. Your solution will work, exclude mail from TM, but you won't get it backed up unless you do it manually.
I have been running Lion since April without issues in Mail. My Mail folder is 18GB
 
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jimckimmel

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
50
3
5GB will take a little time, but in the big picture is not a lot to back up. Your solution will work, exclude mail from TM, but you won't get it backed up unless you do it manually.
I have been running Lion since April without issues in Mail. My Mail folder is 18GB
Unfortunately, I have a 2008 MacBook Pro backing up wirelessly to a TimeCapsule, so 5GB does take a while - I am no longer getting "hourly" backups because each one takes more than an hour. I'm not sure how the updated mail app's database is configured (or changed), compared to the Snow Leopard version, but I never saw TimeMachine backing up the entire database every time a new message arrived.

Plus, since it's Gmail, I don't really need a local copy backed up (event though I know there have been issues with Gmail in the past). It would be nice, but not at the expense of slowing the system down every time I get an email...
 
Last edited:
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mrapplegate

macrumors 68030
Feb 26, 2011
2,818
8
Cincinnati, OH
Unfortunately, I have a 2009 MacBook Pro backing up wirelessly to a TimeCapsule, so 5GB does take a while - I am no longer getting "hourly" backups because each one takes more than an hour. I'm not sure how the updated mail app's database is configured (or changed), compared to the Snow Leopard version, but I never saw TimeMachine backing up the entire database every time a new message arrived.

Plus, since it's Gmail, I don't really need a local copy backed up (event though I know there have been issues with Gmail in the past). It would be nice, but not at the expense of slowing the system down every time I get an email...
You're correct it should not back up the whole database for a new message. I'm not sure what is going wrong. On the same point how much new mail are the users getting in that hour? Hundreds of messages with attachments? Are these accounts IMAP? Many emails with large attachments can trigger a large change in the database.
 
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jimckimmel

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
50
3
You're correct it should not back up the whole database for a new message. I'm not sure what is going wrong. On the same point how much new mail are the users getting in that hour? Hundreds of messages with attachments? Are these accounts IMAP? Many emails with large attachments can trigger a large change in the database.
Not sure about other users, but in my case, the accounts are IMAP. I have conversations turned on in Mail.app, and I don't get a lot of emails (maybe 50/day on a peak day), and hardly any have large attachments (or any attachments for that matter).
 
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mrapplegate

macrumors 68030
Feb 26, 2011
2,818
8
Cincinnati, OH
Not sure about other users, but in my case, the accounts are IMAP. I have conversations turned on in Mail.app, and I don't get a lot of emails (maybe 50/day on a peak day), and hardly any have large attachments (or any attachments for that matter).
I'm at a loss. See if there are any unusual log entries when TM starts its backup. system.log will show the progress and what is being done.
 
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