Time Machine is backing up things that haven't changed

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by DisplacedMic, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    Hi guys,
    I can't figure out why time machine is backing up random (and huge) files that haven't changed at all.

    I have the exclusions set up for things that i know i don't want backed up. But for some reason my backups are all 50ish gigs each.

    for example, my applications are ALL being updated - even those that i never use, like the 500meg iMovie app that i hasn't been modified in over a year.

    there's a 12 gig phone backup folder on my desktop that hasn't been modified in since march 2012 that gets backed up every time.

    i have excluded my download folder, the library where i store my VM files and a few other things - but obviously something screwy is happening.

    anyone have any ideas?

    I am running 10.6.8 on a unibody 2009ish macbook 2.4 ghz & 4gig RAM

    thanks :)
  2. DisplacedMic thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    so for some reason my entire applications folder is updating...which is over 16 gigs. all of the adobe programs - some of which haven't been used in over a year... my library (why is my printer library folder over a gig?:eek:) and so on.

    i am really bewildered. all of my updates have been 40+ gigs each. even just random folders on my desktop that have backups (and should not be affecting the clock or doing anything that might trick TM) are getting backed up.

    anyone have any ideas?
  3. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    It's got nothing to do with usage: using your applications will not change them and require them to be backed-up.

    However, ANY change to the file, including file attributes, will backup the file.

    So if you have a 50Gb file and you change the permissions so that everyone can read it, then that counts and the whole file is backed up again.

    You're certain than NOTHING has changed? How are you checking what has been backed up? Perhaps that method is not accurate?

    The other point is: as long as everything is backed-up, does it matter?
  4. DisplacedMic thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    well, it matters because at 40-50 gigs an hour, it's filling up my drive and i'm losing backups.

    obviously something is changing in those files, but even when i'm afk? it never used to do this before... i am backing up because i'm preparing to upgrade from SL to ML so maybe i should just go ahead and do that and see if that fixes the problem?

    I check to see what it's backing up by going in and looking at the files on the external...
  5. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    TM makes it look like EACH snapshot contains EVERY file. But it doesn't really. That's the clever bit. If the only evidence you have is "every file is included in the folder for each snapshot", then: relax. TM isn't really backing up that much every time.

    There are utilities that show you which files have actually been copied. The log messages in the Console at the time of backup will also give you some indication.
  6. DisplacedMic thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    oh i see. well the fact that the file sizes are so similar would certainly lend evidence to support that. but the number of files being prepared for backups and the backups themselves seem to take an inordinate amount of time. in addition, while it's happening it says the total file size.

    i will pay attention to the next couple and see what they look like real time.

    thank you so much for your help:)
  7. kirstenj macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2013
    Same trouble to Synology DSS

    I have a new iMac backing up to a Synology DSS. It's backing up 100 out of 107 GB of used disk space... every hour. Ouch. I've excluded Parallels virtual machine now (46GB), but that's still too much. e.g. every file in Documents is being backed up and I haven't touched them. Any ideas?
  8. adnbek macrumors 65816


    Oct 22, 2011
    Montreal, Quebec
    I had endless problems with time machine backups always being huge in size. Didn't matter if anything changed or not, they were 30-40gb backups each and every time. And on a NAS, those backups took forever! Most annoying!

    Solution? I ditched TM altogether and now I use Carbon Copy Cloner. Never looked back. And the best thing is, if my hard drive dies, I can still boot and work from the clone.

    And no, this ain't a sponsored post. :p I just hate TM. It never worked right with me no matter what I tried to get it to work right.

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