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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Apr 18, 2011
    Mysterious, giant Time Machine backup
    The Mac is backing up using TM, for 46GB according to the icon in my menu bar. I'm wondering, why is it so humongous? Here is what I know:

    1. This is NOT the 1st backup. We've had the MacBook, running TM, for two years.
    2. The last successful backup was about 8 hours ago (because it wanted to make such a gigantic backup, I turned TM off until bedtime).
    3. A big source of giant backups, per Google, is big files that get small changes. Do we have any? I'm not sure. We do NOT use parallels, VMWare, or any such software. We do not have home movies or other types of video files. What is on the MacBook? It is my wife's only computer. She surfs the 'net, organizes pictures, and listens to music. This gives a 30GB iTunes library and a similarly sized iPhoto library (plus some web history, but she's no junky). Neither iPhoto nor iTunes changed today, unless looking at pictures and playing music counts. What other typical sources of "large files" are there, and how might I search for files by size to find them?
    4. I backup to a Time Capsule
    5. I also previously used a 30GB piece of the time capsule for storing extra files. I deleted those files today, and thought maybe they found their way into the MacBook's trash and that was causing the problem. But Google told me Time Machine excludes the trash (to the dismay of whomever's thread I stumbled upon...)
    6. Ummm?

    How on Earth could I need to do a 46GB backup when nothing happened on the machine since the last reported successful backup (I checked - 14:42 this afternoon) except some web surfing and deleting files off an external hard drive (the TC)? What culprit am I missing to bog down an incremental backup update when we don't have VM's and virtual hard drives or giant video files that are being edited?


  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 7+, Numerous iPods, High Sierra
    What's actually on the hard drive? Sometimes files and folders are hidden which can be fairly large. Why don't you download the free Disk InventoryX and find out what exactly is on the drive....

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