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iMazing taking up 200GB of drive space!

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Well, if I delete a backup, I should recover at least some space, the space on which that backup is written. I don't use iMazing to make automatic backups, I do it manually and not very frequently (the data on my iDevices is not critical, for the most part). So now iMazing has taken 250GB of that External drive to store the first backup. When I make a second backup that space taken by iMazing will grow for that new backup. When I delete the first backup I should get some space back from that deletion.
 
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So now iMazing has taken 250GB of that External drive to store the first backup.

Just curious, but what is the total used space of the the iDevice(s) you are backing up with iMazing?

It sounds like from your description that iMazing is actually making an image or sparse image of the total size of the iDevice storage Drive ie: = 250GB.


- Patrick
======
 
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I gave that information in Post #1:
I have an iPhone with 143GB used and an iPad with 110GB used and I've backed them up using iMazing
EDIT: and I think the sparsebundle format is exactly what is being used as the backup folder holds two subfolders with the UUIDs of the two devices and in those folders are hex numbered folders and in those are files of varying sizes with all numeric names. I don't mind the sparsebundle approach, but the fact that previous backups don't delete (or at least did not for me) is not a good thing.
 
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Ok, that's how it should work. When you did it, from the beginning of this thread, what steps did you use to delete the old backups? Did you follow these steps, Manage your backups with iMazing If you just tried to delete the Notifications in iMazing Mini, that wouldn't delete the backup file.
 
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Yes, Bob, that is exactly the process I used. To be perfectly clear I did this:
To delete a single backup:

In the sidebar, select your device.
In the upper toolbar, click the Backups button. This will open the Backup List.
In the Backup list, select the backup you want to delete.
Click Delete and confirm.
The problem that then resulted was that iMazing indicated the backups were no longer there, but did not do any actual deletion of the files/links/whatever they used to create those backups. And that failure to delete left me with 200GB of space taken up that iMazing didn't show as taken up and which would NOT delete any other way. And that led to the requirement to completely destroy the iMazing installation, including several hidden folders and files that DigiDNA had sprinkled all over the system.
 
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One more update. Things are going from good to great here! I only turn on TM twice a day to make a backup and in that time it creates a snapshot. There are at most two of them on my system. In the process of mucking about with iMazing, I came to believe that when it is running, or when iMazing Mini is running, that the system is taking what are the equivalent of snapshots, but they call archiving. At their website they say
iMazing archives your backups automatically, a unique solution that is comparable to a Time Machine for your device.
From what I could see, whenever iMazing or iMazing Mini is running and your iDevice is available to be seen by iMazing, it is checking for things that have changed on the iDevice and putting those things into a folder in iMazing.backups located at <<path>>iMazing.backups/iMazing Versions/<<UUID of device>>/. All of that is, I suppose, a sort of good thing. But the downside is that if you receive Mail on your devices and a mail message arrives, the database for Mail changes, so a copy gets put into that location waiting for you to make a backup. Just like TM, this process is continuing on some regular basis. Now add in TM snapshots and that same data will now be included in the snapshot. All of a sudden you now have twice the space taken up for that database. And if you have two devices like I do and the mail arrives on both, you end up with four copies. Disk space is being consumed at a pretty rapid clip. I changed my setup to NOT have iMazing Mini launch at boot and have taken iMazing out of the Login items for my account. So it only runs when I turn it on to make a backup. I've noticed a drop in disk activity in Activity Monitor and the activity lights on my external drive where the backups are being put are showing no activity instead of the random but frequent activity that was the situation before. Nothing else has changed, so I'm attributing that cessation of activity to not having iMazing running.

So today when TM ran at noon, the snapshot it made did not have the backup information that had previously been on my internal drive. And that trigged another recovery of space. All of that is to say that yesterday before I started the process my 1TB SSD had 150GB free, today it is showing 459GB free. Nice!

You might want to check your own systems for similar things. I've recovered over 300GB of space just by forcing iMazing to use an external drive and by not letting it run constantly. It is a good product, but I recommend you don't leave it running all the time because the price (in storage) is too high.
 

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Think I'll br changing a few things. I have three devices backed up and I hsd never thought about TM backups essentially doubling up the iMazing backrps.
 
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Think I'll br changing a few things. I have three devices backed up and I hsd never thought about TM backups essentially doubling up the iMazing backrps.
I thought more backups can't hurt?
 
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From my work on it, I think it can be a real data hog if you leave it running. Even if Mail is not backed up, there are things they show on that page as definitely being backed up that change frequently (Reminders, Calendar, Messages, Notes, Applications and Photos). For a better example than Mail, if you have, like I do, 9000 images in Photos and take one picture to add to it, that entire database is now copied as a new backup, duplicated in the next TM Snapshot and if it syncs to another iDevice (like my iPad, where I do also sync), then you end up with FOUR copies of the photos database.

Now I don't know exactly what is being backed up, but my iPhone says it has 143.4GB used and my iPad has 113.6GB used. In the backup for both of them iMazing has taken up 152GB in the backup folders on the external drive as reported by running du -h in that folder. So some things are not being backed up, and iMazing is compressing pretty well, but still, if you have a large storage device (or two) and use that storage for volatile things like pictures/messages/calendars, etc, then iMazing will start to consume a large amount of space. Now add in TM and CCC snapshots and things start to multiply pretty quickly, as I found out.

But it's a free country, so you do whatever you think is best for you. For me, I've recovered a LOT of space just by moving the backups to an external drive and not letting iMazing run all the time. I'm not saying iMazing isn't a good product, or that it should not be used, I'm just trying to say that if you use it, keep an eye on it.

- - - Updated - - -

I thought more backups can't hurt?
For TM, the issue is not so much the backup as it is the snapshots TM makes. My TM backup is to a different external drive, one with tons of storage, so I don't care how many times TM duplicates data there. But I do care about taking my internal drive space in snapshots.
 

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Do any of you use the Backup over WiFi option? I turned that off on mine although I never leave the app running I thought it would just complicate things and I still prefer to use a cable for reliable syncing.
 
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I think I used it once, then turned it off. Didn't have any issues with it, just didn't want to clutter the WiFi network with that much data. Maybe later backups don't use as much, if they use the TM approach of incremental backups, but I have cables handy, so...
 

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Do any of you use the Backup over WiFi option? I turned that off on mine although I never leave the app running I thought it would just complicate things and I still prefer to use a cable for reliable syncing.
I use it all the time and it works just as well as using the lightning cable and attaching the devices to my iMac. I do the same with iTunes and that works okay as well.
 
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Do any of you use the Backup over WiFi option? I turned that off on mine although I never leave the app running I thought it would just complicate things and I still prefer to use a cable for reliable syncing.
I leave mine enabled too. I also leave it enabled across all three user accounts (I leave them logged in as well) and they back up at different times.
 
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Hmm, okay, maybe I will give it a try but Bob are you using a desktop to do that? I’m just on a MBP.
Yes, I'm using my Mac Mini. But it still should work the same way on any Mac model.
 
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Hey everyone! iMazing team member here. Will do my best to help you understand how iMazing uses disk space and answer other questions which were raised in this discussion.

Any additional questions and comments are more than welcome!

iMazing backup folder structure

By default, iMazing will back up to 'C: \Users\*user name*\AppData\Roaming\iMazing\Backups' on Windows and to '~/Library/Application Support/iMazing/Backups' on Mac. Here you will see two types of folders:
- Folders with 40 random chars in name (device UDID, unique for each device).
- iMazing.Versions folder.

Folder with 40 random chars in name is the last full backup of your device. There will be one separate folder for each device you back up with iMazing.

iMazing.Versions folder contains incremental versions of previous backups in iMazing.Versions > Versions folder. Backup versions themselves are saved in folders named by device UDID, so they won't mix up.

Checking space for iMazing folder itself will also count cache and .ipa files saved in 'Library' folder.


Backup size, space used report and backup archiving

iMazing backups are similar to Time Machine and are incremental (basially shallow copies), and will include only changed data where possible. So, for example, Photos db is not fully copied each time you make a backup after taking a new photo, just changed files.

Also, as backups don't include iOS, apps .ipa files, and media, they will be actually smaller than space used on the device.

Regarding space used by incremental backups, Finder and File Explorer don't count incremental backups correctly and include additional full backup in report. For example, if you have a 100 GB main backup and total incremental backups size for this device in iMazing.Versions is 120GB, actual space used for incremental backups is 20 GB. Terminal should give the correct report.

iMazing will also keep an eye on how much space is taken by incremental backups, and will delete older backups in case they start taking more than 50% of your full backup size. Check this guide for more info.


'iMazing/Library' folder can use a lot of space

'Library' folder is where iMazing stores .ipa files that you download with Manage Apps feature, so better to keep an eye on it. Especially if you save version history of some apps.

It's a good idea to set it to an external drive (if possible) with Preferences > Apps tab.


Cache taking a lot of space

iMazing generates cache to speed up performance. If it takes too much space, you can always clean it manually: quit iMazing and iMazing Mini (to make sure no cache files are in use) > relaunch iMazing, but don't open any dataset > Preferences > General and click 'Clear iMazing cache'.


Changing backup location and backing up to external drives

iMazing can use external drives and NAS as backup locations. When changing backup location, iMazing will start a fresh backup set and old backups won't be moved automatically. As the first backup is full, it's better to connect device via USB. If you use NAS as your backup location, connect it to your computer via Ethernet cable (if possible) for the first backup to speed up the process. Second and further backups will be incremental, so you can use Wi-Fi.

Note: Moving iMazing.Versions folder manually with Finder or File Explorer will break incremental backups system. We are currently working on the way to move full backup set with iMazing, but not sure when it will be implemented, unfortunately. If you have some important backup that you want to save for extra security, you can export it using this guide and mount it in iMazing later.


Deleting iMazing backups

As iMazing backups are incremental and connected with each other, deleting them manually may lead to backup set corruption and data loss. You need to delete backups only with iMazing.

If there are any issues with deleting backups, first restart your computer and, if they won't go away, please let us know through support form or just send a message with Help > 'Send feedback or bug report' inside the app!

Note: Incremental backups can be really small, so deleting one or two may not free up any noticeable ammount of disk space.

'Endless backup' issue

I've seen a case with backup starting over on 20% in one of the first comments, so I'll cover it as well. When backup takes too much time, some apps can refresh in background. This will lead to changed files on the device, and iMazing will need to start the backup all over again.

It's usually fixed by simply restarting both device and computer, putting device in Airplane mode and starting the backup.

What can affect backup speed:
- Backup location. Fastest backups are with local driver, slightly slower with external drive and can be very slow on NAS (depends on WLAN and lots of other factors).
- Free space on the device. During backup, Apple's backup agent will generate temp files so it needs some free space. We recommend having around 5-6% of free space from device's total disk space.
- Connection type. Wi-Fi backups are always slower than wired backups.


Hope this helps!
 

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@iMazingTeam:

First, a warm welcome to our forums.

Thank you for your explanation regarding using disk space. Please feel free to comment anytime and answer any support questions on our forums.

Regards from the staff.
 
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