Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Time Machine: Force Backup Now

In OS X 10.5 Leopard, Time Machine will handle the backups with minimal user input. This works well for a fixed backup system. However, when connecting external drives, the automated system does not work well. Who wants to connect a drive and then wait 10-15 minutes for the backup to kick in? Here is how to force time machine to start the backup process.

I connect my external drive to my macbook pro and wait… and wait, and wait. Finally, the backup kicks in.

Forcing Time Machine to start backing up is actually pretty easy. There are two ways to do it:

The first is to right-click (ctrl-click) on the Time Machine icon in the dock and select Back Up Now from the menu.

Alternatively, you can just tell Time Machine to start by the following terminal command:


If the code box above doesn’t work well for you, here is the terminal command with a line break to allow it to appear on this page easier. Just leave the linebreak out when typing into the terminal:


David Kirk
David Kirk
David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.


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