Forum Question: How Do I Do a TOTAL Back Up To an External HD With Time Machine?

Dear Gary,
I have a new (2015) iMac with El Capitan. I have installed a 3TB Seagate external hard drive which was reformatted for this computer and is running as expected with Time Machine. The only file excluded from back up is the ext. hard disk file.
When I go to disk utility, it shows that 998 GB is used for storage on the Macintosh HD (including 11.39 GB photos). The Seagate external HD shows only 78GB is used (including 0 GB photos).
My main reason for back up is my photos. Time Machine is running the back up schedule normally. How do I get everything (especially Photos) to be included?
I enjoy the MacMost Newsletter when it comes and learn a lot from it.
Thank you,
Owen Williams. (Queensland, Australia)
Owen Williams

Comments: 4 Responses to “How Do I Do a TOTAL Back Up To an External HD With Time Machine?”

    9/16/16 @ 6:19 am

    A regular Time Machine backup IS a total backup. Everything should be there.
    First, ignore the storage reading showing you 0GB photos. It may not be identifying your Photo library as photos, but just as data. Instead, look using the Time Machine interface to see if it is being backed up. TO do that, go to your Pictures folder and notice the Photos library there. (That’s the default location, unless you changed it). Then click on the Time Machine icon in the menubar and “Enter Time Machine.” Then look back in time and you can clearly see if the Photos library is being backed up.
    I’m not sure why you are seeing such a big discrepancy between storage on your machine. Compression will count for a lot of it. Did you just start this backup — perhaps it is still in progress? What is taking up all of that space on your drive? I don’t mean what does the storage reading tell you, I mean what do you really have? Lots of video files? Purchased movies? A huge music collection?

    Owen Williams
    9/17/16 @ 7:25 pm

    Thank you, Gary, for your quick response. It is very much appreciated.
    When I do as you suggest and click on the Photos Library in Time Machine all that comes up is the “Photos” icon and 5.37 GB. I am unable to open the folder to check its contents. It will of course open OK in “Photos” itself.
    I have about 1300 photos in Photos Library at high resolution. Also, I am using the “magic window 4K” app as my desk top. Apart from those, I don’t have a lot stored.
    Thank you again,
    Owen Williams.

    9/18/16 @ 8:08 am

    The Photos library isn’t a folder, it is a library that Photos deals with. Sounds like all is in order then. If you only really have photos, and the photos library is being backed up, then you are set. Not sure why you are seeing 998 GB used on your drive as you clearly don’t have that much. I would look at that again and look to see how much space you are really using by just using the status bar at the bottom of the Finder window.

    Owen Williams
    9/18/16 @ 3:47 pm

    Thank you Gary. I am reassured by your comments. It is a great service that you are providing and I shall continue to follow “Macmost” closely. As we say in Australia – ” your blood’s worth bottling”.
    Owen Williams.

Comments Closed.