MacMost Q&A Forum • View All Forum QuestionsAsk a Question

How Do I Identify the Reason for a Time Machine Error?

Last week I had a Time Machine back up fail with a Copying Error. There were no clues that I could find that indicated what had generated the error.
After a couple of days, tearing my proverbial hair out, I found that Time Machine had failed because of duplicate folder names (Preset folders in the Audio Folder) within the Main Library.
The process of locating the error would have gone a lot faster if I’d been able find some sort of Log for Time Machine, something that was a little more revealing than just “Copying Error”, but I couldn’t find anything in Console.
Is there another location to check that would provide the information, or is there a way to coax the details out of Console?
Malcolm James

Comments: One Response to “How Do I Identify the Reason for a Time Machine Error?”

    2 years ago

    Interesting question. I’ve never thought about checking Time Machine logs. It turns out you can do it, in the Terminal at least. You can use the “log show” command. It has everything logged since your last restart, I believe. You can narrow it down to just Time Machine and also have it output to a file, which is much easier than just reading the output in the Terminal since it takes a while to generate.

    I opened Terminal and navigated to the Desktop with:
    cd ~/Desktop
    That way my file would be created there. Then I used the command:

    log show --style syslog --predicate 'senderImagePath contains[cd] "TimeMachine"' --info > tmlog.txt

    It took a while, but eventually I got a nice huge file that showed all sorts of information about my Time Machine backups. I’d imagine your error would have shown up there.

Comments Closed.