For Mac OS X users, Time Machine is not strange. It is a backup software application that keeps a copy of all your files, and allows you to restore the whole system or specific files whenever you need. Recently, however, we found that many users are discussing on forums about Time Machine backup error and failure. Are you wondering why Time Machine failed to backup? This article contains answers to many common issues about Time Machine backup and troubleshoots to alert messages while time machine could not complete the backup.
If this is your first backup, or the first time to a new external drive/partition, the most common cause might be that the drive has not been formatted properly. Follow the steps to set up using Disk Utility.
If Time Machine is still unable to complete a backup, please note the alert message it sends. If you missed it, you can open Time Machine preferences, and click the red "I" icon for more info.
Regardless of what warning message it appears, firstly you should make sure your software is up-to-date.
Messages you may receive while Time Machine failing to complete a backup:
The backup volume is read only
Time Machine could not complete the backup.
An error occurred while copying files.
Message: The backup disk is almost full.
No volumes to be backed up were available.
The entire alert message like this:
Usually this problem can be resolved after you restart the Mac. If this does not help, please format your external HDD and create a new partition for your backups.
This message occurs for no specific reason. Restart and then try the backup once again should fix it.
When the backup is disk full and lock of enough space, the Time Machine will delete old backups to make room for new ones. If you are not willing to remove old backups, please open Time Machine preferences to set up a new backup disk.
Open System Preferences, in Time Machine preferences pane, click Options. Please check and confirm you have not excluded all available volumes.
We wish you can fix the Time Machine backup issues disturbing you. If the problems you are having do not include here, write on the comment and we will respond as soon as we can.