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Time Machine Preparing Backup Then Stops

Time Machine Preparing Backup Then Stops

Let’s discuss why Time Machine Preparing Backup Then Stops.

Have you ever experienced the time machine preparing backup then stopping? Stay calm! Here we’ll help you how to fix if your time machine is stuck during preparing backup.

Your Mac comes with a helpful built-in backup program called Time Machine, which you can use to make a restorable copy of your whole Mac on an external disc. However, if you are making a backup for the first time and have a lot of data on your Mac, Time Machine can become stuck on Preparing backup.

Many applicators have reported that Time Machine has been stuck when making a backup on macOS Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, or previous Mac operating system versions. If Time Machine becomes stuck on your Mac machines, be calm and work on it. This article will show you why the Time Machine is stopped in the Preparing Backup process and solve this problem.

Why is Time Machine preparing backup stopped?

Your Time Machine backup may be stuck on Preparing backup for a variety of reasons.

  • The files are hefty.
  • A corrupted or out-of-date backup drive
  • Your Mac’s operating system is out of date.
  • Recent software installations are causing issues.
  • It might be a virus on a Mac or backup disk
  • The last Time Machine backup might be discontinued
  • Apps that are trying to access your external storage device like an antivirus
  • Check your Wi-Fi connection if you’re backing up over a network to ensure that your Time Machine runs smoothly.

How to fix Preparing backup is stopped in Time Machine

The Time Machine must be stopped and restarted if it gets stuck at the Preparing backup stage.

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Wait for the progress bar and the words “Preparing backup” to go away before pressing the X button.

Select Options and add the items you wish to skip from backups if you have enormous photo or video files that you don’t require.

The external disc you are trying to use can also be scanned for malware. Disk Utility may be used to wipe the external drive if you want to be extra safe.

Antiviruses may conflict with Time Machine backups since they can access your external hard disc for regular checks. Excluding the external disc in antivirus scans is another option you might try out.

When Time Machine doesn’t work, it may be because your Mac OS is out of date, which might cause problems. Check for updates in System Preferences > Software Update:
If there are any updates available, install them before making a new Time Machine backup.

Your external drive may be interfering with a previously successful Time Machine backup if you just installed a new piece of software on your computer. Make sure no other programs are accessing your external disc while Time Machine generates a backup to avoid a problem.

Time Machine backups shouldn’t take hours to complete, so maybe one of the techniques above can assist you. If this doesn’t work, consider using another tool to make a backup.

Why does the backup process take so long on a Mac?

Preparation times for Time Machine are based on how much data you have on your Mac, the size of your backup, and how fast your Mac and the backup drive are connected.

if the following conditions are met, then the preparation backup can take time:

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There was a problem with the previous Time Machine backup.

It wasn’t shut off correctly on the computer.

Before being ejected, a disc was removed from your computer.

There might be a recent software update installed.

After a few days of using your Mac, you didn’t save a backup of your files. If the backup disk is detached, this can happen.


How long should preparing backup take on Mac?

If your Mac is new and you don’t have a lot of data on it, preparing a backup shouldn’t take more than 5 or 10 minutes. For a 10 GB backup, Time Machine waited for roughly 10 minutes to finish its initial backup. Regularly scheduled backups stack on top of one other, and they don’t take much time to do as well.

Why does my Mac backup keep failing?

Your backup drive should be plugged in, switched on, and linked to your Mac securely. Make sure both your Mac and your backup drive are connected to the network. If the network is down, you may not be able to access your backup drive.

How long should my first Time Machine backup take?

With large amounts of data and applications, the initial backup will take a long time to complete. If your Mac is new and you don’t have a lot of data on it, preparing a backup should take no more than five or ten minutes. It only takes around 10 minutes to wait for Time Machine to finish its initial backup of a 10 GB file on our system.


Time Machine’s backup process might get stopped from time to time. So what? That doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck. There are several things you can do to fix this problem, such as updating your Mac software, minimizing the size of your backup by removing large or extra files, screening for malware and rechecking your network connection if you are backing up through Wi-Fi, eliminating your backup drive from Spotlight search, as well as antivirus software and other applications.

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Time Machine isn’t the only option for backing up your system. Use programs like ChronoSync and Get Backup Pro to keep your data safe. They’re simple to use and provide a wide range of options for backing up your data.

Thanks for reading!

This Article is Updated.

Robert Smith
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Robert Smith

Robert Smith is a technology lover and loves to write about laptops, monitors, printers, tablets, Apple products and anything that's related to computers and games. He is passionate enough that he maintains this blog regarding tech updates on a daily basis.