Slow Time Capsule backups
Q Both ‘Preparing backup…’ and actually backing up take several hours with modest amounts of data. Apple sites have many similar complaints but no solutions. Can you help? Patrick Crampton
A There are lots of things that can cause this, but let’s go over some of the common ones. First check you don’t have anti-virus software running during the backup period. Also open the Spotlight search box. If you see the ‘indexing’ progress bar appear, halt your Time Machine backup until it has finished. Time Machine is a lot slower while Spotlight is indexing. If Time Machine recently failed to complete a backup, the next one can be much slower because it needs to roll Time Machine back correctly, using the .inProgress file from the failed backup. And adding folders that were previously excluded from Time Machine can also add a lot of time to the backup.
You’re using a Time Capsule, so we need to take network issues into account as well. Connecting both the capsule and your Mac to your router via Ethernet will speed things up, but if that’s not practical try just putting the Time Capsule in the same room as the router. If this makes a dramatic difference, you may have Wi-Fi interference. If none of this helps, try installing the Time Machine Buddy from www.bluedog.com.au/default/Time_Machine_Buddy.html. This Dashboard widget provides a handy way to view the Time Machine log messages that might give you some more clues.
Wi-Fi interference near your Time Capsule can make your backups much slower than they need to be.