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If you haven’t backed up Time Machine in a while, the most recent backup mode changes to Delayed mode, and an exclamation point appears in the menu bar icon to remind you to back up soon.
Delays in backups can be for many reasons, and if you’re curious why this happens, we’ll go through the most common causes on your Mac and, of course, how you can fix the problem.
Keep in mind that resolving a backup delay is usually very easy, and can be fixed simply by letting the backup go as usual. So, why might you see a delayed backup message? Consider:
Common reasons to get a ‘Time Machine Backup Delayed’ message on a Mac
- You have manually paused Time Machine backup several times
- You have disconnected an external device that Time Machine had backed up to
- You recently replaced your Time Machine backup drive
- The Time Machine backup drive is no longer connected to your Mac
Fortunately, all of these are easy to fix, as you may have seen the theme here of why backups are delayed; either the backup is stopped or the backup destination is no longer connected.
How To Fix “Time Machine Backup Delayed” Error On Mac
Most of these are solved simply by reconnecting the Time Machine drive to that Mac and letting the Mac run the backup routine.
Simply reconnect the Time Machine hard drive to your Mac, then start a manual backup, or let the backup start on its own schedule as usual.
That’s all, the error should resolve it on its own and the backups start as usual.
Changed Time Machine drive recently? Do this
If you have recently replaced your Time Machine, make sure that Time Machine is aware of the new disk location by checking the Time Machine settings in System Preferences> Time Machine. The name of the backup disk is listed, if it is an old drive or you want to change it, just press the Select Disk button and select a new backup disk.
So if you get these “Backup Delayed” error messages and pop-ups in Mac OS X, what is the best solution to fix it? Just plug in a Time Machine backup drive and let the backup begin and complete.
If the backup does not start automatically when the drive is connected, you can start an immediate backup at any time by dragging the manual route, dragging the menu down, and selecting it.
I recommend that you let Time Machine run on a normal backup schedule so you can avoid delays and keep Mac backups as accurate, up-to-date, and relevant as possible. You may not need them often, but when you do, you’ll be glad you have a recent Time Machine snapshot to help you restore or restore your Mac. With Time Machine easy to set up and use on Mac backups, there’s little reason not to do this.
Did this fix the Time Machine backup delayed error on your Mac? Did you find another solution? Tell us how your Time Machine backup experience has gone and how it works for you on your Mac by leaving a comment.
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