How to Compare Time Machine Backups and List All Changes Between Backups

If you’re using a Mac, you’ll be glad to know that there’s a powerful tool called tmutil that allows you to interact with Time Machine from the command line. In this guide, we’ll show you how to utilize tmutil to compare Time Machine backups and list all changes between them.

1. Comparing the latest Time Machine backup to the current status

The simplest command to compare the latest Time Machine snapshot to your current Mac is:

tmutil compare

This command will show you a detailed list of changes between the backups and the current state of your files. Plus(+) signs indicate new files, minus(-) signs indicate deleted files, and an exclamation mark(!) indicates file changes.

If you only want to compare file sizes without the detailed changes, use:

tmutil compare -s

2. Comparing previous Time Machine backups to the current system state

If you’re curious about how an older backup compares to your current system state, you can specify the path to the old backup with this command:

tmutil compare /Volumes/TimeMachineDriveName/Backups.backupdb/MacintoshHD/2011-11-02-129198

Make sure to replace “TimeMachineDriveName” with the name of your backup drive and “MacintoshHD” with the name of your primary drive. Also, replace the end date with the desired backup date stored in the Time Machine backup directory.

Comparing Time Machine backups and listing the changes between them can help you keep track of file modifications, deletions, and additions over time. It’s a handy tool for those who want to understand the evolution of their data.

Bonus Information: Benefits of Comparing Time Machine Backups and List of Changes

  • This guide is completely free to read and can help you understand how to compare Time Machine backups.
  • We provide convenient and reliable information to assist internet users.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is this guide about?

This guide explains how to compare Time Machine backups and list all the changes between them.

2. How does this guide help?

This guide provides valuable information on efficiently managing Time Machine backups and understanding the modifications made to files over time.

If you have any further questions or need assistance, please feel free to ask in the comments section or contact us directly. We’re here to help!

Education: Please note that this guide is for educational purposes only.

Misinformation: If you spot any inaccuracies in this guide, please inform us so that we can correct them.

Alternate methods: If you have additional methods to compare Time Machine backups and list changes, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us with your suggestions.

Contact us: You can reach us through our contact page for any further assistance.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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