Trick to Speed up Slow Encrypted Time Machine Backup

I have never been a fan of automated backups. In the case of my Mac also, I take backups manually at regular intervals.

But recently, I thought of giving Time Machine a try. It is fully automated and takes the backup of your macOS system hourly.

Isn’t that great? You can always revert back to any particular time in case of a data loss or corrupt OS.

Anyway, I started my Encrypted Time Machine backup, and guess what? The estimated time remaining was 3 days!

I couldn’t believe it, so I went through Apple’s official forums and realized that it was a common issue.

Suppose your backup size is 100GB, then encrypting this size of data on a hard disk can actually take days to finish.

So, what to do?

Fix: Encrypted Time Machine Backup Takes Too Long

I found a working solution to this problem after going through some forums and blog posts.

Step 1.

Stop the backup process and open Disk Utility.

Step 2.

Then, select your Time Machine drive and click the Erase button.

Erase Time Machine Disk

Step 3.

A format dialogue will open. From the drop-down list, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted)

Format Time Machine Drive

Then click Erase. It will hardly take a minute to complete the formatting process.

Step 4.

As soon as formatting is finished, a Time Machine backup dialogue will pop up.

Tick the Encrypt Backup Disk checkbox and click Use as Backup Disk.

New Time Machine Backup

If it doesn’t pop up, then go to System Preferences » Time Machine and start the backup process from there.

This time you’ll notice that it will take a lot less than before. In my case, it took only half an hour to finish the backup that was previously taking 3 days.

Though, the successive backups after the first one will only take a couple of seconds or minutes.

I hope this saves you some time!

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