“Hello! Ever since I have upgraded to High Sierra, I have never been able to successfully backup my MBP via Time Machine. It gets stuck on ‘preparing backup’ for around 30-40 minutes and stops automatically. Not sure what happened.”
Aniruddh from MacRumors Forum
The time for Time Machine to prepare backup may vary from a few minutes to a few hours. If you haven’t backed up your Mac for a long time, it is normal for Time Machine to take some compares your current files and folders to those in the last backup. But if Time Machine stuck on preparing backup status for more than one day, you’ll need to take the issue seriously.
What to do if Time Machine takes forever to get past “preparing backup” status? Here are some tips to get out of Time Machine preparing backup status.
To troubleshoot the Time Machine preparing backup taking forever, the first thing you need to do is stop the currently backup process. In the Time Machine preference pane, click the little “X” icon next to the progress bar. Then, follow the troubleshooting process below to fix Time Machine stuck on preparing backup in macOS High Sierra, macOS Sierra, or earlier Mac OS X.
Antivirus software can make Time Machine becomes slow to backup your Mac. So if you are running antivirus software on your Mac, you need to make sure the Time Machine backup folder that named “Backups.backupdb” is excluded from virus scanning.
It is proven that preventing Spotlight from indexing the Time Machine volume can help improve the speed of backup process. Follow the steps below to make it:
Step 1. Click the Apple icon at the top left corner of your screen and choose System Preference.
Step 2. Click Spotlight and choose Privacy tab.
Step 3. Click the Add (+) button to browse to your Time Machine backup folder and add it to the list.
You’ll find a file with a “.inProgress” extension in the Time Machine backup volume. This file may contain out-of-date or corrupt information and you need to remove it to fix Time Machine stuck on preparing backup status.
Step 1. Open the Time Machine backup volume and navigate to the “Backups.backupdb” folder.
Step 2. Choose the folder that is the name of your Mac.
Step 3. Find the file named “xxx-xx-xx-xxxxxx.inProgress” and move it to the Trash.
In addition to the problem talked above: Time Machine stuck on preparing backup, you may face other problems like Time Machine backup interruption or Time Machine not backing up certain files. When there is no available backup, how do you recover lost or deleted files on Mac?
Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery, a professional Mac data recovery tool, makes it possible for you to get back lost files on macOS High Sierra, macOS Sierra, OS X El and others. It is capable of recovering documents, emails, photos, videos, and more from your Mac hard drive directly.
To get more details, read: How to Recover Deleted Files on Mac >