5 Ways To Fix Time Machine Can’t Find Backup Disk On Mac

Summary: Learn how to fix Time Machine can’t find backup disk by checking the Time Machine backup in Finder, verifying the disk using Disk Utility, granting permissions to access a Time Machine backup, using Mac Hard Drive Recovery Tool, etc.

Time Machine is a program that allows users to back up their data from a computer to a convenient location such as an external hard drive, an extra partition on the main hard drive, or a time machine capsule.

However, sometimes Time Machine on macOS gets corrupted and it becomes difficult to access or locate the backups that were previously created which consequently throws the error: Time Machine can’t find backup disk.

Thus, if you are currently facing Mac can’t find my Time Machine backup disk, apply the fixes mentioned here to fix it and recover lost Time Machine data.

What Causes Time Machine Can’t Find Backup Disk?

There are various reasons due to which Time Machine cannot find backup disk.

  1. Wrongly connecting and removing the backup disk is the common reason why Time Machine cannot find backup disk.
  2. When your macOS does not have the permission for accessing a backup of Time Machine database folder.
  3. The Mac and the disk may use different networks. Your Mac device and your disk must be connected to the identical network. If they’re not connected to the identical network the Time Machine can’t access the backup disk.
  4. If there is a connection problem between a disk & your Mac operating system.
  5. The backup disk of the machine has been erased.
  6. Check if you’re using a time capsule or other network disk as a backup or other network disk.

How To Fix Time Machine Can’t Find Backup Disk On Mac?

1: Basic Troubleshooting Tips For A Time Machine That Isn’t Working:

  • Make sure your Mac’s software is up to date.
  • Check if Time Machine is backing up again after restarting your Mac.
  • If you’re using an Airport Time Capsule, make sure the firmware is up to date.
  • See if your Mac and the backup drive are on the same network. If you’re using the AirPort Time Capsule or the server to backup data, for example, make sure you’re connected to the correct device network.
  • Make sure your drive is turned on if it’s connected to a port of your Mac or an AirPort Extreme Base Station.
  • If you’re not using a USB hub, connect the drive directly to your Mac or base station.
  • If you’re backing up to an external third-party drive, make sure the firmware is up to date on the drive or contact the manufacturer for help.

2: Re-Select Preferred Backup Disk

If you are getting the error “time machine can’t access backup disk” error, you should try to reselect the disk in Time Machine preferences.

Here is how you can easily do so:

  • Choose Time Machine in System Preferences. Alternatively, use the Time Machine menu bar to access the Time Machine Preferences.
  • Select backup disk.
  • Choose the external drive that you want from this list. Choose the ‘Encrypt backups Disk‘ option and then the option ‘Use Backup Disk’.

Encrypt backups

  • If the selected disk isn’t formatted, it will prompt to format it according to Time Machine’s requirements.

You May Also Read: How to Fix “Couldn’t Unmount Disk” Error on Mac (5 Ways)

3: Verify A Network Disk’s Backups To Fix Time Machine Can’t Find Backup Disk

Another way that you could try to solve this problem on your Mac PC is to check your network disk’s backup.

For this, you have to follow the below steps:

  • Go to the Finder, Applications, Utilities >> right tap on a Disk Utility.

Time Machine Can’t Find Backup Disk

  • On the left panel, select the backup drive of Time Machine.
  • On the right panel, you’ll see the option “Verify Disk”.

Time Machine Can’t Find Backup Disk

Now, check if can’t connect to a current Time Machine backup disk issue is fixed.

4: Look For Backup Disk In Time Machine

To launch Finder window, you have to click the Finder option in the Dock. Under the Device section, you will see your backup disk. It’s possible that backup disk is turned off, disconnected, or defective if it’s not visible in the listing.

5: Give Access To The Backup Of Time Machine

The most common reason why Mac Time Machine can’t access the backup disk is because it doesn’t have permission to the backup database folder.

Open the Time Machine disk in Finder and go to the Time Machine Backup > Backups.backupdb folder, you can see if there is a permission issue with Time Machine.

We don’t have permission to access the Backups. backupdb folder if it has a red stop sign in it and you can’t open it.

Mac Time Machine can't access the backup disk

Give permission to access the backup of Time Machine and enable your Mac to reconnect to backup disk for Time Machine.

Now, on our Mac, you have to launch the Terminal application.

cd/Volumes/TimeMachineDriveName is the command line. (After /Volumes/, replace TimeMachineDriveName with the actual name of Time Machine disk.) This will take us to the Time Machine disk, which our Mac is unable to access.)

Then type sudo chgrp admin Backups.backupdb into the command prompt. This alters the group permissions on our Mac, allowing the admin group to access the backup folder for Time Machine. You’ll also have to confirm the change by entering your Mac’s passcode twice.

Return to Time Machine after making the permission change to see if we can now enter our backup.

Also Read: Fix Your Computer Restarted Because Of A Problem Mac

Best Way To Recover Data If Time Machine Cannot Find Backup Disk

If your Time Machine can’t find backup disk then don’t worry you can still retrieve you’re your Mac hard drive files without backup. Yes, it is possible with the help of Mac Hard Drive Recovery Software.

This Mac photo recovery for the external hard drive utility can deeply scan the volume or data storage partition to extract the files on Mac. It recovers stuff from all Mac devices like MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iMac, & storage drive models in a few clicks.

Apart from that, it recovers data from SD cards, SSDs, HDDs, and other external data storage media with ease. It supports both the OS: Windows & mac respectively.

Step 1: Select Type of Data

First of all, you have to select the type of file you want to recover and then click on 'Next' option.

mac-recovery1

Step 2: Select Location

Next, you have to select the storage drive from where you have lost the data.

mac-recovery2

Step 3: Scan & Recover

After selecting the storage drive, you have to Scan, then Preview and after that Recover the files from Mac storage disk.

mac-recovery3

Simply download and install this software from the above-given buttons and follow the below steps to know how it works.

Step 1: Select Type of Data

First of all, you have to select the type of file you want to recover and then click on 'Next' option.

mac-recovery1

Step 2: Select Location

Next, you have to select the storage drive from where you have lost the data.

mac-recovery2

Step 3: Scan & Recover

After selecting the storage drive, you have to Scan, then Preview and after that Recover the files from Mac storage disk.

mac-recovery3

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Won't My Mac Recognize My Time Machine?

Your macOS can’t recognize the Time Machine Backup due to one of the following reasons:
1. When your macOS does not have the permission for accessing a backup of Time Machine database folder.
2. If your backup disk is the network disk, then you can’t find the backup disk.
3. If there is a connection problem between a disk & your Mac operating system.

Does Time Machine Backup Everything On Mac?

Yes, Time Machine backs up everything on Mac including applications, system files, accounts, preferences, music, photos, email messages, movies, and other documents automatically.

How Do I Restore My Mac Using Time Machine?

If you’ve previously backed up your Mac data using Time Machine, follow the below steps to restore them from a recent Time Machine backup.
1. Simply restart your PC (mac).
2. Whereas the startup disc is running, hold down a Command + R keys at the same time.
3. Here, your Mac will boot in to the macOS Utilities. However, if it does not, try again.
4. Choose Restore from Time Machine Backup option >> tap Continue.
5. Again, tap Continue on a Restore Your System Page.
6. Choose your Time Machine Backup >> Click Continue.
7. Now, select most recent backup >> Click Continue.

What's The Deal With My Mac Backups Failing All The Time?

You can have trouble backing up with Time Machine if your macOS isn't up to date or if you update to a new macOS version that isn't compatible. This could be caused by macOS upgrades or faults like Backup error 109 for Time Machine, a backup drive fault, or insufficient storage.

Bottom Line

After going through this whole article, I hope now you have got enough info regarding how to fix Time Machine backup missing files. All the solutions mentioned here are quick and easy to apply.

So, try one by one until the Time Machine can’t find backup disk on the Mac issue gets resolved.

All the best…!

1 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Pin1