Easy solution for macOS Monterey Time Machine backups never finishing

//2021-11-18

There is a Time Machine issue in macOS 12.0.1 Monterey.

It can be noticed in two ways:

  1. If you have an existing Time Machine backup from BigSur you will notice a little red icon in Time Machine preferences, with a text that some file couldn’t be backed up and Time Machine will try again later.
  2. Or if you setup a ne backup with an empty disc it will just backup, finish, backup again, finish, backup again and show “Waiting to Complete First Backup”

In both cases there is no folder with the current date/time visible on the backup target, despite terabytes of data have already been backed up and the backup hard disk is filling up a lot according to the “info”.

What solved the issue for me?

  • Shut down your Mac
  • Press and hold the power button long enough for the boot selection menu to show up
  • Hold the shift key and click “Boot in safe mode”
  • Run the Time Machine backup, this time it will finish
  • Reboot your Mac normally

Afterwards Time Machine worked flawlessly again for me. Let me know in the comments if this resolved the issue for you also.

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