What’s missing from Time Machine? You can browse files but you don’t necessarily know which files are being backed up? How many revisions of each file exist? When did a file or folder get deleted? Has a particular file ever been backed up? Here’s how to get the answers.
Analyze The Backups
Any analysis of Time Machine as part of a backup plan for your Mac will raise a few questions, most of which can be answered by installing BackupLoupe. Think of this utility as a way to dig into a Time Machine backup.
BackupLoupe looks and acts a bit like the Mac’s Finder (and integrates with the Finder) to let you scroll through backups and backup data to find out more about specific files.
For example, BackupLoupe can list files and when they were saved so you can compare versions. Any single Mac file can be restored via drag and drop and works with QuickLook so you can see the file.
Time Machine does not display statistics about your files but BackupLoupe does. Files can be opened and examined without restoring them first. It’s also smart enough to handle multiple Time Machine backup disks, even those in non-standard locations.
The Finder integration option makes BackupLoupe simple to use, so you can see which files take up the most backup space.
Select a file in the Finder and BackupLoupe can display a list of file revisions, and details so you’ll know when a file changed and was backed up. Notification Center is built in, too, and you get notices of when there’s been an unusually large (or small) backup snapshot to Time Machine.
Apple is all about ease of use and that explains why Time Machine does not have much in the way of obvious features. But there’s more going on under the hood that Apple cares to tell users, and BackupLoupe gives you access to statistics that can be useful.