How To Resolve Time Machine Backup Failed Already In Use Error in 5 Steps

Time machine is definitely one of the best backup solutions for Mac users when they use external drives or network devices. Nonetheless, there can be an error message stating, “Time machine backup failed already in use”. Therefore, the Time Machine will fail to read the backup file since another process or user locks the latter. You may not be able to complete the job of performing your backup, and then restore the lost data as required following a disaster.

Luckily, you can easily resolve this error “Time machine backup failed already in use” and continue with your backup process. Here are some steps you can try:

Step 1: Check the Connection

First, your Mac or the networking device must be properly connected to the backup device. Check the cable and the power supply if using an external drive. Also, verify if your network device, such as an AirPort Extreme or a NAS, by checking on the wireless ethernet connections. Alternatively, you can attempt to restart your Mac and backup device to refresh the connection.

Step 2: Disconnect and Restore the backup unit.

However, in some instances, the backup device could be improperly attached or fault its file system. Doing so might make Time machine believe that another process/user was using the backup data. Fix it by ejecting the back up device and then connecting it again. Here is how:

  • Open Macintosh Finder, and then find out where the backup device is displayed on the left-side menu.
  • Select eject after right clicking on it.
  • Wait a few moment and re-connect your backup device.
  • Go to time machine tab, choose your disk and designate it as a back-up device.

Step 3: Delete the InProgress File

The other possible issue that could have caused the mistake was an incomplete or abortive backup process. It will leave a temporarily kept file named InProgress inside your backup folder. This file informs Time Machine that the backup is not yet completed and prohibits it from commencing another set of data transfers. You can address this by deleting the InProgress file yourself. Here is how:

  • Using Finder, locate your backup disk in the sidebar and open it.
  • Open this Backups.backupdb folder by simply double-clicking on it.
  • Launch the folder that bears your Mac’s name and open a document that has the suffix .inprogress.
  • Move this file to Trash and then Empty Trash.
  • Afterwards, go to Open Time Machine Preferences and initiate a new backup.

Step 4: Disconnect Other Users

You may have additional persons who also use the backup file through the network devices like the AirPort Extreme or the NAS. Sometimes, this might alert Time Machine that another person or user is using the backup file. You may reconnect them to your computer once you have fixed this by removing other users from the network device. Here is how:

  • Log on to Open AirPort Utility or your NAS’s web interface under administration.
  • Open the Connected Users or Sessions tab and search for users currently using the Time Machine service or those with access to the backup folder.
  • Click disconnect/end session on each user.
  • Start a new backup after opening Time Machine preferences.

Step 5: Renaming or Erasing the Backup Device.

However, if all these steps fail, then chances are you may have to rename or delete your backup unit and begin afresh. Therefore, this will make the backup manager start creating a new backup file instead of interfering or conflicting with the old backup file created by Time Machine. Nevertheless, it will erase all the previously saved backups; hence, ensure that you have an archive of your data for reference as you continue. Here is how:

  • Go to the finder menu and find your backup device from the sidebar.
  • Highlight it and right-click, then rename it or get info.
  • Rename your backup device by clicking on OK or apply.
  • You can also select Delete from its right-click menu.
  • Ensure you format your backup device into Mac OS Extended (Journaled) using the listed instructions.
  • Go to a time machine preference, and choose your backup device as the backup disk.

We hope this article solved the error “Time machine backup failed already in use”. Do not hesitate to drop your comments if you do not understand something or would like to suggest something. ```