Time Machine not saving all of /Applications

(igold) #1

When I migrated to my new iMac the only thing Migration Assistant did not transfer was the CrashPlan application. Since I migrated via my Time Machine disk I started looking back at the system Applications folder and found that CrashPlan was never saved by Time Machine.

I checked back several months (actually into 2017), not to be found.

The previous iMac was running Sierra. The new iMac is running High Sierra and neither are copying CrashPlan to the Time Machine disk.

Code42 support says they aren’t doing anything to cause this.

If any of you are using CrashPlan could you check the Applications folder in Time Machine and see if the CrashPlan application (it’s just called CrashPlan) does not get copied on your system?

I know TM will skip files such as Logs or Cache but I don’t think Crash is on their prohibit list (and no it’s not in my personal don’t copy list) because I have files with those names and they made the migration with no problems.

Other than that Time Machine is running OK.

Thanks in advance.


(Richard Rettke) #2

Does not appear in my time machine backups either.

(igold) #3

Code42 support did some digging and it turns out they set Metadata that says to not save the application.

They were explaining it was to not have a backup ™ saving a backup.

I’ve asked them why the application is not being saved since it is a program and not actual backup data.


(Al Varnell) #4

Apps not backed up are usually a minor inconvenience, since supported apps can be re-installed easily from source. In fact that is often a good idea to ensure you have a fresh, up-to-date version installed. I periodically do that and find it advantageous although time consuming.

(Adam Engst) #5

That’s freaky—I’ll be curious to hear why they do that. Though with the consumer level CrashPlan option going away in October, it will be moot for many people.

(Simon) #6

So what is this metadata that tells TM not to backup? I was so far under the impression that Apple has a list of system items TM should not backup and then users can add manually to that list through the TM interface. But now it sounds like there’s a flag that can be set on files telling TM not to backup. Is that the case?

(igold) #7

Open a Terminal window and enter:

xattr /Applications/CrashPlan.app/

and on my system that command produces:



(igold) #8

I think I have a handle on what’s happening.

Code42 does not want people moving the CrashPlan app out of /Applications so they set a flag

(schg) which prevents this from happening (I believe users with sufficient privileges may be

able to override this).

It turns out that when such a file is saved by Time Machine that the backup snapshot containing such

files can’t be deleted from Time Machine and thus the Time Machine disk fills faster than normal.

By setting the attribute that causes the CrashPlan app to not be saved by Time Machine, that solves the problem.


(Adam Engst) #9

That’s fascinating—thanks for running it down!