Time Machine backup failures are increasingly being reported by Mac users

Many users report that Apple's Time Machine fails to backup drives in macOS Monterey, and it's unclear why. One common complaint was that Time Machine backups for M1 Mac users running Monterey 12.0.1 or Big Sur 11.6.1 did not complete. According to Reddit posts, it appears to be specifically related to the first time Time Machine attempts to back up a drive, as the backup process fails but consumes storage space.

Reddit user muhdakml reported performing their first Time Machine backup on Monterey and seeing the message "Waiting For First Backup To Complete" appear on the Menu Bar. Nothing was present when he checked the disk backup in Finder, despite the fact that the storage was full. When the backup is finished and the status is 'cleaning up,' the 'Oldest Backup: None' and 'Latest Backup: None' appear.

Some macOS Big Sur users are reporting the same problem. For some, reinstalling macOS Monterey has solved the problem, but for others, the problem persists. Those with directly connected SSDs had no problems restoring, but those with still-operational Time Capsules and Time Machine volumes configured on a Network Attached Storage appliance both connected over a network reported backup integrity.

Apple has not yet issued a statement. Apple support hasn't received an increase in calls about the issue, which could indicate that the issue is still relatively new or that customers aren't requesting assistance.

The problem could be related to a change Apple made quietly to the APFS format, but it's still unclear what's causing it. Third-party options are also available, and you can "clone" your important data using a third-party tool.

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