Given their very different structure, backups on APFS disks shouldn’t require routine maintenance. Checking and repair is performed using Disk Utility.
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Unlike HFS+ backups, those on APFS volumes look different depending on how you try to access them. What you see in the Finder is an illusion not available to other apps.
Analysis of the phases of backing up to APFS shows the many similarities with that to HFS+. Crucial differences arise from the use of snapshots as backups.
A blow-by-blow account of what happens when Time Machine in Big Sur performs an automated backup to an APFS volume.
How each of the three different backup schemes used by Time Machine has worked, and how snapshots can work as backups.
How the start of Time Machine backups to APFS volumes is scheduled and dispatched, and a fascinating Secure Backup Daemon.
How Time Machine has changed since it appeared in 2007, and how backing up to APFS volumes is different now it’s available in Big Sur.
For many, this could be the best reason for upgrading early. Even when it doesn’t go quite as expected, this really isn’t difficult.
Time Machine has been using snapshots since High Sierra. How can it then use them to make backups to APFS volumes in Big Sur?
The most common problems with Time Machine backups, and how to tackle them using free tools.