OSX: Backup ‘Sparsebundle’ is Already In Use

KB ID 0001486


Thankfully I’ve never had to rely on my Mac backup, but it runs to an EMC Iomega NAS drive that I have in my house, (which also has all my media on it).

Backup Drive already in use

Backup Failed
The backup on “target-name” is already in use.

If I expand ‘details’;

Sparsebundle is already in use

Time Machine couldn’t complete the backup to “target-name”.
The backup disk image “/Volumes/Volume-Name/Mac-Name.sparsebundle” is already in use.


Now rebooting the NAS drive cures the problem, but (as stated) it’s got all my media on it which is then inaccessible for 10-15 minutes (not good if I’m watching a film, or TV series).

What you need to do is open System Preferences (click the ‘apple’ logo and select System Preferences)  > Spotlight > Privacy > Add > Add in the backup volume.

Sparsebundle Privacy Settings copy

Reboot your mac, (or dismount and remount the backup volume) > problem resolved. For example, below I’ve got a folder called ‘Movies’ mounted and it’s on the same device, If I remove that with the following command, my backup will start almost straight away.

sudo umount -f Movies

unmount mac volume

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Author: PeteLong

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1 Comment

  1. Your suggestion worked! Thank you so much! I’m just puzzled on why it would produce that error message wherein in my situation I don’t even have any folder mounted from my NAS.

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