Recover macOS Sierra 10.12 Time Machine Deleted Backups

Summary: This blog describes how users can recover accidentally deleted or erased Time Machine backups on macOS Sierra 10.12.

It also recommends using Stellar Data Recovery software on Mac as an ultimate solution for recovering data in various data loss situations.

Take a free download of the tool and have it by your side before you read further.

Mac hard drive Recovery

Apple Time Machine (TM) utility is a boon for Mac users making complex procedures like data backup and restore seem like child’s play. Using this built-in feature, Mac users can schedule backup tasks daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly and stop worrying about the security of their crucial data. However, as malware can penetrate into the secure Mac systems, therefore, TM backups are not full-proof either. A number of things can go wrong with them or the drives that store them, leading to the deletion of backup files.

macOS Sierra Time Machine: Problems & Solutions

Many Apple forums have been abuzz with discussions of TM problems that users faced after upgrading to macOS Sierra. However, most of these issues have easy solutions. Here are a few classic problem scenarios and their probable solutions:

  • Problem: Anti-virus programs installed on Macs running Sierra might clash with TM making the backup process either extremely slow or not working at all.


Try turning off your anti-virus application and then running the backup. Alternatively, update anti-virus database and see if TM works. Once your backup process completes, you can resume the anti-virus to its normal working.

  • Problem: After upgrading to macOS Sierra, the first full backup to TM might take as long as days to complete even without anti-virus programs or other background applications running.


Connect your TM backup drive to your Mac using the fastest means possible. Rely on a wired connection instead of wireless or the fastest USB ports you can get your hands on. If you must, use Wi-Fi disconnect any other devices connected to the network to allow the backup to use the full bandwidth. Also keep your Mac and TM drive plugged in to power during the backup process.

  • Problem: Your usual TM backup drive may indicate “low drive space” error during the backup process.


Your first full TM backup after Sierra upgrade would require a large drive space; hence, make sure that your TM drive has abundance of it. It would be best to use a fresh drive with 2 – 3TB capacity for the purpose.

Recovering deleted TM Backups on Sierra

While trying to make TM work on Sierra, if you face errors or get stuck, you should check your logs to try and figure out the actual problem. If, however, your TM back drive fails or you mistakenly initiate a wrong procedure like drive format / disk erase, this may lead to loss of macOS Sierra Time Machine backups.

However, do not despair as recovery is still possible. This can be done through a professional macOS Sierra Time Machine data recovery software. Here, Stellar Data Recovery for Mac software will serve the purpose as it can easily recover lost or accidentally deleted TM backup files. The product safely and accurately recovers lost documents, photos, music files, or videos from APFS, HFS, HFS+, FAT, ex-FAT, and NTFS format based file systems.

Here’s how you can smoothly recover data from macOS Sierra Time Machine using this software:

  1. Connect Time Machine and Launch Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac
  2. Toggle data types to make scanning customized and click Next
  3. Select Time Machine drive from the location interface and click Scan
  4. The software starts scanning the drive and list all the recoverable files in various formats
  5. Preview the files and choose the desired location to save them
  6. Click Recover and restore the files

The Way Forward

In addition to the above-mentioned problem scenarios with TM on macOS Sierra, there may be other issues as well. Thus, if due to any issue, you end up with lost TM files, leverage Stellar Data Recovery for Mac software; and, for hardware or other complex technical issues, contact the Apple customer service.

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