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  1. Thank you for this great instruction. I was struggling with timemachine not finishing the backup for months. Now with your help I was able to identify two files, which prevented the completion of the backup. After moving them to a folder, which I excluded from the backup it finally worked.

  2. Thanks! I restarted in Safe Mode and ran the Time Machine again. Luckily all the data had already been transferred, but was in a weird format because the backup hadn’t completed. I thought it would start again from scratch, but it was very quick to run and I got a “First backup complete” message.
    I’m so grateful – it was really frustrating me.

  3. This is what worked for me. When I got the “waiting for first backup to finish “ I went to the disk utility and run the First Aid when that was done the backup continued worked fine till completion.

  4. I had this problem after ‘upgrade’ to OS 12.3 Monterey. I tried all the things mentioned in the article. The problem was fixed when I deleted the old backup. This took over 24 hours. I right clicked on the old sparsebundle backup, clicked show package contents, then deleted the ‘bands’ folder. You get a window showing hundreds or thousands of items being deleted. Time machine created a new back up after a few hours of the deletion process. I read somewhere in Apple’s documentation that OS Monterey does not recognize Time machine backups done in previous versions of macos.

  5. After following recommendations from several experts with no results, finally with your advice I did solve my problem of “waiting to complete first back up”, I just needed to follow step #1 (back up in Safe Mode, then back up in Normal Mode)
    Thanks a lot… I feel relaxed and secured!!

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