Backup Folder

January 17, 2002 by
Filed under: Automator Action Updates 

You are using the most current version of Backup Folder.

Thanks for checking.

Other Automator Actions:
Photoshop Automator Actions
Photo-related Actions


23 Comments on Backup Folder

  1. Joshua on Fri, 2nd Jun 2006 8:46 am
  2. Your “Backup Folder” Automator action is excellent. Even before I’ve used it I love it already. With this, I can build myself a mini Retrospect backup for myself to any where I like. Great work!
    Thanks heaps!

  3. Mike on Thu, 13th Jul 2006 5:58 am
  4. Great workflow! Is there any way to save the log text file automatically to a folder and close it?

  5. Jimmy on Thu, 17th Aug 2006 5:20 am
  6. Im having some issues. For some reason when I try to backup folders to an external harddrive, it is recopying over files that are identical already, not only updating new files like it should. For example, ill use automater to backup all my mp3s to the hard drive. Then when I run it again it rebacks up every single mp3, not just new ones. But for some folders, like certain word documents, it doesnt have this problem.

  7. Jimmy on Thu, 17th Aug 2006 2:45 pm
  8. I think I found whats going on…. it doesnt seem to like the FAT32 external drive. So far it runs fine on the mac formatted partition of the external.

  9. Cameron on Fri, 8th Sep 2006 5:09 pm
  10. This seems like a great action; unfortunately every time I try to use it, I get this message:

    Finder got an error: Can’t get every folder of container “”. (-1728)

    I’ve tried all sorts of different folders, some with lots of files and subfolders, some with none, and I get the same error. Does anyone else have this problem?

  11. Cameron on Fri, 8th Sep 2006 5:10 pm
  12. Just to clarify: the name of whatever folder I have first in Get Specified Finder Actions appears between the quotation marks in the error message.

  13. Peter on Mon, 25th Sep 2006 12:23 pm
  14. I’m new to Macs and Automator and having a few problems with this script, how do you specify the input and output folders?


  15. lavrentios on Tue, 3rd Oct 2006 5:52 pm
  16. Is there a way to automatically save the log to a specific folder such as the backup destination folder? Having such an option would be very nice.

  17. Buddy on Fri, 13th Oct 2006 3:42 pm
  18. Backup Folder Action times out after about 12 minutes. I’m backing up almost 400 GB of data and it only gets a portion of it copied before it times out and gives me an error. Is there a way to make it keep running?
    I also am copying to a FAT32 network drive and having the recopying issues mentioned before.

  19. Egil Hatleskog on Wed, 16th May 2007 1:45 pm
  20. When using the Backup Folder Action with the Airport disk feature of the new airport extreme base, the backup never seems to be completed. it seems to do the job, but when its done, not everything is copied. I can try again and again, and it always copies new stuff.

    Any idea? other than to stop using the airport disk…

  21. Hector Lareau on Thu, 17th May 2007 9:19 am
  22. Although I’m only trying to copy about 9 GB of data (mostly small word processing docs), I also get the time-out errors that Buddy mentioned. The copy time is slowed by the fact that it’s happening via AirPort Extreme (the old 54 Mbps standard, not the new .n revision), but I’m trying to sync a folder from my office manager’s iMac G5 (which is a de facto server for the office) to my PowerBook G4 (which goes home and then should sync to a FW drive there for an off-site backup). If there’s a way to beat the timeout, I’d sure be grateful. Thanks!

  23. Jared on Sat, 26th May 2007 12:07 am
  24. I’m having the same problem Cameron described; “Can’t get every folder from container “(source folder)”…

  25. Alo on Tue, 28th Aug 2007 8:53 am
  26. I too am having problems with it not deleting extra files in the destination. I am on an intell processor and have “Delete extra files in destination” check. Both Fat32 drives as a back up and HFS+ Journaled have problemse with missing folders that should be backed up.

  27. Alo on Tue, 28th Aug 2007 8:57 am
  28. By the way this use to work just fine the past two months on my Power PC until I changed to an intell processor. I reassebled the automater workflow even and it doesn’t seem to work properly.

    I enjoyed it for a short while. I guess I will just wait until timemachine comes out.

  29. LeeAnne on Mon, 24th Sep 2007 1:26 pm
  30. Having same issue as “Jimmy” from August of 06. I’m using an external Ximeta HD that is Fat32 formatted (I have it this way because I’m running WinXP and need to be able to read/write to this external HD from both my Mac and the Windows partition).
    When the automator runs, it automatically rewrites ALL the files instead of only the ones that have changed, been added, etc.
    Any help is GREATLY appreciated.
    chimpsnest (at) yahoo (dot) (com)

  31. Jenjen on Mon, 7th Jan 2008 5:39 am
  32. Having the same issues as LeeAnne. All files are replaced during backup. Please advise.

  33. jamie on Fri, 10th Oct 2008 8:07 am
  34. It takes about an hour to backup around 3 gigs.
    I understand that it checks to see if a files been changed and only moves them but if it takes so long why not just copy the folder across manually (far quicker)?

  35. Prent on Fri, 29th May 2009 2:45 am
  36. This Action just deleted all of my movies, fifty gigs of movies in a single go. WITHOUT WARNING ! DO NOT USE!

  37. Al on Sat, 15th May 2010 11:29 am
  38. Trying to use this with iDisk, to transfer a web site from my local sites folder. It copies files up but terminates with an error and seems to fail to delete ‘extra’ files on the web…even though the flag to do so is checked…

  39. Ben Long on Tue, 8th Jun 2010 8:37 pm
  40. Due to peculiarities in AppleScript, it’s not possible to make this work with network volumes, unfortunately.

  41. Maria on Thu, 2nd Sep 2010 6:11 am
  42. Thanks for this. It’s great and will now hopefully save me a huge headache of trying to remember what needs to be backed-up. My only question is.. is it possible to set this to run at a specific time each day?

  43. Ben Long on Thu, 2nd Sep 2010 7:34 am
  44. Yes, you can schedule it by telling Automator to save your workflow as an iCal event. So, basically, you use iCal to configure the scheduling.

  45. Steve on Tue, 8th May 2012 2:14 pm
  46. I wanted to let you know that I have been using Backup Folder for 2 years now without a single problem. Thanks so much! I do have a feature request (or a recommendation on how to accomplish something slightly different.

    Basically, I have a “package” (technically a folder) that I would like to use as my backup source and target to another location. Currently, if I point to a package, Backup Folder treats it like a single file rather than backing up the individual components of the package.

    Is there way a way to tell Backup Folder to treat the object like a folder instead of a file to backup the contents individually? If not, is this something that could be added? If not, do you have any ideas on how to work around this issue?

    Thanks again for such a great solution.

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