Apple - Time Machine: "Enter Time Machine" menu command does not do anything

I just had the same issue in 10.11 El Capitan: "Enter Time Machine" did nothing, and nothing relevant showed in

I relaunched Finder (Apple menu > Force Quit > scroll to Finder and choose Relaunch) and the issue was then resolved.

This surprised me, given that the relevant app is /Applications/Time, not Finder. But it seems likely that Finder is actually responsible for the Time Machine display of the historic files: if I "Enter Time Machine", then check with ps or Activity Monitor via remote log in, I see no Time Machine process. So perhaps /Applications/Time simply tells Finder to start the display, then exits.

By the way, I solved this:

THe external drive contained an existing backup to the same computer called *.sparsebundle. Those are only made when a drive is being accessed by Time Machine over the network. It was there from before I moved it to attach directly through USB.

TM was able to access that sparse bundle without errors and update the backups there which is why my backups were running correctly.

However for whatever reason, when I try to enter TM to see the backups it did "nothing". No messages, windows, or errors of any kind, including in the system logs.

The solution was to delete that sparse bundle and do a new backup with the drive directly connected via USB. This created a folder called *.backudb as expected, and now I can do backups there and I can see the backups by entering time machine (taking me to the time travel window.)

Ouch. I say the fact that this happened without any error message is a time machine bug although probably not many people hit it. At least give an error, but better, just work with the .sparsebundle, why not?

Remark: you can still access the backup data by opening the backup via the Finder. This doesn't give you the fancy star spangled background, but you can at least access your files.

I had a similar issue where Timemachine backups were getting done successfully on my networkdrive, but "Enter Time Machine" was not working.

After several backups deleted, what finally worked was to install all pending Software Updates and it worked!!


Time Machine