Restoring an encrypted Time Machine backup from Synology

I recently replaced my Macbook Pro (early 2015) with a newer model. As I make use of Time Machine for making encrypted backups on my Synology NAS I thought it would be a great opportunity to actually test my backups as a non tested backup is no backup at all (Schrodinger’s backup).

During the initial setup of my new Macbook however, I ran into a problem. The migration assistant found my NAS, I was able to connect to it and see the backups but at the same time I got the following message: “No volumes found in backup”. My heart dropped a little but thought some one else must have had the same experience so I started to look for answers online.

Searching for just the message “No volumes found in backup” returned some results but none were actually solutions for the problem I was having. That changed when I added “Synology” as a search term as that search led me to the Synology community forum and more specifically to a post describing just what I was experiencing.

In short, to restore from an encrypted Time Machine backup with Synology:

  1. Set up the Macbook as a new Macbook when asked by the Migration Assistant (do not transfer any information at this time)
  2. After setting up the Macbook, connect to the Synology NAS and access the shared folder where your Time Machine backups reside
  3. Double click (mount) the Time Machine backup from which you want to restore, you will need to enter your key
  4. After the backup is mounted, start the Migration Assistant
  5. Instruct the Migration Assistant to use your mounted backup

The restore / migration took several hours but was successful in the end, I am now typing this blogpost on my new Macbook!


3 thoughts on “Restoring an encrypted Time Machine backup from Synology”

  1. Great post. One small thing to add, some times you need to wait or go forward on one screen and then come back to the last in order for the correct options to show up. For me, initially, the drive would show up and the sparse bundle would either not mount or show as busy. When I went back to the drive selection option, on the second try the backups from the sparse bundle finally showed up

    1. Hi,

      I’m glad my post proved helpful to you and thanks for the feedback. Do you think this could be related to the size of the backup? I don’t remember having to wait but it’s been a while.

      Kind regards


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