Preserving Finder comments and tags

This documentation is for an older version of CCC. You can find the latest version here.
Last updated on June 29, 2021

CCC copies all of the information required to preserve Finder tags and comments, but the Finder can interfere with the preservation of these data.

Finder tags and comments are stored as extended attributes associated with a file or folder (tags are stored as a "" extended attribute, comments are stored as a "" extended attribute). Some associated data related to tags and comments is also stored in the hidden .DS_Store folder-specific Finder preference file. When backing up to a locally-attached volume, CCC will preserve these extended attributes and the .DS_Store files. Whether the Finder accepts these attributes, however, depends on whether the Finder has cached older information for the affected files and folders. If you open the destination in the Finder prior to running your backup task, Finder will cache a bunch of those ".DS_Store" preference files. If you then run the backup task, and then revisit those folders on the destination, Finder will not only present cached .DS_Store content (i.e. content that does not reflect your comments and tags), but it will also replace the .DS_Store files that were copied by CCC with the cached versions. The older .DS_Store files will then conflict with the Finder comment and tag extended attributes, and the Finder will not show the tags and comments despite the data being present on the destination files.

You should be able to do the following to get the Finder comments and tags preserved:

  1. Restart your Mac (or log out and log back in)
  2. Do not open the destination volume in the Finder (no peeking!)
  3. Run the backup task
  4. At this point you should be able to view the content on the destination, and the comments and tags should be preserved

Preserving Finder comments and tags on network volume backups

NAS volumes traditionally offer poor performance and reliability for preserving extended attributes, so CCC does not preserve extended attributes by default when backing up to a network volume. As a result, Finder comments and tags are not preserved by default when backing up to a network volume.

To preserve Finder comments and tags on a network volume, click the Advanced Settings button, then uncheck the box next to Don't preserve extended attributes in the File Copying Settings tab.