Time Machine changes in OS X Mavericks

“Following on from my previous post on cheeky changes to OS X Mavericks, (Or 10.9), today I wanted to point out some subtle changes to the way Time Machine backs up,” Russell Harris blogs for Amsys.

“First of all, the Time Machine menu bar icon no longer rotates whilst performing a back up,” Harris reports. “This was handy as a visual way of knowing that Time Machine was in the process of backing you up, but in Mavericks, Apple want to hide things even more from the Graphical Interface so users don’t have too many distractions. If you need to know that a backup is being performed, the menu bar icon does very subtly change to have an extra Arrow in the clock face.”

Harris reports, “The second thing I have noticed that has changed since upgrading to Mavericks is that as I backup to a Time Capsule drive over the network, the Time Capsule Drive does not ‘Mount’ on the Desktop nor show up in the Finder Sidebar as before during a backup.”

Read more, and see the screenshots, in the full article here.


  1. I thought it was mighty funny why the Time Machine icon on the menu bar stopped rotating any more to show that an active backup was taking place. I don’t know whether this is due to Tim Cook’s own intellectual shortcoming that is triggering the dumbing down of Apple but AirPort Extreme 6th generation lost its ability to monitor network traffic because they yanked SMTP monitoring from the firmware.

    Apple, getting dumber by the minute.

      1. It doesn’t show up as a mounted drive, because performing the backup no longer requires mounting a drive. Time Capsules are backup servers, not just file servers.


      1. That doesn’t make it right. I recently went from Snow Leopard to MT Lion and in the process of installing files from a SL external drive, all I could think of was that Apple has dumbed down their OS.

        1. Bodie, the entire CLI interface is still available! You can get as complicated as you like by installing all things MacPorts.

          We all know Apple does occasionally go too far with simplification and we complain about it. That’s fine with me. But in these cases, I don’t think we-the-geeks are going to suffer for these granny-friendly changes, are we.

    1. Right on target, Greyness… when being reviewed as part of the Apple history, the Tim Cook era will be the time when the Apple faithful – be their customers or AAPL holders or both – suffered the most. MDN and its horde of lemmings are going to look very, very foolish when all they could think to say during the clarion call for the end of the Tim Cook era is their stupid over use of the word “troll” – nothing else to say, I guess, in defense of the indefensible.

  2. Could someone explain to me the appeal of the Time Capsule? The last thing I want is a hard drive built into my router. External hard drives are essentially failures waiting to happen. Routers seem to last practically forever. I don’t want to lose use of my router when the hard drive gets corrupt.

    Is there a networked Time Machine solution that doesn’t involve the HDD physically built into the router?


      1. Don’t do that…
        …and use it for TM backup, Issues of corrupted backup images are common (just check on Apple’s support BB)
        Use a local drive, a real SAN/NAS or a (the actual) time capsule disk.

        Plugging an external into an airport is fine for casual file serving, but nothing more. You have been warned.

        1. I just connect a USB or FireWire drive to a computer on the network. Share the drive with File Sharing. Mount on another machine on the same network and select for TM backups. For home networks and very small businesses, with just a few computers, this works fine. You don’t have to get fancy for small work groups.

        2. According to Pondini, who’s a bit of a Time Machine guru, the new Airport Extreme (6th Gen, “ac” model) now supports Time Machine backups to an attached disk.
          It’s also in Apple’s document – Mac Basics: Time Machine Backs Up Your Mac.
          “Time Machine can only back up to an external drive connected to an AirPort Extreme 802.11ac base station. Time Machine cannot back up data to external drives connected to other AirPort Extreme base station models”

          1. Have one of the flat ones at home, (not the 6th gen) and can personally testify that while you “can” use a drive connected to the USB as a network time machine drive you should not (nor is it “sanctioned” by apple as the genus told me explaining my corrupt time machine backup. Thankfully all that (eventually) resulted was a “hole” in my timeline that I can’t restore to)

            Glad to hear that they got that sorted on the new airports. (mmm… makes upgrading an attractive prospect, I think I smell a christmas present ;-))

    1. I know that the Synology NAS software supports Time Machine. However, Apple does not officially license it, so updates to OS X are always a threat to break it until Synology can get a fix created.

    2. I have a Mac Mini running OSX Server with a Drobo connected. One of the many services that OSX Server offers is a Time Machine backup server. All the Macs in my house backup to that server and the files are stored on the Drobo which is set up for dual disk redundancy. I then use Crash Plan to store a copy of the data in the cloud just in case my home is ever wiped out. Crashplan still offer unlimited storage for like $6 a month. It works FLAWLESSLY!!! OSX Server does have some great stuff in there.

  3. I use Time Machine to back up to portable hard drives, e.g. G-Drive, WD, Verbatim, and I used Time Machine yesterday to back up before I installed 10.9.1. The arrow icon in the menu bar rotated just as it used to do in previous incarnations of the app. Maybe it has to do with the backup device rather than anything else, i.e. if an Apple Time Capsule then do one thing, if not do another.

  4. “in Mavericks, Apple want to hide things even more from the Graphical Interface so users don’t have too many distractions.”

    Sad to say, I really think that Apple literally does think that.

    I used to laugh at people who said: “What is the world coming to?’

    I don’t any more. They have a valid question. Why don’t we just remove all forms of feedback from the operating system thereby removing all “distraction”

  5. MEH! BOOM BEEYOTCHES… I do notice, due to negative votes, that if you ain’t drinking the full kup of koolaid, you ain’t getting da votes… lemmings could be a good label here…
    The koolaid did come from Rev. Jim Jones right?

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