You may have noticed that you can hear your computer being backed up via Time Machine, but then you look at the Time Machine icon in the status bar, and it’s not rotating, leading you to wonder “huh?” Here is why your Time Machine icon no longer rotates or spins in your status bar.
First, exactly what Time Machine icon are we talking about, and what do we mean by ‘spinning’?
Time Machine status bar icon
As you can see below, when the Time Machine status bar icon looks like this (and when it wasn’t spinning), it meant that your Time Machine wasn’t backing up at that time.
When Time Machine was backing up, that icon would rotate (spin).
But now it’s not spinning, even though you are pretty sure that Time Machine is backing up. What’s going on?
Here’s the story.
Starting with OS X Mavericks (i.e. OS X version 10.9), Apple did away with the spinning Time Machine icon in the status bar. Mavericks is the penultimate version of OS X as of the time of this writing, the current version being OS X Yosemite (OS X 10.10). Mavericks was released in October of 2013, but given the hit-or-miss nature of being right at your machine when Time Machine is backing up, and then having to actually look at the icon, let alone having to notice that it’s not spinning, you can be forgiven for just having figured it out now, even if you did update to Mavericks back in 2013.
So how can you tell if Time Machine is backing up? Here’s how.
Starting with Mavericks, Apple replaced the obvious rotating icon with a much more subtle indicator that Time Machine was working on a backup.
If you click on the Time Machine icon when it is displaying the extra little triangle, you will see that Time Machine is in fact working away diligently, backing up your data.
Yes, yes, we know. We miss the spinning icon too.
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