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howwow Level 4 (3,500 points)

Hello all,


I notice the other oddity about OSX Maverick's Time Machine. Mine is an external USB3.0 hard drive attached to my iMac.


Subsequent start up and I notice the Time Machine hard drive icon shows the generic USB External Drive, instead of the Green Time Machine icon with a counter-clockwise white arrow.


Is this normal? The back up seems to be performing normally.


If I open Time Machine settings inside System Preferences, and 're-select' the disk again, it will change into the green icon.


Anyone else experiencing this? Is this another Mavericks' cosmetic change?


Thanks all!

iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), iPhone 5s, iPad mini
  • Cerebro Level 2 (240 points)

    I had asked this same question in another thread, because I've got the same issue.  If I shut down or disconnect my Time Machine (TM) volume from my computer and then reconnect, the drive icon remains orange instead of switching the green TM icon.  Going into the settings and reselecting the drive fixes it.  It remains fixed until the drive is disconnected, again.  TM still functions fine.  The only difference between your set-up and mine is that my drive is connected via FireWire 800.  The behavior is identical.  I have tried resetting TM (trashing the preference file) and there was no change.

  • Mateus109 Level 1 (0 points)

    This has been a bug since Leopard I think.  Search Google or this forum board for "time machine missing green icon" and you'll get lots of hits. I have the same problem but it randomly starting losing the green icon in Mountain Lion (others report losing the icon in Leopard).  So I don't think this is a cosmetic change in Mavericks but just a bug that's been carried over from previous versions of OSX.

  • howwow Level 4 (3,500 points)

    Hi Mateus109,


    Actually for me it only started with Mavericks, my previous OSX versions all the Time Machine Drive (in fact it is the same hard disk) will mount and show the Time Machine Green Icon hard drive

  • Cerebro Level 2 (240 points)

    Same here.  For me, this has never happened until Mavericks.  I'm inclined to disagree with the suggestion that this is a "carry over" from previous OS's.


    Upon further investigation of this issue...I plugged my back-up drive back into my computer, yesterday, upon having disconnected it for a while.  Instead of "fixing" the icon in the TM settings, I left it alone for a while to see what would happen.  Turns out, the icon did, eventually, turn green after a few back-ups.  Why it doesn't change anymore on the first back-up is anyone's guess.  I guess this is new "feature" of Mavericks that we just need to get used to.

  • Adamalicious Level 1 (15 points)

    I've had the same issue since upgrading to a new MBP with Mavericks and getting a new USB 3.0 external HDD for Time Machine. Pretty sure it's just a bug and not what Apple intends. It's a Seagate Backup Plus portable drive.

  • Dave Hutch Level 4 (1,475 points)

    Same here. Only happened since Mavericks. Hopefully it's a quick update at some point soon

  • tbirdvet Level 4 (2,880 points)

    I found on my Mini that TM will always stay green after normal shutdown and bootup.  If I just do a soft reboot or turn TM off then back on the icon is orange but will change back to green after about an hour (probably at the next backup).  Must be some Mavericks thing I guess.

  • BrianInCalifornia Level 1 (10 points)

    I had a similar issue with the Time Machine icon not changing, which I documented here:



    Unfortunately, my MacBook wasn't making backups and I couldn't even make manual backups. Fortunately, your solution of selecting the disk fixed my problem. As mentioned above I assume that this is a bug that will be fixed soon.

  • logaen Level 1 (0 points)

    Same here.

  • tbirdvet Level 4 (2,880 points)

    Mine is also oraange to start  but when the next TM backup starts it turns green.

  • simplepsy Level 1 (0 points)

    Same here - new behaviour since installing Mavericks on my mid 2011 20" iMac

  • dnhunter Level 1 (0 points)

    This has only happened to me since changing the external drive for a new one when the old one broke. Running Mavericks the old one was green, new one just shows external hard drive image.  Any fix?

  • tbirdvet Level 4 (2,880 points)

    Be sure your new drive is selected for TM to use.  It will start out orange but at the next TM backup it will chnage to green.  If you reboot it will change back to orange until TM does a backup again.

  • alexdelalane Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi guys, found a way round it. I can't see an apple solution out there but you can assign your own icon to the drive such as the TM icon by finding one via searching google images, then saving the image to your desktop. Find an online converter that will change it to an .icns file such as:


    this will convert the file and then you can hit CMD + I to open up the time machine info panel and drop the .icns onto the small icon in the top left of the panel (not the biggy in the middle). Ive done this for all my external drives and the icon sticks like that until you choose to undo it.


    Hope that helps.

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