Time Machine Backup Stuck at “Cleaning Up”

It used to be that Time Machine backups transpired smoothly and quickly but these days its not unusual to encounter instances where Time Machine stalls, what seems like forever, at its “cleaning up” phase.

Here is a possible solution to overcome this phenomenon.

Nine out of ten times, the culprit for this stall, is the existence of Google Software Update for Mac OS X. “Google Software Update? What’s that!?”, you ask?

Google Software Update is a background app that purports to keep your Mac OS X Google apps up to date but most of us don’t recall actively downloading or installing it, do we?

Well, reason being is that its usually quietly included in most Google Mac OS X apps that we tend to ‘like’ to install onto our Macs, e.g. Google Earth and Google Drive, without us realising it.

In fact it won’t even show up if you attempt a Spotlight search using the keyword “Google Software Update” on your Mac.

That’s because its buried within your Mac’s hard drive’s system Library folder: “/[name of your HDD]/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/”

If you are still reading this article, you are probably wearing a frown at this point. Not only has Google ‘implanted’ an app into your Mac OS without clearly stating, this same app is also an always-active-daemon, i.e. an app that constantly runs in the background. Checking and communicating with Google servers.

Its bad enough that this chews up invaluable processor time and power, as well as internet bandwidth, on the Time Machine backup process front, it has been identified as one of the culprits that cause the annoying forever “cleaning up” phase.

Whilst MacRiot provides this insight we offer no guarantee but we have tested that removing Google Software Update significantly reduces the chance of a forever “cleaning up” backup phase.

Instructions to removing Google Software Update can be found here.

For more information regarding Google’s surreptitious inclusion of this annoying always-active-daemon into our Macs, you can read Scott Gilbertson’s “Why Google’s Software Update Tool is Evil”.

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