Change Time Machine Backup Settings With TimeMachineEditor

Time Machine was a very useful addition since Mac OS X Leopard which I use for having regular, incremental backups and it has brought back some accidentally overwritten files more than once. But sometimes Time Machine can be quite annoying: if you’re on an older Mac, you might notice a decrease in overall system performance during backup. And in its default setting, Time Machine backs up every hour, so you’re dealing with that problem several times a day.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to tell Time Machine to backup only, say, twice a day? After all, that should be sufficient for most of us, and it would save disk space on the backup drive too. By default, there’s no way to change how often Time Machine backs up. But these setting are stored in a preferences file, so you could edit that. But there’s a better way: TimeMachineEditor.

How TimeMachineEditor works?

TimeMachineEditor lets you easily change the settings that control when Time Machine runs its backup routine. You can set it to either backup at a certain interval (e.g. hourly), or at multiple calendar intervals (e.g. daily at 10 pm and weekly on Mondays at 9 am). Making the settings “stick” requires you to enter the administrator password, and the changes are not reflected in the Time Machine preferences. To revert back to the default settings, simply change the backup interval to one hour.

Like in so many other cases with software from Apple, this tool is what should have been “in the box”. While I understand Apple’s philosophy of making technology easy to use for even the most novice user, sometimes a little bit more control over some parameters would be nice.