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How to manually schedule Time Machine backups (on a Mac)

Updated on May 22, 2011

If you own a Mac you may be familiar with Time Machine, a backup app that comes installed on OS X. What's nice about Time machine it is virtually automatic so there's no real hasstle of setting it up. Time Machine will automatically back up your entire Mac and saves each day in case you need to revert your machine back in time.

The problem for me is I find it actually backs up a little too frequently and at times it boggs my machine down. It is almost like all day the machine is constantly backing up which is annoying at times.

So if you're like me, you might want to just set it to backup once or maybe twice a day in the early morning or late evening.

Thanks to an 3rd party app called Time Machine Editor, this can be done very easily. Let me show you how it works!

The first thing you will want to do is actually turn off Time Machine. I know this sounds a bit strange, but Time Machine Editor is going to take over the scheduling for you and manually backing up at specific intervals during the day. As you will soon find out, TimeMachineEditor actually has its own ON / OFF switch.

Next download Time Machine Editor and install as normal. You will see a drop down in the dialog. One is called Interval and the other Calendar Intervals. If backing up during Sleep mode you will want to choose Calendar Intervals.

Simply set the time or times during the day to backup and your are done.

You may ask:

Do I need to keep TimeMachineEditor running all the time? No. You just need to use TimeMachineEditor when you want to change the settings. 

What about backups when waking up from sleep? When using the “Calendar Intervals” mode, Time Machine backs up on wake only if the computer was asleep at schedule time. 

Note: When using the “Interval” mode, this behavior may not work, this is due to a bug in Mac OS X (radar 4058640). You can workaround this by using the “Calendar Intervals” mode instead and adding as many “Daily” entries as necessary

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