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Time Machine was an impressive feature added into the Mac operating system and it works great, especially with the ability of using a TimeCapsule for Wi-Fi backups.  However, in some circumstances you may need to reduce the frequency of the Time Machine backups.  I needed to do this on a server as when the Mac is performing a backup it often can slow down.  By reducing the frequency of backups I was able to increase the efficiency of the server during times it was needed, and perform backups when it wasn’t.

The fist step is to enable Time Machine and complete your first full backup and to exclude any areas you don’t wish to have backed up (System Preferences, Time Machine, Privacy).

Once this has been completed turn Time Machine off and create a .plist file with the name: com.sybaspot.timemachine.plist and in the following location: /Library/LaunchAgents/ with the following contents:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC “-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN” “http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd”>
<plist version=”1.0″>
<dict>
<key>Label</key>
<string>com.sybaspot.timemachine.plist</string>
<key>LowPriorityIO</key>
<true/>
<key>ProgramArguments</key>
<array>
<string>/System/Library/CoreServices/backupd.bundle/Contents/Resources/backupd-helper</string>
</array>
<key>StartCalendarInterval</key>
<array>
<dict>
<key>Hour</key>
<integer>5</integer>
<key>Minute</key>
<integer>0</integer>
</dict>
<dict>
<key>Hour</key>
<integer>10</integer>
<key>Minute</key>
<integer>50</integer>
</dict>
<dict>
<key>Hour</key>
<integer>13</integer>
<key>Minute</key>
<integer>0</integer>
</dict>
<dict>
<key>Hour</key>
<integer>17</integer>
<key>Minute</key>
<integer>30</integer>
</dict>
<dict>
<key>Hour</key>
<integer>21</integer>
<key>Minute</key>
<integer>0</integer>
</dict>
</array></dict>
</plist>

The code above will perform backups at the following time intervals: 5am, 10:50am, 1pm, 5:30pm and 9pm.  Restart the computer afterwards for the LaunchAgent to load the plist file and take appropriate action.

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4 Responses to Modify your Apple OS X Time Machine Backup Schedule

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