(Mac OS X 10.6.x+)
By default, Time Machine can run an automatic backup every hour. This value can be changed by following this tutorial.
Note: this is a more technical procedure, for those who will need to change the frequency on a regular basis, or those who would like a more user-friendly method of editing this value, please see Option 2.
The one-hour default is actually a «magic number» stored in a preference file; the default value of 3600 represents the number of seconds between backups.
The file we need to edit is located under
com.apple.backupd-auto.plist with a text editor on your machine
(e.g., TextEdit) and find the following in the file:
<key>StartInterval</key> <integer>3600</integer> <key>RunAtLoad</key>
As mentioned, the default value is 3600, representing 3600 seconds = 1 hour. Here are some other second values that could be used:
|Once an hour||3600|
|Once every 2 hours||7200|
|Once every 6 hours||21600|
|Twice a day (12 Hours)||43200|
|Once per day||86400|
3600 with the desired frequency value and save the file. As
this file is a protected system file, you will be required to enter your
password to save the file.
Note: If you receive a message that you cannot save the file, try using a
different text editor, as some will prompt for a system password and other
will return an error message when writing over protected files. You can
also change the permissions using
chmod before editing, to enable writing
to the file:
>chmod u+w com.apple.backupd-auto.plist
… edit the file … save the file …
>chmod u-w com.apple.backupd-auto.plist
If you receive a permissions error, you can use
sudo chmod instead of
chmod in the above script to invoke super user permissions.
TimeMachineEditor is a GUI-based software that allows the customization of how frequently Time Machine will backup. If you do not feel comfortable manually changing the frequency (or have a need to change the value quite often), this may be a more appealing option