HowTo: Change Time Machine Backup Interval with Secrets Preference Pane

Posted on November 24, 2009
Lets face it- hourly Time Machine backups are a little much! Thankfully, there is a great Preference Pane that can easily adjust this to something more reasonable- like every 2-4 hours, twice a day, etc. Alternatively, you can edit the preference file directly. That information is also provided below.

Change Time Machine Backup Increment with Secrets Preference Pane

1) Download, unzip, and install Secrets preference pane : http://blacktree-secrets.googlecode.com/files/Secrets_1.0.6.zip (for more info about Secrets, go to http://secrets.blacktree.com) 2) Go to System Preferences, and open Secrets Preference Pane 3) Scroll down in left column to Time Machine 4) Change Backup Interval to something else more than an hour. We did the math so you don't have to. A few examples:
  • 7200 seconds    - Backup every 2 hours
  • 14400 seconds  - Backup every 4 hours
  • 28800 seconds - Backup every 8 hours
  • 43200 seconds  - Backup every 12 hours
  • 86400 seconds  - Backup every 24 hours
5) Close System Preferences This is just one single thing Secrets can do. As you can see once you open it, there are tons of other customizations that can be made.

Change Time Machine backup increment by editing the preference file directly

1) Go to /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ 2) Open com.apple.backupd-auto.plist with any text editor. 3) Find this section:

<key>StartInterval</key> <integer>3600</integer>

4) Change interval 3600 to a different amount (in seconds) 5) Save/Close

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