TimeMachineEditor is a software for macOS that lets you change the default one-hour backup interval of Time Machine. You can change the interval or create a more sophisticated scheduling (see screenshots below).

This is useful if you don’t need to backup every hour and don’t want the performance penalty. This is also especially useful if you manipulate lots of data within one hour as you would spend the whole day backing up.


TimeMachineEditor 5.1.2 (2020, July 2) - macOS 10.9 or newer

This version includes fixes and improvements.

Note to Catalina Users

In macOS Catalina, a security dialog might prevent you from installing the application claiming that Apple cannot check it for malicious software (which is really "Apple, the trillion dollar company, did not receive $99 from this freeware developer this year"). You can still install: control-click the installer package, then choose Open from the shortcut menu, then click Open. Alternatively you can install version 5.0.8 and update from within the application (main application menu > Check for Updates).

How does it work?

TimeMachineEditor triggers Time Machine backups when it is most appropriate, the whole backup process is still handled by Time Machine. TimeMachineEditor is not a “hack”, it does not modify system files.

Command Line Tool

The tmectl(1) command line tool allows to print and modify settings, enable/disable the scheduler and uninstall the application. Just fire up the command without any argument to see its usage.


Should I disable automatic backups in System Preferences > Time Machine?

Yes. Doing this disables the default one-hour scheduler which is what you want since you will now be using TimeMachineEditor to schedule the backups.

Do I need to keep the application running or launch it at login time?

No. You just need to use the application when you want to change the settings.

Will it back up while the machine is sleeping?

TimeMachineEditor supports Power Nap which you can enable in System Preferences > Energy Saver. If you are using a laptop computer, make sure you are on the “Power Adapter” tab, as this feature only works when connected to AC power.

How does TimeMachineEditor preserve/discard backups?

TimeMachineEditor does not change that, it is handled by Time Machine. Time Machine will coalesce and discard backups as described in System Preferences > Time Machine.

I disabled the hourly snapshots but snapshots are still being created, why is that?

You can't totally disable snapshots. New snapshots are created every time a regular backup is made (snapshots are used as the data sources for the backups). That's how Time Machine works. Note that the lifetime of snapshots is not well defined but they usually live no longer than 24 hours. Apple is agressively restricting programming access to snapshots making them not particularly useful on macOS.

How do I uninstall TimeMachineEditor?

Just select the “Uninstall...” command located under the application main menu. Alternatively the tmectl(1) command line tool can be used with the “uninstall” argument.


TimeMachineEditor is totally free to use. Donations contribute to the web hosting and developer account fees.

You can donate via paypal.


You can contact me by email at timemachineeditor@tclementdev.com.

Additional screenshots