TMS Icon TimeMachineScheduler

set the backup interval of Time Machine from 1 to 12 hours

Minimum Requirements:

• Intel Mac
• macOS 10.5 Leopard or later

Download TMS

Version 3.1.4 (2,2 MB)
  TimeMachineScheduler is free,
but donations would be appreciated


In macOS 10.5 Leopard Apple has introduced Time Machine, a very convenient way to make backups. Unfortunately the backup interval is preset constantly to one hour. Apple uses an launchd daemon to control the timing, but changing the interval value in the launchd.plist file has no effect.
TimeMachineScheduler disables the automatic backup function of Time Machine (the big slider) and installs its own launchd daemon. As the daemon is located in the main library, the administrator password is required for all (writing) operations. Except disabling Time Machine no further system files and preferences will be touched by TimeMachineScheduler.

There are (still) some access privileges problems in OS X 10.5 Leopard, if the operation system has been updated, migrated or installed with the archive & install option. TimeMachineScheduler takes care of all files and sets owner, group and the privileges to the proper default value.
You can install and uninstall the daemon as well as only load and unload it to disable making backups temporarily. The interval can be set between 1 and 12 hours, and the daemon can be set to run additionally at load, which means also at startup and login. You can press a button to run a backup immediately. The status of the scheduler will be displayed.

The Apply button affects only the settings
interval and run at load, which are part of the launchd daemon. All other settings are applied immediately.

While a backup is running the control elements are disabled and all actions will be written into a log file (/Library/Logs/TimeMachineScheduler.log).
If you want to revert to the original settings of Time Machine, just uninstall the scheduler and enable Time Machine in its Preference Pane.

In version 3 the application is turned into a Preference Pane. A simple installer is added to update older versions, install the Preference Pane or completely remove all components of TimeMachineScheduler.

Version 3.1 is compatible with macOS 10.7 Lion.
Version 3.1.4 is compatible with macOS 10.8 Mountain Lion.


• Set the interval from 1 to 12 hours.
• Run the backup manually or automatically also at startup, login or when the daemon has been loaded.
• Display the status of the daemon, of the backup volume and if the backup is currently running.
• Automount, an option to mount and unmount the backup volume automatically (see known problems).
• Option to hide the backup volume (to take effect a Finder relaunch is required).
• Option to restrict backups to a defined network connection (WiFi/Ethernet) and over WiFi to a certain SSID.
• Option to skip the backup within a specified time range.

Known issues:

• As TimeMachineScheduler works independent from the Time Machine Preferences, some information might be displayed wrong in the Preference Pane of Time Machine.
• It could happen, that the backup volume cannot be unmounted (using the automount feature). This occurs also, if the application of TimeMachineScheduler is running. However the daemon is not affected.

PowerPC Support for 10.5 Leopard

• The latest version which runs on PPC is 3.0.2. You can download it here

macOS 10.12 Sierra Compatibility:

TimeMachineScheduler 4.0 Beta

TimeMachineScheduler 4.0 is turned back to a standard application because of Apple's security restrictions for Preference Panes (no offense, Apple).
The application is not required to run permanently.


Drag the application onto the Applications Folder alias in the disk image. It's strongly recommended to leave the application in the standard Applications folder.
On first launch TMS asks to migrate the existing data and to delete the Preference Pane of version 3.
TMS asks also for permission to install the privileged helper tool (that's not really new).

New features:

New in 4.0b3 Planned but still missing features: This Beta version logs a lot of stuff in its log file (/Library/Logs/TimeMachineScheduler.log) as well as in the system log file.

Please test this version and report issues with crash reports and/or log excerpts to

Important Note: TimeMachineScheduler does not touch the contents of the backup volume at all.
The worst case is no backups will be executed.

System Requirements for 4.0 Beta:
Download TMS 4.0 Beta

Version 4.0b8 (Build 510)

4.0b8 (December 22, 2013)
• A local volume with automount enabled will be unmounted at a reliable point in time to avoid thinning backups error.
• The outhook script is run at the same time.
• A new state is added for the outhook script in case the backup is cancelled by the user.
• If the localized disk image volume name in Time Machine preferences is not defined the default name "Time Machine Backups" is used.

4.0b7 (December 13, 2013)
• Considers now local backup volumes formatted with HFS+ journaled encrypted.
• Avoids a crash and displays an error message while changing the volume preferences for a backup volume which was recently assigned in Time Machine preferences before running the first backup.

4.0b6 (November 20, 2013)
• Fixes a bug to recognize shared hosts containing special characters.
• The deamon settings (interval and run at load) are disabled now while the backup process is running.
• Many other fixes and optimizations.

4.0b5 (November 11, 2013)
• Fixed a fatal bug which caused the application to hang while detecting network volumes.

4.0b4 (November 10, 2013)
• The name of the current backup volume won't be truncated.
• Improved method to detect the availability of shared hosts containing the backup volume to avoid error messages.
• TimeMachineScheduler notifies in Notification Center about the state after pressing "Backup Now".
• Fixes a sporadic crash right before quitting the application.

4.0b3 (November 7, 2013)
• Support for multiple backup volumes added.
• Displays the date of the latest backup for all volumes.
• Time range / time zone issue fixed.
• Many small improvements and fixes.

4.0b2 (October 29, 2013)
• Sparkle Framework for automatic updates added.
• Prevents the app from crashing in case the field Computer Name in System Preferences > Sharing is empty.
• Minor fixes.

4.0 Beta (October 27, 2013)
• Compatible with macOS 10.9 Mavericks
• New Features and Changes see notes above.

3.1.4 (July 28, 2012)
• Compatible with macOS 10.8 Mountain Lion
• High resolution icon.
• Minor fixes.

3.1.3 (February 21, 2012)
• TMS will no longer crash if the computer name (in Sharing) is empty.

3.1.2 (January 29, 2012)
• Considers the "Require AC Power" setting of Time Machine.
• Avoids to search for the shared backup volume within the "Skip Backup" range.

3.1.1 (November 12, 2011)
• Fixed a bug to gather the proper SSID name in Lion.

3.1 (November 11, 2011)
• Compatible with macOS 10.7 Lion.
• Feature added to restrict backups to a defined network connection (WiFi/Ethernet).
• TimeMachineScheduler 3.1 runs only on Intel computers.

3.0.2 (December 1, 2010)
• fixed a bug in the french localization.
• Considers the naming convention of the mounted sparse image in both Leopard and Snow Leopard.

3.0.1 (October 30, 2010)
• TMS will no longer crash while authenticating the helper tool.
• Considers the new naming convention of the sparse image in Snow Leopard.
• Fixed a bug in the installer applet.

3.0 (October 12, 2010)
• Completely rewritten in Objective-C
• Turned into a Preference Pane
• Swedish Localization by Micke Lindström
• Simple Installer added
• 64-bit support.

2.3.1 (September 6, 2008)
• Problem fixed, that the backup volume won't be unmounted automatically.

2.3 (August 25, 2008)
• Function added to skip the backup within a specified time range
• More reliable identification when the backup is finished
• Minor bug fixes.

2.2 (April 7, 2008)
• Greek localization by Themaikos

2.1 (April 6, 2008)
• Compatible with Time Capsule and wireless backup volumes connected to Airport Extreme Base Station (802.11n)

2.0 (January 1, 2008)
• Automount, an option to mount and unmount the backup volume automatically (see known problems)
• Option to hide the backup volume
• Uses now a launchd daemon instead of an agent
• Improved authentication management
• French and spanich localization by Jojo
• Italian localization by Leonardo Aronica

1.1 (November 29, 2007
• Japanese localization by E-WA

1.0 (November 26, 2007)
• Initial release.

© 2007-2012 Stefan Klieme (e-mail:

This program is distributed "as is" in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY

Time Machine is a part of macOS 10.5 Leopard by Apple Inc.
Time Capsule and Airport Extreme are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.