Forum Question: How Do You Change Settings for Time Machine?

I added a Time Machine last night to back up my computer, and have completed the first backup overnight. I would now like to change how often backups take place.
Since I don’t work on critical documents all day, every day, I would like to set the Time Machine to perform backups on a weekly basis. As I can’t figure out how to do this, I would appreciate it if you could please tell me how that is done?
Thanks, in advance, for your assistance with this matter.
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Joseph

Comments: 4 Responses to “How Do You Change Settings for Time Machine?”

    5/1/13 @ 11:51 am

    Basically, you don’t. You let Time Machine do its thing and back up every hour.
    Oh, you can find third-party plug-ins to change the setting you want. But I strongly recommend against it. Doing so will only decrease your data security.
    Why back up less than every hour? You are only backing up what has changed, so hourly backups are quick and on the whole invisible.
    Say you changed it to back up every Sunday. Then you work on it all week and Saturday something happens (hard drive failure). You lose 6 days of work. For no good reason. Even daily backups — would losing 8 hours of work be OK when there was no good reason to choose daily instead of hourly backups?
    And remember that Time Machine also keeps multiple versions of files around. So if you need to go back to restore a document from an hour ago, a day ago or a week ago, you can do that. But restricting how often Time Machine backs up will take a lot of that ability away.
    Think of it like having air bags in your car. If you could change their settings so they only worked on long trips, would you do that? What advantage would it give you?
    Same with Time Machine. The disadvantages to using it less than hourly are only a little hard drive access — nothing most users would even notice. But the advantages are huge.

    Joseph
    5/1/13 @ 2:17 pm

    Makes sense. Thanks for your response.

    As a follow-up, does Time Machine detect that a file is open and skip it, and then create the next backup when the file is closed, or does it make a copy of the work in progress?

    That would be nice to know, when it comes to knowing how far back to go to find a copy of the file in its previous state.

    Thanks, again, for helping me with this.

      5/1/13 @ 3:43 pm

      The file you are working on is likely to be very important — it doesn’t skip it. It definitely backs up the current version at that moment.
      Of course, some apps (Pages, Numbers, Keynote, etc) save multiple versions inside the file. So if versioning is something you are interested in, you get many more than 1 per hour with those apps. http://macmost.com/lion-versions-basics.html

    Joe Allen
    5/1/13 @ 9:41 pm

    Time Machine also backs-up the email files of MAIL. I have used this capability many times.

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