Change TimeMachine Schedule on OS X Lion

So for Leopard I used a nifty app called TimeMachineEditor but on Mac OS X Lion it refused to do the job properly. So I decided to cheat the TimeMachine.

Here’s the gist of it:
1. Turn off automatic TM backups
2. Create a script file that manually runs TM backup
3. Put that script on a daily (or weekly) schedule.

Now let’s do this.

1. Go to TimeMachine and turn it off. While you’re at it, set all the options you need and put it on a network drive (e.g. NAS) if you like.
Lion introduced another (in my opinion) useless feature: local backups.If your drive crashes, pretty sure those local backups will be as useful as an air conditioner in Antarctica. Disable those as well – in your terminal type

sudo tmutil disablelocal

and hit enter. It’ll ask you for password, type that, enter again.

2. Now that you’ve disabled the backups, let’s make a script that will do it for us. Open AppleScript Editor (in /Applications/Utilities) and enter this code:

do shell script “tmutil startbackup”

Save it in /Library/Scripts/Time Machine/tmBackup.scpt

3. Last step is to make it run whenever you want. In your iCal create a new calendar (so you can hide it later). In this calendar create a new event called “TM backup”. Set the event to run at a specific time daily or weekly. Under alert type select Run Script and navigate to the script you just saved. Set alert time to 0 minutes before the event. Make sure you do not set a specific date in the alert as it will make the TM run only on that one date.

That’s it! now you can save yourself some backup space and network bandwidth if you’re using timecapsule or a generic NAS for backups.

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