“The Fix” is a new feature you’ll see at least once a week here at Apple Gazette, where we highlight a downloadable utility or extension that fixes a problem in OS X or iOS. First up: stop Time Machine from slowing you down! This smart download lets YOU decide when Time Machine will backup your files.
If you do a lot of work on your Mac — particularly online, like yours truly — you probably know what it’s like to experience the excruciating slow-down when Time Machine decides to perform a backup. Apple leaves this decision entirely in Time Machine’s hands, giving you no option for designating a convenient interval of time when a backup can take place without interrupting your workflow.
Apparently, Stefan Klieme feels your pain. He’s created a System Preferences extension that’s a must-have for anyone suffering from Time Machine Interruptus. Time Machine Scheduler provides everything you need to bring Time Machine under your control. It adds this screen to System Preferences:
The main thing to note is the area labeled “Backup Interval.” From there, you can set your backups to take place anywhere from hourly to every twelve hours. You can also set it to run a backup automatically at startup or login.
Naturally, this little gem works only with Leopard or better (but then, so does Time Machine). And it comes with the usual disclaimer: Time Machine Scheduler is distributed “as is,” without warranty, and as such you should use it at your own risk.
I’m running it on Lion without any discernable issues at all (so far). If you give it a try, please let us know if it works for you by leaving feedback in the Comments below.