Time Machine, first bundled with Mac OS Leopard, is a tool that’s worth its bytes in gold. You know how it works. In System Preferences you find and select Time Machine, select a disk to use for backups, and let it do its thing. If the worst happens, you can restore your entire system from a Time Machine backup. Once you’ve switched the big green button from Off to On it quietly backs up your Mac, updating every hour on the hour so that you’re always up to date.
And that, essentially, is as sophisticated as Time Machine gets. There’s no built-in provision for changing the backup frequency. To do that, you have to edit a *.plist file – or use TimeMachineEditor. It’s free, easy to use and enables you to alter your Time Machine backup schedule to any interval you please.
The default dialog enables you to change the hourly interval – so you can back up every four hours, 12 hours, half an hour – whatever you like. There’s more power hidden in the drop-down menu. Choose Calendar Interval and you can set up a scheduled backup on a specific day or time daily, weekly or monthly. Click the + button in the dialog and you can add as many backup configurations as you like. So, you can set Time Machine to back up every Monday and Thursday, for example.
Unfortunately, though TimeMachineEditor replaces some of the functions of the default dialog, it doesn’t replace them all. For example, you have to switch the backup on or off using TimeMachineEditor – but you can’t choose a backup destination.
It’s free, though, and adds much-needed functionality to a tool that desperately needs it. We don’t know why Apple hasn’t thought of it already.