(Updated answer choice for High Sierra. See the old answer if you are still on Yosemite)

I'm running OS X Yosemite, and I want to disable the notifications from Time Machine. I rarely do a hard-drive backup because all of my essential files are in the cloud. I don't need to run timemachine as often as it suggests/warns/annoys me about.

How do I disable the notifications? Time Machine is not in the Notifications preferences, and I don't want to stop using it entirely.

  • Remember one backup is not sufficient Time Machine and in the cloud is probably the minimum – mmmmmm Apr 19 '16 at 19:24

As mentioned previously, the process to disable these notifications has slightly changed as of High Sierra.

I'm on 10.13.2 and here's the process that I followed:

  • After unchecking Back Up Automatically in the System Preferences > Time Machine section, I was still receiving the messages.
  • I also went ahead and removed my old backup device from Select Backup Disk... and then the warnings have stopped coming up (fingers crossed).
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    It's too bad you can't just leave the disk set up and turn off the notifications. I just don't care that much about backups since most of my stuff is in the cloud. – pixelfairy Mar 5 '18 at 22:03
  • AHA. It now seems more obvious that I kept getting this message because I had an old backup disk that I no longer used. However, it needs to be made more clear that that's the reason for the notifications. – T3db0t Aug 6 '18 at 15:37

When you don't have the external hard drive hooked up, go System Preferences >> Time Machine, and switch it to OFF. You will still be able to perform backups, it just won't happen automatically.

In newer OS versions, you must uncheck the Back up automatically box and then right-click on the backup disk on the right side and select Stop using ‘Time Machine’ Backups.

This is the technique that I use, and I don't see notifications.

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  • Thanks! So simple... I guess I didn't realize that I could turn it off. I thought it was doing some sort of local cataloging as well. – pixelfairy Jul 7 '15 at 1:55
  • Actually, it looks like it is storing history locally. I can go back to yesterday, last week and many other points in the past that were not back-up remotely. – Esteban Aug 22 '16 at 14:06
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    This option is gone in High Sierra. – James Vanderhyde Oct 28 '17 at 14:41
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    The option is still (sort of) accessible by unchecking the “Back up automatically” box and then right-/ctrl-clicking on the backup disk on the right side and selecting “Stop using ‘Time Machine’ Backups” (then confirming). Here’s a little video walkthrough I made: giphy.com/gifs/3ohs7GEcBTTYdOA8sU – kevincoleman Nov 16 '17 at 21:19
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    OMG life savior, this helps a lot. That right click is so sneaky. How could possibly know lol – Eddie Nov 22 '17 at 2:23

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