On Linux systems I use ionice to lower I/O scheduling priority for processes like backups that interfere as little as possible with interactive usage of the system. Is there an equivalent for MacOS?

  • I find nice and renice do that.
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 6, 2021 at 10:33

1 Answer 1


On macOS you'll find a similar program named taskpolicy that comes with the system. It allows you to both start a new program with a specific I/O scheduling policy, as well as change the I/O scheduling policy for an already running process. You will want to run it with the -d parameter, allowing you to set the I/O policy as either important (highest priority), standard, utility or throttle (lowest priority). There's also a level named passive that basically ignores priorities all together.

A simpler, open-source alternative also exists here:


It allows you to set the I/O scheduling priority for a new command you start, but you cannot change it for an already running process or query an already running process for its priority.

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