Mountain Lion and later OS X releases have a very useful feature where Time Machine can alternate between multiple backup destinations. I use this to back up to both a network share at home and an external drive I keep offsite. Because I only have physical access to the offsite drive occasionally, I don't back up to it often.

After 10 days, OS X gives me a message around the same time each day, such as: Time Machine hasn't backed up your computer in 120 days

Time Machine is still backing up successfully to the network share every hour, so this message is unnecessary (and the second sentence is incorrect).

I like being able to see when the last backup was completed, so I'd prefer not to remove the disk from Time Machine's destination list entirely. Likewise, turning Time Machine off (as suggested here) isn't an option because I still need my backups to run on the other drives.

Is there any way to disable or delay this message? Ideally I would be able to set it to a longer period of time, so it could remind me to go do an offsite backup every month or so.

  • 1
    I'm in a similar situation. This message get's really irritating after a while :(
    – gentmatt
    Mar 6, 2013 at 7:13
  • Even worse - it interrupts Keynote presentations!
    – mbauman
    May 17, 2013 at 16:39
  • 1
    4 OS X releases and almost 4 years later, the warning now comes as a notification that stays onscreen until manually cleared, but otherwise the problem remains unsolved. It looks like Apple doesn't provide a way to do this without disabling Time Machine. Third-party utilities didn't pan out, but it might be possible to solve with a script.
    – gabedwrds
    Sep 10, 2016 at 20:32

1 Answer 1


Perhaps TimeMachineScheduler or TimeMachineEditor can help.

  • Interesting idea. TimeMachineScheduler seemed to be unable to trigger a backup at all - not sure whether that's because it doesn't support multiple backup destinations or because the one I can use right now is a network share. I'm watching TimeMachineEditor now to see if it works.
    – gabedwrds
    Oct 28, 2012 at 3:54
  • TimeMachineEditor is triggering backups successfully, on the downside it only does so for the first disk unlike the default behaviour which rotates through all available disks.
    – gabedwrds
    Oct 28, 2012 at 7:40
  • 1
    Correction: It triggers a backup for the last drive I backed up to, and complains with a dialog box if the drive isn't available. No, that won't do... :/
    – gabedwrds
    Oct 28, 2012 at 9:52

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