Some people need a belt and suspenders as a backup: two Time Machine volumes that are kept up to date in case of a failure. Apple allows you to connect multiple volumes to your Mac directly or over a network to act as Time Machine destinations. But macOS switches between mounted volumes every hour. Is there a way to back up macOS hourly for both without manually clicking the Time Machine system menu and selecting “Back Up Now”?
Not really. You can try one of two options:
- Use TimeMachineEditor, a free utility (donation required) that allows you to control certain aspects of your Time Machine backup. You can change the frequency to every 30 minutes so that no backup is older than 30 minutes at any given time.
- Install Keyboard Maestro and set up a time-of-day or keystroke shortcut that selects the Back Up option twice – it selects a menu item, waits for it to complete, then selects it again. This will backup both of your volumes.
There is another alternative: a variety of backups. If you have a primary volume and a Time Machine backup, you don’t need a second Time Machine backup. Instead, consider using an online backup service that automatically polls and sends changes to the file as soon as they are made. This can give you one backup that’s between seconds and minutes old, anytime and anywhere, and a second backup that’s less than an hour old. The only way to do this better is to have a secure off-site location where you regularly change the Time Machine volume to another one.
This Mac 911 article is in response to a question posed by Macworld reader Taylor.
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