How to Turn off Time Machine on Mac

Found the Time Machine backup notification a bit annoying? Me too! I am a big fan of Time Machine and I love using the app to back up my Mac data regularly. Sometimes, I am just a little bit fed with this “No Backup in X Days” reminder or notification on my Mac.

Turning off Time Machine on Mac is super easy as it only takes 3 steps (more preciously, 3 clicks!). I’ll show you how to do this in the guide below. Besides, I’ll also share with you a few useful tips and answer some other questions you might have about the topic.

Let’s get started.

Disable Time Machine on macOS Ventura (or Later)

If your Mac computer is running macOS Ventura or Sonoma, you’ll need to rely on Terminal to turn off Time Machine. Here’s how:

Step 1: Open the Terminal app using one of your preferred methods.

Step 2: Type the following code and hit Enter key.

sudo tmutil disable

Step 3: Input your password to continue. Done.

Note: this operation requires Full Disk Access privileges. Go to System Settings > Privacy & Security > Full Disk Access, and add Terminal to the list of applications. See the screenshot below.

Turn Off Time Machine on macOS Monterey (or Earlier)

Just follow these steps and you should be all set.

Step 1: Click on the Apple log on the top left corner of your screen, then select System Preferences.

Step 2: Click the Time Machine app icon from the pane.

Step 3: Uncheck “Back up Automatically” in the new Time Machine window.

That’s it. Now you’ve disabled the automatic backup from Time Machine. You won’t receive the reminder or notification as I mentioned in the beginning.

How to Disable Time Machine App Icon on Menu Bar

Do you also prefer not to show the Time Machine icon on your menu bar? It’s easy to hide it too. 

Step 1: click on the Time Machine icon and select Open Time Machine Preferences…

Step 2: Make sure “Show Time Machine in menu bar” is unchecked.

The Time Machine app icon should disappear. Congrats, your menu bar is now less crowded!

Turn off Time Machine, But Don’t Forget to Back up Your Mac

These days backup (or backup of backups, as they say) is the most efficient way to prevent data disasters. Like every piece of other tech device, your Mac also has a lifespan. 

For example, the average lifespan of a MacBook Pro is 7 years. After that, the machine will start to run slower and other issues could arise here and there.

The last thing you want to see is the Mac disk drive is crashed all of a sudden. When that happens, it can be really nerve-racking. And if you don’t have a proper backup of your Mac data, I can almost guarantee that you’ll scream out (I did this twice in the past 10 years!)

I hope you get my point and the significance of data backup!

But here’s the question: how?

Every person has a preference on how often to back up their data. For me, I usually do two things. First, set up a recurring task “Back up Mac to an external drive” on my to-do list; Second, back up the important files to the cloud.

Several Other Tips

Time Machine also allows you to make a couple of handy adjustments. Just click on the Options button located at the bottom right corner of the app window.

A new window will pop up. Here, you’ll be able to

  • Identify the estimated size of a full backup (for my Mac, it’s 343.36 GB)
  • Select whether to back up while on battery power (suggested)
  • Include or exclude some items from backups (e.g. I prefer to exclude large old files)


Here are some other questions related to Time Machine that you might be interested in checking out, I’ll briefly answer them below.

How long should a Mac backup take using Time Machine?

It depends on two things: the amount of data you want to back up, and how fast is your external drive (which is used as a backup drive). If your Mac is relatively new, expect 5 to 10 minutes. If your Mac has more than 100 GB of data or more, prepare at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.

How do I schedule an Apple Time Machine backup?

Time Machine doesn’t offer this feature, yet. So you’ll need to use a third-party app to modify the Time Machine backup schedule. Check out this video to learn more about it.

How long should I keep time machine backups?

Keep them as long as you want, especially if the data is very important to you. Make sure you have at least two backups of them, just in case.

Final Words

Turning off or stopping Time Machine notifications on Mac is simple. If you follow the tutorial above, you should be able to get it done in a few seconds. However, don’t stop backing up your Mac data.

Any other questions about Time Machine? Leave a comment below.

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  • John

    I don’s see an option for turning off time machine on sonoma. SyetemSettings -> General -> TimeMacine -> Add backupdisk

    • Jerry Romero

      The new macOS has removed the option to turn off Time Machine through System Settings. Instead, you’ll need to use Terminal to disable Time Machine. And it’s very simple to do. See the updated section in the article.