Get Mac OS X to Stop Asking to Use New Disks for Time Machine
All Mac users should setup Time Machine backups with an external hard drive, Time Capsule, or network drive to insure they have regular automatic backups made of their stuff and MacOS X installation. But once you have a backup drive established with Time Machine, or if you use a different backup approach entirely, you may no longer want to be asked if you’d like to setup a new hard disk as a Time Machine backup volume each time you connect a hard drive to the Mac.
To be clear, we’re talking about what happens when you connect a new blank hard drive to a Mac, which will trigger a dialog box that asks “Do you want to use (drive name) to back up with Time Machine?” with a “Use as backup disk” or “Don’t Use” option. This is the dialog request we are aiming to disable here for connecting new drives to the Mac. What we’re going to cover will not disable Time Machine, it only disables that pop-up backup disk request dialog box in Mac OS X.
Average users should keep this dialog enabled and should not mess around with defaults command strings or the command line, this is intended for advanced Mac users only.
Disabling Time Machine Use New Drive Setup Requests in Mac OS X
- Open Terminal from /Applications/Utilities/ and enter the following syntax:
defaults write com.apple.TimeMachine DoNotOfferNewDisksForBackup -bool true
- Hit Return for changes to take effect, exit out of Terminal when finished
- Connect a new hard disk drive to the Mac, OS X will no longer display the “Would you like to setup Time Machine?” screen
Again, this does not disable Time Machine, and it does not impact existing backups, it only stops the pop-up window from showing up. This can be very helpful for Mac users who rely on something like SuperDuper, BackBlaze, Crashplan, CarbonCopyCloner, or another backup solution, who do not want the Time Machine setup requests to appear.
Re-Enable Time Machine New Disk Backup Requests in Mac OS X
If you want to undo this and return OS X to it’s default behavior of asking to setup Time Machine each time a new disk is attached to the Mac, simply using the following defaults command string:
defaults write com.apple.TimeMachine DoNotOfferNewDisksForBackup -bool false
Again, hitting Return will cause changes to take effect. In this case, the Mac will return to the default behavior of offering to use the new disk as a Time Machine backup drive.
Regardless of how you have this setting configured, you should always backup the Mac on a regular basis. Setting up Time Machine for automatic backups on a Mac is easy and a great choice for most users. Whatever you do , don’t skip creating back ups, they’re important.