Mac trick: Speed ​​up Time Machine (and other background processes)!

If your Mac backup is taking too long and you want Time Machine to work faster, you can use a pretty simple trick. In addition to Time Machine, this also affects other processes that actually have their CPU and RAM usage throttled. You can find out how to remove this throttling from macOS here. Of course, I'll also tell you how to reactivate it so that the accelerated Time Machine backup doesn't steal valuable computing resources from you in the future.

You can remove throttling for low-priority processes from macOS with a Terminal command. This means that you can use it to speed up Time Machine so that the Mac backup finishes faster.
You can remove throttling for low-priority processes from macOS with a Terminal command. This means that you can use it to speed up Time Machine so that the Mac backup finishes faster.

This is how you can speed up the Time Machine backup

If you go to this at the end of the day Time Machine Backup Wait because you finally want to turn off the Mac, then you can use the trick presented here. But it can also be helpful if you are away from your Mac for a few minutes or half an hour and want to speed up the backup that is running in the background during this time. Last but not least, the following terminal command helps to perform the very first Time Machine backup, which will be quite large and therefore take some time, more quickly.

The terminal command, which you simply copy and paste into the macOS command line you can insert is:

sudo sysctl debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled=0

After entering or pasting the copied command, press the Enter key. You will then probably be asked for your account password. Enter this (it is normal that no characters are added to the display!) and confirm it again with the Enter key. It will now show that the throttling of low priority processes has been set from 1 to 0. In the macOS Activity Monitor You will probably see an increase in resource usage, such as CPU.

This is how you reinstate throttling of low-priority processes

Once you're back on your Mac or the Time Machine backup finished faster thanks to the resource boost, then you should undo the Terminal command mentioned above. As you continue to use the Mac, the CPU performance and RAM should be available again for the programs you use. At the same time, the background actions classified by macOS as low-priority processes should only be able to achieve more performance if you enable them.

So to undo the acceleration of Time Machine, simply copy this command into the terminal:

sudo sysctl debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled=1

Of course, this must also be confirmed again using the Enter key for it to take effect. Unlike the command described above, a password may not be requested here. At least that was the case in my test. However, it may be that the password query only takes effect again after a certain amount of time. Since I tested the two commands less than five minutes apart, that may be why the missing query came from me. Be that as it may, after confirming the throttling value reset to 1, the CPU and RAM load should slowly decrease.

Tested on macOS Sonoma 14.3.1
Tested on macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

More Mac tricks from Sir Apfelot

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2 comments on “Mac trick: Speed ​​up Time Machine (and other background processes)!”

  1. I've been using it for ages and it's easy to work with.
    The next trick would be to turn off mobile backups if you need disk space.

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