Configuring Time Machine

After a small struggle, I was able to get my first TM backup onto my Synology.
The dialog for Time Machine shows:
Local snapshots as space permits
Hourly backups for the past 24 hours
Daily Backups for the past month
Weekly backups for all previous months

This is overkill and can easily use up space on the NAS.
Are there any configuration options for Time Machine that aren’t obvious?
I would like to disable some of them.

See how it works for you, I gave up on it and am now using the “Synology Drive” app without a single hiccup in months.

FYI, far as I know, Apple provides few switches to control TimeMachine. But, take a look at the options of the command “tmutil”. Easiest in a “terminal” to execute the manual command “man tmutil”. More info at Control Time Machine from the command line

I have had TimeMachine running to USB drives and Synology NAS. Synology works fine and there was no struggle. Just followed their instructions. Yes, the first backup one takes a while, but after that “just works” (I check periodically). I have attempted no changes to TimeMachine as I think more backups the better, having done numerous restores of files and machines over the years.

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I second @MacExpert’s “See how it works for you”. After many years I gave up on TM as it basically f’ed up my Mac. I too was backing up to a Synology. Now using Arq with MinIO on the Synology. And live’s good again.

As a suggestion on used disk space: just put a cap on that on your NAS (‘quota’ on your shared folder). That way TM will never use more than you want it to. Obviously it shouldn’t be less than your Mac’s disk size. If possible I’d use at least twice the size of your Mac’s disk.

Good luck.


For the original post, like the others, I use Arq, as it was able to offer more customisation. You can set the folders to ignore in the main settings if there are only certain items you want to backup.

Are there benefits to this over just a SFTP/SMB share? I can see that it would benefit the immutability aspect, but other than that?

I have used TimeMachineEditor in the past to alter the frequency of backups. I haven’t used it for a couple of years but it looks like it is still being updated and compatible with newer versions of macOS.


A good and interesting question. And I must admit that I didn’t give it an awful lot of thought before setting up MinIO. One of the benefits over an SMB share is that it doesn’t need to be mounted. All traffic goes over http(s). And since I already had Arq running using S3, using block object storage on the Synology seemed like a logical step.

That being said, I’m also backing up my Linux servers using sftp (no Arq) and that’s fine too.

Basically, it looked like a cool thing to run MinIO and there’s not much rationale for it (yet).

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Always a good excuse!

I went away and searched for it after seeing your comment and found a page on the Arq website. They state:

Running DSM 7, it looks like I’d have to install via Docker, but might well be worth doing.

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I just snagged a DS 920+ recently and was looking into this very solution today. I love this forum!

It looks like Arq may be the best solution for this on a Mac and then backup the important stuff on the Synology using HyperBackup to [Wasabi[( for me. It seems B2 from Backblaze is gonna be more expensive.

Give TimeMachine a shot. Follow Synology’s directions, including setting up a quota. It works. First backup takes a while (depending on bandwidth) but that deliberate as performance throttling set on Mac and Synology. But of course, some prefer to buy and use Arq. Choice.

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I used ARC for a while but found it to cumbersome did not know what to do with the various error warning. More importantly I could not figure out how to prevented to keep my Mac’s awake 24/7

The native Synology Drive app solved all that for me.

My Backblaze business account is less then $6 per month to backup my Synology.


I use the Synology Drive Backup app as you do, in addition to TimeMachine. I configure the Synology Drive to backup the very important stuff, esp my wife’s documents from her grad school work! I also run TimeMachine (saved to USB drive and Synology NAS) as in the event I have a total system crash or buy a new machine, then it’s trivially easy to restore stuff from TimeMachine. Have done that a couple of times with new machines (in addition to bringing back old versions of files due to blunders).

So, I don’t view it as a choice. Do both.

The Synology is backed up to a USB disk and Backblaze b2 (via Cloud Sync).


These are not full backups but rather incremental snapshots, and if and when your target drive is full, it starts deleting the earliest (oldest) backups. If you set a Synology space 2x the Mac SSD size, you can go for a very long time. There are also tools to help thin out your backups if needed. Check out BackupLoupe: One Stop Shop for Time Machine, which provides good insights.

I don’t rely on Time Machine only. Mostly use it for local version control, and I have excluded many folders (such as downloads, virtual machines etc.) from Time Machine. Problem with Dropbox. iCloud, OneDrive is that issues/infections replicate to all locations instantly. Time Machine allows for little time, but not much. The best is to have cloned and disconnected data in different locations:

I do Synology Drive from PC to NAS and use Cloudsync from NAS to Dropbox and OneDrive (this way, I don’t need Dropbox installed on my Mac). Use iCloud only for photos, syncing app settings and iOS backups. Then daily clone to SSD, which gets swapped with an offsite SSD every week. Key storage on Synology also backs up to BackBlaze B2 daily:
5 copies: Mac, Clone, NAS, Time Machine, Cloud B2
4 different media: Mac, SSD, NAS, Hard drive
3 versions in the cloud: Backblaze, Backblaze B2, iCloud, Dropbox
2 offline versions SSD/HDD
1 offsite (SSD/HDD)
The only manual to do is connect the SSD for the clone after a virus and malware scan.


Continues to work great for me on my new M1 MacBook Air!


Another “good luck with that” joining the chorus. TM has been wildly inconsistent backing up to my Synology - lost connections, massive amounts of data “scanned” with no progress on actual backups, etc. If I’m lucky, I get a good backup every 2 months.

I’ve still got Arq 5 on my '12 MBP pointed at both Wasabi and my Synology, I think it’s time to bite the bullet, upgrade to Arq 7, and do the same w/ my M1 Air and abandon TM.

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I use CCC with SafetyNet turned on to backup my drive to network devices. I do t really need continuous backups so I schedule them for middle of the night operation.

WHy use Arq + Minio together? It looks like Arq can do the backups alone.

MinIO is the backend. Not the backup program. It provides object storage on your NAS or server. Object storage has advantages over file and block storage. Especially for backups.

So yes, you could use Arq without MinIO without problems.


I do use Arq without MinIO and I asked the same question above. The Arq website provided me with the following answer

It therefore seems like it helps speed up the backup and verification process.

I had a play with MinIO on my Synology and following two different guides couldn’t get it working, so I’m sticking with SFTP backup for Arq.

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FYI, I used one one guide (but noticed numerous blog postings) published by Synology.

I followed this procedure and TimeMachine on four devices to one Synology NAS on the local network working just fine and has for quite some time. Now on DSM 7.0-41890 on a DS420j with the computers all on current OSX.

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