Permanently set debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled=0 to fix slow TimeMachine backups

I usually upgrade to a new OS X about one year later than the official release. That’s why I only recently hit the problem of an extremely slow time machine backup. After some digging to find a solution, it was the trick described at OS X Daily’s Speed Up Time Machine by Removing Low Process Priority Throttling that fixed the problem for me.

After a reboot the fix must be manually repeated, which I am only reminded of by noticing a backup that started the previous evening still not being past likt 5%. (I am using TimeMachine Editor to schedule backups outside of office hours)

OS X Daily also describes how to permanently set this sysctl configuration parameter, with the notice: for advanced users only since it as same caveats. Read their article if you’re unsure!

cd /Library/LaunchDaemons/
wget https://gist.githubusercontent.com/ypujante/e85a9e5284b7e5f397aa/raw/08f620915e0175ceadec0d7e5c68c6b86f3c8424/fix-el-capitan-slow-time-machine-speed.plist

and check the result that should look like the following:

cat fix-el-capitan-slow-time-machine-speed.plist
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<!-- Copy under /Library/LaunchDaemons and issue sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaemons/fix-el-capitan-slow-time-machine-speed.plist -->
<plist version="1.0">
  <dict>
    <key>Label</key>
    <string>fix-el-capitan-slow-time-machine-speed</string>
    <key>ProgramArguments</key>
    <array>
      <string>/usr/sbin/sysctl</string>
      <string>debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled=0</string>
    </array>
    <key>RunAtLoad</key>
    <true/>
  </dict>
</plist>
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