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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Mar 31, 2008
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    385
    What Files to Exclude in Time Machine?
    Hey guys,

    I recently bought a 320G external hard drive for my iMac's Time Machine. However, I feel that backing up every hour is going to take up too much space in the hard drive, filling it up way too soon than I'd like.

    I know there is a function to exclude certain files, but I am not sure which to exclude. So far I have only excluded the System files, and I'd like to know all the best files to exclude from Time Machine's backup and really only keep the vital stuff.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    mdfuller's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 01, 2007
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    I would recommend just keeping the default settings. It is not going to backup everything every single time it runs. It will only backup the things that have changed. It is also smart enough to flush your oldest backups. The iPhoto library does tick me off though. If anything is done in iPhoto it has to backup the whole file which is pretty dang huge for most people.

  3. #3

    Mr Macintosh's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 03, 2009
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    Just exclude the files that you could do without if something happened to them. Only backup the VERY important files. Oh yeah, and don't make it backup every hour - something more like every day or two days!

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Mar 31, 2008
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    But something seems to be backing up even when I don't change anything, and that is annoying. I have set my Time Machine to back up once every week with a third party application.

  5. #5

    chscag's Avatar
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    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Sierra
    I recommend that you backup everything. Backup time interval is up to you; how long can you go without too much work involved catching up if the system crashed and you had to do a total restore?

    Back up everything to be safe. That way if your HDD crashes, it's a simple matter of restoring from your Time Machine backup during the recovery process. You'll be up and running in no time.

    Regards.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Apr 05, 2009
    Posts
    2
    On a similar vein:

    If I were to backup files, such as music or movies, and then delete them from my computer, when I backup my comp next will the backed up files stay in the external HD or will it copy what has changed on my comp and remove those items from the external HD as well?

    That sounds a little convoluted. I hope it makes sense.

    Thanks.

  7. #7

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Dec 22, 2006
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    ex. You add a song on Feb 28. You delete it April 1.
    The song will be there in all the March backups and will not be there in the April and forward backups. It will remain in the March backups until the disk is full and begins deleting the oldest backups to make room for the new ones.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Apr 05, 2009
    Posts
    2
    That's perfect! Thanks for the reply.

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Mar 11, 2009
    Posts
    469
    You'll want to exclude the torrent dummy files that most torrent programs create when you download something.

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