How to Stop Time Machine Backing Up a Certain File or Folder

Don’t want Time Machine to back up everything on your Mac? Add unimportant files to your exclusion list to save backup space.

The best aspect of Time Machine is its “set-and-forget” approach to backing up files and folders on your Mac. But do you want it to take the time to make copies of unimportant files and folders? If you want to prevent Time Machine from backing up files or folders, you need to add it to Time Machine’s exclusion list.

Time Machine may have excluded the files

By default, when you use Time Machine to back up your Mac, it automatically excludes specific items, such as system-related data. If you want to make sure you don’t want to ignore the same file or folder twice, you should look at the hidden exclusion file:

  1. Open Time machine drive and double click the latest snapshot.
  2. Press Shift + Cmd + Comma to show hidden files.
  3. Choose Remoions.plist file and press Space to view it in Quick Look. You will see a list of excluded folders at the top of the list.

Add a file or folder to Time Machine’s exclusion list

To exclude files and folders in Time Machine, you must add items to Time Machine’s exemption list. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click Time machine icon in your Mac’s menu bar and select Time Machine Option. If you don’t see this icon, open Apple menu and go to System Preferences > Time Machine.
  2. Click Optionthen click plus (+) button.
  3. Select a file or folder — such as television—You want to exclude and select To exclude, to expel.
  4. Click Assist.


Remove files and folders from Time Machine’s exclusion list

If you want to remove a file or folder from the exclusion list, to make sure Time Machine has backed it up, here’s how:

  1. Review Time Machine Option and choose Option.
  2. Select the file or folder you want to delete.
  3. Choose minus (-) button.

Manage your backups in Time Machine

Excluding files and folders in Time Machine shortens the time between Time Machine backups and helps retain more snapshots on internal storage. You can also take this extra step by deleting unwanted Time Machine backups on your Mac.


How to delete old Time Machine backups on your Mac

Continue reading How to Stop Time Machine Backing Up a Certain File or Folder

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