Time Machine Excludes

I think most Mac people use Time Machine as their main backup App or at least use it as part of their backup strategy. Time Machine backups can become quite large. One way to decrease the size of Time Machine backups is to make sure you are not backing up unnecessary items. You need to setup Time Machine Excludes in System Preferences. Here is how you do that.

Time Machine Excludes

You start Time Machine Excludes setup in the macOS System Preferences.

Time Machine Preferences

In the Time Machine Preference area, click on the “Options” button.

Time Machine Options

The next window shows a list of what is excluded from the Time Machine backup.

Exclude List

External drives would be an obvious choice to exclude. I also excluded all my Parallels stuff. To add something to this exclude area, just click on the plus (+) symbol.

Add Exclude

Navigate to the item you wish to add to the list and click the “Exclude” button. That is all there is to it.


Time Machine has become an excellent backup App. Even though it lacks a lot of versatility, you can still exclude some things from the backup.