If you’d like to save some space (and a bit of time, especially on your initial backup) with your Time Machine backups:

  • Open a Finder window and go to your Mac’s hard drive
  • Open System Preferences > Time Machine, then click Options
  • Drag the System folder from your Mac’s hard drive into the “Exclude these items from backup” section

OS X will prompt you to exclude other related items, including system applications. You probably don’t need those core items since they come preinstalled in OS X anyway, and your initial and potentially future backups won’t take as much time.

You’ll save space on your Time Machine backup drive, too. Once I enabled this option, the total excluded file size was 26.82GB.


Good point from Kevin Miller in the comments:

A very important caveat: once this is done, you can no longer restore a bootable system from scratch using Time Machine. You can only restore individual folders.

You May Also Like

How to cut down on iMessage group chat notifications with mentions, hidden alerts, threads

Group chats are great, and iMessage is pretty great. But getting a…

📱💻 Safari can translate webpages without a plugin

Basic translation tools are built right into Safari on Mac, iPad, and iPhone.