I’ve been using the OS X Time Machine for over 2 years now, and it has proven itself to be hassle free and easy to use.
I found a few tweaks though I would like to share with you. Applying them might make your Time Machine backup even faster, and also smaller.
In the Time Machine Preferences I’ve excluded some directories for backup.
To do this, go to your Time Machine preferences and click the “Options” (or Opties, in Dutch) button:
The following screen appears:
As you see, I’ve added some directories which I do not need Time Machine to handle, because I take care of the backups myself. Simply press the “+” sign button and enter a location.
Other locations only contain cachefiles, which are ok to loose in case of emergency. The most important are:
This contains all the OS X cachefiles (for user data and application data). They help you speed up OS X performance, but will be rebuild when they are deleted or lost. Because this directory may contain gigabytes of data, it’s a good candidate for exclusion. I read somewhere the caches directories are already excluded by TM by default. Ah well, better be safe than sorry.
When you use Adobe Lightroom, you may also want to exclude the Lightroom Catalog Previews. The filename may have a slightly different name on your system, but it is located in your Lightroom catalog directory, probably something like:
<your lightroom catalog path>/Lightroom 2 Catalog Previews.lrdata
This file contains a preview cache for your Lightroom images, is at least hundreds of megabytes in size and changes everytime you open a file in Lightroom.
Another culprit for filling up your backup drive really quickly is iTunes’ Podcasts directory. Exclude it and it’ll save you at least a few hunderd megs.
Additionally, you can do the same for your Garageband data ( /Library/Application Support/Garageband ) and iPhoto themes ( /Library/Application Support/iPhoto ). Don’t worry, you can reinstall them from your iLife disc, if necessary.