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How to Remove a File or Folder from Time Machine Backups in Mac OS X

Aug 6, 2013 - 1 Comment
Enter Time Machine

Time Machine is the simplest way to keep a reliable backup of everything on your Mac, but sometimes we don’t want every file or folder saved, or maybe you just no longer need a given directory to be preserved by external backups. In these situations, removing backups of any specific file or folders, or even … Read More

How to Safely Move Time Machine Backups to a New Hard Drive

Jul 7, 2013 - 5 Comments
Move Time Machine backups to a new hard drive

You can switch hard drives that Time Machine backs up to easily, but to properly migrate from one Time Machine backup drive to another and preserve the existing archived backups, you’ll want to take a few additional steps to insure that your existing prior backups are safely moved over as well. This is an easy … Read More

Use a Single External Hard Drive for Time Machine Backups and File Storage

May 1, 2013 - 42 Comments
Specify the Time Machine partition

Having regular backups of your Mac is a necessity, and there is really no easier way to consistently back up your Mac than by using the excellent Time Machine feature of OS X. But with the enormous size of external hard drives and their prices becoming cheaper and cheaper, it’s not always necessary to dedicate … Read More

Start a Time Machine Backup on a Remote Mac with SSH

Nov 5, 2012 - 3 Comments
Start a remote Time Machine backup with SSH

Time Machine backups can be triggered remotely thanks to SSH (Remote Login) and the command line. This is an excellent solution to use if you left the home or office without making an important backup, though the SSH requirement does add a potential layer of complexity that may make it more appropriate for advanced users. … Read More

Encrypt Time Machine Backups with Mac OS X

Sep 26, 2012 - 4 Comments
Encrypt Time Machine backups in Mac OS X

Time Machine backups can be encrypted right from your Mac. This means the backed up data is extremely safe from prying eyes and the very unlikely event of a cracking attempt, and it also means you’ll need a password to access the encrypted backups yourself. Enabling encrypted backups in Time Machine for Mac OS X … Read More

Change the Automatic File Locking Duration in Mac OS X

Apr 26, 2012 - 2 Comments
Change File Lock Duration in Mac OS X

Mac OS X Lion introduced the file locking feature, which causes any files to automatically lock themselves after a period of time to prevent accidental edits from occurring. You’ve probably seen the resulting message lock before, informing you a file has been locked because recent changes haven’t been made. The time it takes for that … Read More

OS X 10.7.3 Supplemental Update Fixes Problems with Time Machine Backups

Mar 5, 2012 - 8 Comments
OS X 10.7.3 Supplemental Update

Apple has released a supplemental update to Mac OS X 10.7.3 to address a potential issue with restoring from Time Machine backups. The update can be found from Software Update via the  Apple menu or downloaded directly from Apple. Installing the update does not require a reboot. Despite being a minor update, it is … Read More

Change the Time Machine Backup Schedule

Feb 2, 2012 - 24 Comments
Time Machine Scheduler

Every Mac owner should be using Time Machine, it’s by far the easiest and most painless backup solution, running in the background and allowing for easy recovery of files or the entire operating system should something go wrong during an OS X update or otherwise. There’s no way around it, having backups of your Mac … Read More

Exclude Folders from Time Machine Backups on Mac

Jan 27, 2012 - 5 Comments
Exclude a folder from Time Machine backups

Do you have a huge folder or ten you don’t want to include in Time Machine backups? Maybe just a few files that aren’t necessary to keep, or that you have a different backup solution for? Maybe you just want to slim down the size of a backup, or speed things up by excluding a … Read More

Turn Off File Locking in OS X Lion

Jan 24, 2012 - 12 Comments
Turn off file locking in OS X Lion

Mac OS X Lion introduced automatic file locking for any file that hasn’t been edited recently. You’ll have noticed this when you try and open an older file and make changes to it, a dialog box asks to duplicate the file or to manually unlock it. This is fine for files that you don’t want … Read More

Stop Spotlight from Indexing Time Machine Backup Volumes & External Drives

Jan 24, 2012 - 9 Comments
Stop Spotlight from Indexing Time Machine Drives

The default behavior for Spotlight is to start indexing any drive as soon as it’s connected to a Mac, a task that can take a very long time with larger volumes. The problem is that for larger external backup drives and Time Machine volumes, you don’t necessarily want it indexed by Spotlight. This is particularly … Read More

Compare Time Machine Backups and List All Changes Between Backups

Jan 21, 2012 - 4 Comments
tmutil compare output

Modern versions of Mac OS X include a great tool called tmutil that lets you interact with with Time Machine from the command line. It’s a powerful utility that has a ton of options, and we’ve used it before to disable local snapshots, but for the purposes here we are going to use tmutil to … Read More

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