Time Machine – Default Exclusions

The following describes what is not backed up by Time Machine, how to get a list of files that are excluded, and a reminder that you need to keep track of those paths that you have excluded via the Time Machine interface.

The list of paths, and the magic command came from Mac OSX Hints.

How to locate files that are not included in Time Machine


sudo mdfind "com_apple_backup_excludeItem = 'com.apple.backupd'"

Paths and files excluded by default

Paths Excluded
/.Spotlight-V100
/.Trashes
/.fseventsd
/.hotfiles.btree
/Backups.backupdb
/Desktop DB
/Desktop DF
/Network/Servers
/Previous Systems
/Users/Shared/SC Info
/Users/Guest
/dev
/home
/net
/private/var/db/Spotlight
/private/var/db/Spotlight-V100

Folders Copied, but Contents Excluded
/Volumes
/Network
/automount
/.vol
/tmp
/cores
/private/tmp
/private/Network
/private/tftpboot
/private/var/automount
/private/var/log
/private/var/folders
/private/var/log/apache2
/private/var/log/cups
/private/var/log/fax
/private/var/log/ppp
/private/var/log/sa
/private/var/log/samba
/private/var/log/uucp
/private/var/run
/private/var/spool
/private/var/tmp
/private/var/vm
/private/var/db/dhcpclient
/private/var/db/fseventsd
/Library/Caches
/Library/Logs
/System/Library/Caches
/System/Library/Extensions/Caches

Local User Folders copied, but contents Excluded
Library/Application Support/MobileSync
Library/Application Support/SyncServices
Library/Caches
Library/Logs
Library/Mail/Envelope Index
Library/Mail/AvailableFeeds
Library/Mirrors
Library/PubSub/Database
Library/PubSub/Downloads
Library/PubSub/Feeds
Library/Safari/Icons.db
Library/Safari/HistoryIndex.sk